Merchandising Math: Managerial Approach

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9780130995896: Merchandising Math: Managerial Approach

This book introduces readers to the concepts of financial management for the merchandising of fashion goods. Covering basic financial skills needed to succeed when planning, procuring and selling fashion goods, the volume provides an integrated presentation of merchandising principles, mathematical formulas and real world applications. It is designed to help readers understand the underlying principles behind decisions and apply these principles to multiple store situations. The book begins with the basic markup concepts and single unit, three variable spreadsheets and builds the information to complex assortment plans and multi-column/multi-row spreadsheets. The authors provide an introduction to merchandising with an emphasis on retail pricing and profit and loss statements, as well as planning strategy, sales and stock, fashion forecasting, assortment planning, unit control and buying and selling concerns. For individuals involved in the merchandising of fashion goods.

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From the Back Cover:

This text provides a comprehensive introduction to the financial management of merchandising fashion goods. Merchandising concepts and math skills required to make good financial decisions are presented in an integrated framework so that students see how merchandising theory and mathematical formulas are applied to solve real-world retailing problems. To be successful in our fast moving retail environment, students must know more than pre-set formulas and store specific formats. They must under stand the merchandising principles and the managerial decision-making processes that underpin good decision-making. This text integrates the presentation of merchandising and retailing concepts, managerial planning and decision-making processes, and mathematical formulas used in retail operations. Students learn both the merchandising knowledge and mathematical skills needed to succeed in the field of merchandising.

Key Features
  • Integrated presentation of merchandising principles, mathematical formulas, and real world applications
  • Comprehensive coverage of financial skills required for successfully planning, procuring, and selling fashion goods
  • Strong coverage of the managerial planning process (Introduced in Chapter 5, and integrated in Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9)
  • Relationships between variables in a formula are explained prior to presenting the calculation of a formula
  • Spreadsheet applications are provided for each concept
  • Study Wizard CD-ROM included with the text, provides the student with a wealth of additional problems and practice quiz questions

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book is written for students who seek to be successful in retail, merchandising, and marketing, and who want to know the subject matter in more depth than what is necessary to simply find the solution to a problem. Such knowledge is the foundation to making good decisions, critical to the success of any business, and in turn, critical to the success of future careers. Possessing a solid understanding of merchandising math, making decisions based on sound principles backed with numeric explanation, and explaining decision processes to colleagues and bosses will be important every day in future merchandising careers. Companies can be saved or destroyed by the financial decisions made and the impact of those decisions on merchandising outcomes, especially those of product assortment and customer satisfaction. In this book, students are introduced to a broader knowledge about merchandising math and its application in day-to-day business transactions. With this knowledge, they will possess the aptitude to become skilled in and make decisions based on a variety of specialized programs.

In the past, many teachers, ourselves included, have used multiple books, drawn upon personal work experiences, created reams of worksheets, and designed hundreds of overheads and handouts to teach merchandising math. We were always searching for the book that would provide the right combination of background information, basic management decisions, mathematical formulas, explanation, and practice. From alumni, advisory boards and our own work experiences, we knew that few people in merchandising work in isolation; most work within organizations that expect teamwork and cross-functional networking. Even fewer people work with only numbers, and most work with problems, situations, and outcomes. To provide students with this integrated understanding, only this one book is needed—no more multiple book purchases, no more copies from the copy machine, no more extra exercises.

Formulas without explanations are merely mathematics; and management, marketing and merchandising processes without financial justification are merely theories. The two sides of the coin must merge for the student. With an understanding and a working knowledge of the formulas and their conceptual basis, the student will be able to work within any retail type, with any product classification, and for any size of business. When students memorize the formulas without understanding their application in a real-world work environment, they lack the ability to apply the information to new situations, to new products, or to new formats. With the approach that is provided in this book, students will understand why, how, and when to use this merchandising math information. They can work for a major chain that has its own hybrid computer system, a small, local store, or in any business in between and still understand the factors that must be considered in the financial decisions for the business.

This book is organized into four parts. The first part provides an overview of merchandising and retailing, with the basic spreadsheet format and pricing formulas used throughout the book. The next three parts follow the three-stage process of merchandising: planning, buying, and selling. To assist in the learning process, a student's solutions manual and a CD with test questions are available. For faculty, we provide a teaching manual including full solutions for all problems and transparency masters for several of the figures within the textbook.

In Part 1, "Introduction and Basics," Chapter 1 begins the study with the merchandising function within retail. This information is important for students who must understand the interrelated activities within retail and the importance of the team concept in merchandising. This foundation assists students, in later chapters, to perceive the impact of managerial decisions made in the merchandising function on the activities of other retail functions, such as operations, sales, and promotions. Chapter 2 presents the information on unit pricing and the elements of price. The student is introduced to the spreadsheet format of financial planning and the relationships between the basic elements of retail price, markup, and cost. Chapter 3 expands the basic price elements from one product unit to the store or business level. Chapter 4 expands a simple Profit and Loss statement into a complex statement that includes discussions of reductions, margins, and operations. This chapter also includes information about alterations, requirements of sales associates to wear company clothing, and other unique aspects of financial planning in the fashion industry.

Part 2, "Planning," begins with the broad scope of strategic planning. The basic process of strategic planning is described in Chapter 5, including the relationships of the P&L statement to the planning process and the role of the merchandising function in planning. The concepts in Chapter 5 are used extensively in subsequent chapters on planning sales, stock, and forecasting. Additionally, the value of an environmental scan and the collection of information, as described in Chapter 5, become evident to students through concepts and practice. Chapter 6 provides a unique view of sales planning from the perspective of both a continuing business and a new business. Chapter 6 also examines the various methods of planning stock, including discussions of turn, average stock, and the problems with fashion-oriented stock. Chapter 7 reveals the importance of stock to the merchandising process and the methods of determining appropriate stock levels. The presentation in Chapter 8 encourages students to compile the knowledge that they have acquired into developing the six-month spreadsheet. (Using this book, our students find that the six-month plan is easy to master. With texts we used previously, they struggled to assimilate a great deal of seemingly unrelated information.)

Part 3, "Buying," contains 'specific information and processes about the buying function within merchandising. For many students, these are their favorite chapters because we talk about the "real world" of buying: low buyers forecast (Chapter 9), how buyers organize the forecasting information (Chapter 10), what buyers do when they go to market (Chapter 12), and the specific number functions that are involved with determining open-to-buy and terms of the sale (Chapters 11 and 13). In this section, we provide exercises for the students to practice their forecasting skills and plan market trips. The chapter on assortment planning (Chapter 10) contains extensive and unique information not available in other merchandising texts about the organizational process of planning for buying. The merchandise classification system taught in this section enables the student as a future buyer to computerize the buying plan and prepare new buys to be entered into the computerized inventory systems used by most retail businesses. The balance, between the qualitative forecasting in Chapter 9 and the quantitative forecasting in Chapters 10 and 11, helps the student to understand the multiple-task role of the corporate and individual buyer.

Part 4, "Selling," completes the merchandising process. This part examines the floor functions of the buyer, and helps students bring closure to the class to understand more fully the interrelated functionality of merchandising and retailing. Buyers, merchandisers, department and store managers, and promotions personnel must work as a team to deliver the product to the consumer at the right price and the right time. Buying functions are closely related to inventory (Chapter 14), price adjustments including markdowns and other price adjustments (Chapter 15), and promotions, sales associates, and other methods of marketing communications between the retailer and the customer (Chapter 16). The information on price adjustments, especially markdowns, is presented in the context of the spreadsheet formats used for pricing as taught in Chapter 2. The student uses this chapter as a refresher on the information in Chapter 2 and is able to integrate the information from many concepts throughout the book into the managerial decisions used to make price adjustment decisions. The final chapter on marketing communications (Chapter 16) introduces the concepts of the various aspects of marketing communications, including promotions, sales, and public relations. The importance of these topics to the merchandising function is emphasized. This provides the student with an introduction, but not overlap, to this information for their subsequent courses in a retailing, business, or merchandising program.

We developed this book based on our combined experiences of teaching merchandising math, working as a buyer for a major retail corporation and a small privately owned apparel store, owning our own businesses, and working in both the fabric and apparel manufacturing segments of the fashion industry. We know firsthand the importance of financial decision making in the success of both small retail businesses and large multi-chain corporations. Dons Kincade was the owner of a family-owned and managed retail chain of dry cleaners/launderettes for ten years, worked for two years at Cone Mills, interned with Russell Corporation, and has been a Faculty Fellow with the Textile and Technology Corporation TC2 since 1990. Fay Gibson was a buyer and then divisional merchandise manager for a partner group of Belk Stores for fifteen years, was the fashion director and trainer for a store group for Belk Stores, and was the owner/buyer of a ladies specialty store for seven years. We have been in the "real world" and have used what we know from that world to provide students with what they need to survive and thrive in business.

In addition, this book is the culmination of years of teaching at small schools, large universities, and major industrial corporations. Doris Kincade has taught merchandising math at Auburn University and Virginia Tech for more than twelve years, and taught merchandising courses prior to that for fourteen years at Peace College. Fay Gibson taught merchandising math and other merchandising courses for ten years at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been a consultant or provided training for several Fortune 500 companies, Apparel Marts, and specialty retailers. Ginger Woodard has taught merchandising math and other merchandising courses at East Carolina for ten years, taught merchandising courses at Peace College for an additional seven years, and provided leadership for groundbreaking curriculum development for her area at East Carolina University.

Over the years, we have taught thousands of college students and hundreds of industry personnel. We have designed this book to help students think, to assist them with learning and practicing formulas, and to aid them in building merchandising knowledge as well as mathematical skills—a combination needed to succeed in business. We were inspired in writing this book by the thousands of students who asked questions in class, stayed after class for extra help, and either struggled with or loved merchandising math. Our combined years of teaching experience represent over 3,000 students who sat in our classrooms and listened to us teach merchandising math. With every semester of teaching—and for the three of us that represents about 85 semesters of merchandising math—we have refined the ideas in this book, developed exercises that assist with skill development, and organized the concepts to improve student learning.

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Doris H. Kincade
Published by Addison Wesley Longman (2003)
ISBN 10: 0130995894 ISBN 13: 9780130995896
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