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The buying office provides not only market coverage, but also relates value of merchandise to the stores. It acts as the eyes and ears of the stores and provides the following information.
· Merchandise News
· Special items
· Fashion activity
· A good buying office provides personalized service to the store.
· To do this, knowledge of each stores merchandise unique character, clientele etc must be known.
· The buying office represents leadership to a group of smaller stores to compete with larger chains.
· The group buying activities benefits the smaller stores in reduction of prices for consultation, better delivery and availability of merchandise etc.
· Staple/Basic Merchandise consists of items that are in continuous demand over an extended time period. Examples: salwars, kurtis
· Fashion Merchandise consists of items that are in demand for a relatively short period of time. New products are continually introduced into these categories, making the existing products obsolete. Examples: high-end women’s apparel.
· A Fad is a merchandise category that generates a lot of sales for a relatively short time, often less than a season. Example : cowl collars, puff sleeve garments.
· Relatively easy to forecast demand and the consequences of making mistakes in forecasting are not great
· Predictability of demand makes it easy to plan for continuous replenishments
· Generating orders for inventory replacement can be automatic when the inventory falls below a pre-determined level
· Forecasting of sales is much more complex
· Buyers for fashion category have much less flexibility in correcting forecasting errors.
· The attempt is to be as close to out of stock as possible at the same time that the SKUs become out of fashion
· Seasonal merchandise categories are treated more or less similar to the fashion merchandise and they consist of items whose sales fluctuate dramatically depending on the time of the year
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