Q: With consumer demand coming in strong in the first half of the year, should I expect it to taper off in the fall? And if so, what can I do to ensure I have a good holiday season?
Steve Pruitt: The gains we’ve seen didn’t really start until the spring, so we have a good opportunity to keep up the pace this fall. Of course, there is always the chance of a black swan issue, or unexpected event, such as a market correction that shakes consumer confidence. Increasing tariff wars could take a toll, for instance. That said, the market has been resilient so far. I would still recommend that you plan conservatively for fall and act aggressively—land early and promote often.
Among our clients, we left enough flexibility in stock-to-sales ratios to allow for 10% growth. Remember, if you start lean you can always buy more popular items later in the season, if needed.
Where we could see a slowdown is next spring, so keep your eye on the trend lines, and adjust plans month-to-month, based on your location and market.
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