The ABC’s of Merchandising Metrics

As partners we have over 60 years of combined experience in the apparel business.  Wholesale and retail.  Private label and branded.  Specialty store and department store.  Merchandising & Design.  Sourcing and operations. Best sellers and markdowns.  Our experience is broad and deep and we have developed our own set of pressure points and merchandising metrics through which we evaluate the business.  Merchandising Metrics is not about the pure creativity of design.  It is not about the pure science of number crunching.  It is about the grounding nature of data and the optimism of design.  It is about the skillful blending of the two processes to achieve a brand presence and a business narrative that is both emotionally engaging and profitable.  It is understanding that it takes both left-brain and right-brain thinking to tell the whole story.  Below are some of the pressure points and metrics we look at.  For a complete read of the full document, please give us a call or drop us an email.  We look forward to working with you.


·         Aesthetics & Attitude.  

·         Adapt.

.      Adjacency

·         AOTD.  Average-Out-The-Door.


·         Balance/Risk Mitigation.  The balance and relationship between high risk and low risk product.

.      Bell Curve.  

·         Best Use of Space.  

·         Boundaries.  

·         Brand Promise.  What are the 5-7 words or 2 sentences that define your brand?  What is the brand's core reason for being?  Is it sufficiently focused to serve as the course correcting compass it needs to be? 


·         Consistency.  Keeping the Promise…(Promise = one word definition for brand.)

·         Color Management.  Content and emphasis in a given moment, and how color flows and evolves with the seasons.

.         Core Items.  

.       Conversion - Seasonal Product.

.       Conversion  -  In-store sales transactions.

·         Change Management.

·         Control.  

·         Customers.  

·         Competitors.  

·         Creative Compass.  


·         Dosage.  How much is enough...really…???   

·         Discipline.  

·         Domain.  

·         Demographics.

·         Democracy.

·         Differentiate…be Distinctive. 


·         Emotions.  

·         Entertain.  

·         Ethics.

·         Exclusivity.  

·         Evolve. 


       ·         Focus.

         .      Fast Second. 

·         Freshen...and evolve.   Fresh but Familiar.   

  •       Brick & Mortar...freshen…???
  •       E-Com and social media...freshen weekly...maybe daily.
  •       Freshen and evolve in sync with the seasons.   Equal emphasis on entry and EXIT.

·         Front fixture story.  

·         Fashion.  Highest contribution to Brand Promise AND highest risk…erratic and unpredictable financial ROI at the style level.   But obviously jugular to the Aesthetic & Attitude and the Brand, Pressure Test.


·          Growth.


·         Humility…and Curiosity.  

·         Hand feel.   


·         IMPORTANT.  WI? MO!

·         Insight/Intuition/Introspection.  

·         Insanity.  With all due respect to the original author of this pearl of wisdom, Insanity is NOT repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different outcome.   That's stubborn.  Insanity is KNOWING that there are alternative behaviors to achieve different outcomes and STILL repeating old behaviors.

·         Inclusive.  


·         Just in Time.  

.      Juxtaposition.


·         Key Items.  Seasonal Key Items.  



·         Listen, Learn, Laud.  

·         Localize.  


·         Merchandising Metrics…the benchmarks and filters to probe, challenge, and pressure test content and execution.  At a moment in time, and over time…freshening within season, and seasonal conversion.  Mall Metrics…in the Mall 3 times a week.  Boots on the ground.  Floor and pricing evolution in real time.  Real time monitoring of Risk Mitigation/Assortment Weights and Balances, Color Management, Seasonal Conversion, Pricing Posture and WOS jeopardy.

·         MONA.  

·         Margin.

.      Marketing.       

·         Managing merchandising metrics means making more money.


·         Noise.  


·         OBVIOUS.  

·         Omni-channel.


·        Product+Presentation+Pricing+Psychographics+Positioning+Promotion+Planning         +People+Patience =  Productivity & Profits.

·         Pressure Test.  The process of challenging the value-adding role of every component of the business.  Weighing the Risk/Return quotient for all the moving parts.  It's not a comfortable process.  It requires actual Listening & Learning skills.  It requires the right questions at the right moments.

.      Parallel Processes.

·         Promotional activity.  


·         Queue's...who's got 'em...who doesn't…???

·         Quick Response.                 


         ·          Risk Mitigation.  Be more right on more sku’s for longer periods of time.  Be less wrong for shorter periods of time on a narrower range of sku's.   

·         Read and Respond.  Testing.

·         Respect.  See "L".


·         Seasonal Conversion.   

·         Seasonal Key Items.  

·         Speed to Market

·         Story telling.  

·         Scarcity.  Create it by not overbuying fashion and novelty.  Sell out of something…often.   Practice the art of the unexpected.  LIMITED EDITION.  Manage scarcity by planning the sell-out and planning the flow behind it.  The customer can be trained to wait…or buy now and not experience FOMO…fear of missing out.

·         Self-Inflicted Wounds.  


·         Time/Action Calendar.  

·         Test & Respond.    


·         Unique.  What’s unique about your brand…really…???


·          Value.  


·         Weeks of Supply/WOS.  

.      Where & When.

·         Wisdom.  

·         Wearing Moment.  

·         Windows.  


·         "X" marks the spot…the customer.  WHO?  WHY?


·         WHY.  Literally, why does your brand exist…???   What void…???   What customer…???  What problem is it solving…???  What need it is creating…???  WHY would the customer buy your brand over the competition…???


·         Zero-based thinking/budgeting.  

·         ZZZZZZZ:  If you hear this, or crickets, from your customers or staff, start over at "A".