September 13, 2022

Completely Misunderstanding Your Merchandise Assortment

Many of us have been there.

Your business is failing, so the Board or Ownership clean house. They hire a new CEO, the new CEO brings in Executives she can work with. It's a new team, and the team is going to make changes. Everybody who came before them are idiots. Everybody who doesn't "onboard" is an idiot.

This team HATES the merchandise being sold. They know that what is being sold wasn't embraced by the customer, so it is time to make guesses as to what the customer "wants".

Existing items are discontinued.

New items are introduced.

Business absolutely tanks.

Eighteen months later, the CEO is fired (she wants to spend more time with family, or so we are told). Executives scatter into the wilderness. Another rebuild begins ... this time going back to the formula that originally failed.

Some of you in the marketing community, some of you who are Executives, you don't understand how a merchandise assortment works. If you sell items that have a long life (i.e. you've sold them for eight years and they continue to sell well), you can't simply discontinue the items and replace them with something unproven. You have to develop new items carefully. Conversely, if you work in fashion, you can discontinue just about anything and you'll be fine ... the life of an item might only be three months. 

If you don't understand business, you'll misinterpret a "winners" business for a "fashion" business and that's a recipe for disaster.

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