Q: I am currently doing my fall ‘20 planning. What are you predicting in terms of growth against last year, and which categories do you think will perform the best? I read your articles on increasing margin, so where do you think I will have the most margin opportunities? Thanks.
Steve Pruitt: Sales growth for the year will depend a lot on precedent. There will be many factors that determine your growth, such as:
1. LY (last year) growth
3. Reinvestment (both in terms of money and creativity)
These are factors we deal with daily, and seasonally. In the best of times, 70 percent of the merchants get it right. In poor times, 40 percent keep nailing it. The ones that seem to miss the mark go for lowering sales targets, rather than using their creativity and cash flow to grow.
Keep investing, or you won’t be relevant.
As for the question of where to get additional margin, the answer everywhere. But start by looking at the fastest-growing categories, and the largest categories. The quest for margin follows your energy, so focus on big opportunities.
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