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Premarket And Me!

September 4, 2007

After a restful Labor Day, I was hoping for an uneventful week. However, I just finished reading this in  Summer Classic’s Weekly Update:

    "Time will tell what will cause the (casual) market to take a permanent shift back to July or August.
      However, we believe that is an inevitable conclusion."

IMHO, it is inevitable only if retailers want the show shifted to that time. Personally, I don’t and I am surprised that vendors would want it then, either.

In the same Update, Bew White says:

    "The market is extremely tentative at present. I do not think I have seen it like this since September 11th.
      …This “feeling” causes dealers to be extremely cautious. They reduce purchases, reduce advertising, and
      generally pull in their horns. What they are doing is planning for failure. We have a saying here ‘you get
      the future you plan for’."

Although some retailers are having a poor or so-so year, I think vendors are trying to have their cake and eat it, too with a July only market. They have a July premarket to get us to buy early. But they think we are planning for failure because we don’t throwing caution to the wind and place big orders. Maybe the orders aren’t as big as they hope because we retailers can’t tell in early July how the season is going to end up.

An early market helps Florida retailers whose season starts in October. But for the rest of us, July is really, oh what is the word, EARLY! I went to the July premarket this year with strong inventory in two major lines and couldn’t justify writing a preseason order for either line in July or even early August. Seven weeks of additional selling time after the premarket, my inventory is sold down and I can write some pretty sizable preseason orders for both lines.

Or, look at what happened in Texas this year. Reps are telling me torrential rains in season caused problems for many retailers. But, in August, when the rains ended, Texas buyers went into stores like it was April or May. Who knew?

Is it just me, or do other retailers miss the time when reps went to premarket sales meetings, came to us with photos and programs, and then we finalized our buying at the September show?

Yours, in confused retailing, Bruce