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Why budget planning is more crucial than ever

Spending the evening with retailers at the Drapers Awards last week was not only a great way to celebrate the successes achieved this year but I also noticed that many retailers were already mindful of what 2010 will hold in store for them.

With the forthcoming autumn 10 buying season very nearly upon us, retailers are already brimming with a mixture of optimism and trepidation, with many set to start their autumn 10 buying just the other side of Christmas.

As my discussions with retailers continued throughout the night, a common pattern emerged,  with many complaining that they receive the bulk of their season’s stock earlier than they need it, meaning they need to pay for it before they have sold it or even before it hits the floor. Quite clearly this has a huge impact for retailers in demanding trading times and the level of stress that this places on cash flow can only be sustained for a short period of time before it causes great difficulties for retailers and suppliers alike.

As the consumer continues to demand fresh, new product, there has never been a greater need for retailers to plan budgets for the forthcoming season. For retailers to succeed they must match their delivery flow with their monthly sales turnover. By doing this they will not only alleviate the above mentioned stresses but will also be able to react to best-sellers and missed opportunities throughout the trading season.

Receiving new stock even during discount periods is essential in enticing the regular consumer and helping to increase margins. The knock-on effect of this is that consumers are happy to visit stores more frequently knowing they will find something new and tempting to buy.

Helen Colling is the sales manager for womenswear brand Part Two at IC Companys

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