August 10, 2014

Quantity vs. Quality

When running a Merchandise Forensics analysis, pay attention to new items.

Yup, new items are the lifeblood of your business, it's as simple as that. And I'm not talking about adding a button to a shirt, I'm talking about genuinely new products.

Some of my clients set new product goals.
  • Exceeds Expectations = Offer At Least 500 New Items And At Least 100 Achieve A/B/C (high sales level) Status.
  • Meets Expectations = Offer At Least 400 New Items And At Least 70 Achieve A/B/C Status.
  • Missed Expectations = Any Other Outcome.
Why both quantity and quality?

It's really hard to identify high-selling new items. Really, really hard. If you think you can do it, try being a merchant.

Take a look at how well you historically identified successful new items as a function of the total number of new items offered. If that rate is, say, 17%, then you have the target you need for a "Meets Expectations" objective. And if your analysis demonstrates that you need 400 new items in order to maintain sales growth, well, you've got the second piece needed to set a "Meets Expectations" goal.

Your "Exceeds Expectations" goal should both stretch your merchandising team while offering the potential for real sales growth.

New item goals require both quantity and quality. It's terribly hard to identify winning items prior to sharing them with the customer.