Inventory Control | Buying Plans | Open-to-Buy

"Have enough inventory?"

Most retailers know their average inventory over the year. But the question is this: "Is that enough inventory for the sales you expect? Or too much?"

Quickly compare your inventory productivity to the median performers. 

  1. Are your sales higher? That's good news!
    You are likely to be cash flow positive.

  2. Or...are your sales lower than the median performer? That could be warning sign.
    There may be a cash crunch looming. 


click to open and use

"Hmm. That shows that, for the amount of inventory we carry, our sales are lower than the average performer.

"Now what?!" 

For your stores to operate like the median performers, consider the two drivers: annual sales; inventory levels. 

Then decide: Is it better to try to grow sales?  

Given your present annual sales, how much would annual sales have to grow

Or focus on controlling inventory? 

Or looking at your average inventory, how much inventory would need to be trimmed over a 12 month period?

Which is more plausible for your stores? 

More likely to be achieved? 

More controllable?

Every retailer will have different answers to those questions. Do not bog down at this stage! 

Make a choice, and make it happen. The goal: take advantage of the lead time!


Inventory Management Quiz

Take this online quick quiz for retailersJust ten questions. All online, all at your own pace. 

Just click the GO button, and you're on your way!

Test yourself as often as you wish. Immediate feedback, too, of how well you did. Get your overall score, and can review each question, see your answer, and the correct answer.

The ROI's Quick Quiz on the P&L

How ready are you to be a true merchant?

Basic Open-to-Buy Calculator

Try The ROI's Online SPEEDY Open-to-Buy Calculators – first 5 days are free!

Retailer's Open-to-Buy Center

Do your own monthly inventory buying (Open-to-Buy) plans online, in just minutes! Automagically! Easy and fast for retailers to use.

See MORE INFO hereabout this retailer-friendly tool.   

Watch: How to Use SPEEDY Basic Open-to-Buy

from The Library for Owners

Specifically for Retail Situations | Practical, Proven, Timeless | Used and Loved by Thousands of Retailers

Merchandise Planning: Back to the Basics

Sound merchandise management is crucial for the survival and prosperity of your retail business. 

It’s not just another “paper exercise”—it can mean the difference between strong, positive cash flow or a constant battle to pay your bills. 

It can keep your operation profitable even in times of less-than-robust sales.

read full article here


How to Shape Up Your Inventory? Manage Inventory Turns

If your store is like many other independent retailers, it’s probably overstocked much of the time. 

This excess inventory is like excess fat: 

  1. It looks bad
  2. Consumes energy the inventory “muscle” needs
  3. Threatens the financial health of your business.

If you’d like to time your inventory flow so you always have fresh merchandise and a healthy turnover rate, consider this shape-up plan. 

It will help trim away excess inventory without cutting into the muscle of your stock.

read full article here 

The Diamond of Doom

The High Costs of Excess Inventory

As a retail owner, one of your primary goals is to boost profit margins—right? 

You know that good inventory management is essential to producing top-notch profits. 

You also know that bad inventory management can cause big problems with profit. 

However, you may not know the actual cause-and-effect of bad inventory management. 

read full article here


How to Cut Inventory – Fast!

Is excess inventory threatening your store's survival? 

Here are 10 tips to turn your inventory into cash – quickly!

Sometimes retailing doesn’t quite turn out as you had planned. 

Did last year fail to live up to what you predicted—and budgeted for? 

Did you overestimate the popularity of your generous order of a particular product?  

Are there areas of your inventory brimming with overstock? 

Relax! There is a way out of this mess!

If you find yourself long on inventory and short on profits—whether from overbuying, expanding lines too quickly, or overestimating sales, don’t panic. 

You still can whip your inventory back into shape before it devours your profits.

read full article here

Getting Through the Retail Maze with GMROI

(Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment)

One of the best tools for measuring and managing the productivity of your inventory investment is GMROI - Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment. 

It's fast and easy to calculate. 

It is dynamic (some call it the "earn 'n turn" measure.)

Best of all, it provides powerful insights specifically for retailers.

That's why The ROI calls GMROI "the #1 measure of inventory productivity."

read full article here


Online Training Courses from The ROI

The ROI offers basic retail financial online training called "eLearning Kits". 

Each kit includes 

(1) an online training course, and 

(2) in-the-cloud Executive Calculator, specifically for retail projecting and "What if...?" planning. No additional charge!

Explanatory How-to Training Course
The self-paced eLearning course in each eLearning Kit includes explanatory retail financial how-to content, example case studies, demonstrations of how to use the specialized cause-effect "calculator", and yes, even a final quiz.

Entertaining Case Study
And, you WILL have fun!  Meet Helen and Irving Surviving, owners of the I. M. Surviving(?!) Company. Follow their progress through each course, as they deal with the issue: "Am I running this business, or is it running me?"

Online Projecting "Calculator", Specially Developed for Retailing
Every eLearning Kit also includes – at no extra charge – an online Executive Calculator. 
As training tools, these calculators show the dynamic cause-effect connections between the numbers in a retail business. And, as practical working tools, these easy-to-use calculators enable any retailer, anywhere, to run their business like the pros do!

These Executive Calculators are online, "in the cloud", available on-demand, 24/7. Nothing to download or install; all the formulas are built in. 

Easy - and fast! - for retailers to use. No additional charge!


Some call it "connecting the dots." We call it, "Now, everyone WILL 'get it'."

Inventory Management Basics

Fast-Paced, Lively Retail Financial How-To Webinars

Online, on-demand, 24/7

Unlimited free access for ROI Members • Or, buy 3-Day Online Access for $9.95 each

click each for more info



Basics of Turnover & Inventory Buying plans Savvy Markdown Management webinarGMROI webinar

"How much inventory should we have?"

Projecting and Controlling Inventory Buying

Having the right products at the right place at the right price at the right time for the right customer is the challenge that confronts all retailers, all the time. This eLearning Kit is designed to help meet that challenge.

The solution is both an art and a science. The Buyer provides the "art": taste and judgment. This eLearning Kit teaches the "science", the math, of projecting and controlling inventory.

see more info here

GMROI: The #1 Measure of Inventory Productivity

"For each dollar I have invested in inventory, how much gross profit am I getting back?"

GMROI - Gross Margin Return on Inventory (Investment) - is the #1 measure of inventory productivity.  GMROI tells you how many Gross Margin dollars you are getting back for each dollar you have invested in inventory.  That's why some call it the "earn 'n turn" calculation.

Now, The Retail Owners Institute makes it easier than ever for you to put this powerful tool to work in your retail operation.

Learn all about GMROI. Practice using the unique GMROI Calculator. Start immediately to take advantage of GMROI in your own business. See for yourself why the real pros in retailing depend on GMROI. 

see more info here