In the vein of Timing of seasons and When are markets held, I found a chart called a Buyer’s Timing Calender. I copied it out of a book called Case Studies in Merchandising Apparel and Soft Goods by Michele Granger, a book I’ve been meaning to review. I haven’t reviewed it yet because I’m ambivalent and don’t know if I should recommend it but it obviously has some value if I’ll probably buy it myself (I got my copy from the library). Honestly, I think my biggest hang up about the book is that it costs $44. I don’t think it’s worth the money because no solutions are provided; it’s all open ended and intended for class discussion. I wouldn’t have a problem recommending it -for what it is- if it were $20 less. If it provided answers, it’d be worth a whole lot more but that’s not an option. Anyway, the chart I scanned from page 92 was originally supplied by the National Retail Federation and I looked high and low on their site but couldn’t find it. The chart (from the book) is described as:
This is a timing calender used by retail buyers in women’s apparel to approximate weeks of the month for introduction and promotion, peak sales, price reductions and close outs of seasonal merchandise.
Each week is further delineated with codes A, B, C and D. A indicates when the store begins to receive goods for the new season. B indicates any promotions have taken place before this date. C shows that no reorders take place after such date and D indicates the date by which markdowns begin. To know what I’m talking about, you’ll just have to download it (1065 kb) and print it out. Here’s a pdf version (a whole megabit) if the jpg won’t print for you. A thumbnail of it is pretty useless but I’ve tried to excerpt a section of it below so you can hopefully see what I’m talking about.
The chart is most appropriate with regard to department stores but it does illustrate when goods -generally- hit the selling floor, peak selling times and when the goods are marked down and eased out to make way for the next season’s products. There are three categories listed, dresses, coats and suits and sportswear. Please note there is a big error regarding the labeling of the dresses schedule (on the far left) and I made the manual corrections off to the side. Also, reiterating the recent discussion of how many seasons for which to produce collections, one is not required to produce all of the seasons listed each year. I don’t know that the smaller stores are buying on such a fragmented schedule. I’d think they’d pick up and sell fewer seasons per year. For example, department store dresses list no fewer than 8 seasons. I don’t think the smaller stores are buying for more than six.
Misc. note: The calender makes note of a season called “cruise”. I think this is more commonly referred to as “resort” these days.