Q: I’m currently buying for next spring. What kind of margin opportunities are you seeing?
Steve Pruitt: I’m glad you’re already thinking about this, because I see a number of margin opportunities for both spring ‘19 and the upcoming fall season. The first thing you always want to do is focus on full-priced selling by setting up a number of events and promotions early in the season. This way you have less leftover merchandise that you have to markdown later in the season.
Then, dedicate 10 percent to 15 percent of your buy to private label merchandise, if you have it, since you can build-in higher margins. You also need to hold back some of your open-to-buy so you can gain late-season margin by refilling orders on in-demand merchandise.
And, as always, look for unique merchandise that’s not sold online by your competition. Fortunately, the dollar remains strong so this should lead to better buys.
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