Can it really be that summer is coming to a close? It seems it was just yesterday the kids were celebrating the end of the school year, planning their summer adventures and preparing for week long beach trips. It also seems that it was not long ago Parker Avery launched our 2015 research study titled, “Unraveling the Mysteries of Assortment Planning.” Throughout the long, lazy (admittedly, maybe crazy is a better term) days of July and August, retail planning and merchandising professionals weighed in on how their companies handle assortment planning – from their overall objectives and challenges, to the tools used or capabilities desired and even feedback on how clustering is handled and future plans in this area.

From the strong interest and enthusiastic participation in the study, it was very clear that assortment planning is a top-of-mind topic for many retailers. With omnichannel models seeming to take on new characteristics and requirements on a daily basis – coupled with ever-increasing customer demands – having the right assortment across all channels is critical to gaining or maintaining competitive advantage, but many retailers are hampered with ineffective tools, data integrity issues and lack of integration and / or skill sets.

It therefore comes as no surprise that close to half of the study respondents admitted that they were at some point in the process of planning, selecting and / or implementing a new assortment planning solution. Despite how far along you may be, you have probably already realized this is no easy task. There are a number of viable solutions in the planning landscape, and each has any number of strengths and weaknesses. Not any one solution will fit every retailer’s business requirements, regardless of how good the vendor’s sales team may be. Understanding your requirements and getting them correctly documented is a critical initial step in any solution journey. If you’re wondering about how solid your own requirements may be, we invite you to read Parker Avery’s, “Writing Business Requirements: Strategy & Software Selection Essentials.” If you have any questions about your own assortment planning challenges or options you may be considering, please don’t hesitate to contact us

As we wind down these last few days of summer, The Parker Avery Group is not only diving deep into the study findings, but also enthusiastically planning for three upcoming fall events:

We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces at these events and developing new relationships. We also very much appreciate those who took the time to participate in what we strongly feel will be an eye-opening and insightful research study – stay tuned for the final report to be published early November.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

Shop on.
– Tricia

Published On: September 3, 2015Categories: Assortment, Events, Research, Tricia Chismer Gustin