Financial Accounting Blog

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

BusinessWeek writes about retailers' strategy (timing of sales, discounts, and volume of goods) in managing the movement of their inventory over this holiday season (in comparison to the last several years of sales trends). In class, we have calculated and talked about the importance of inventory turnover as a measure of both liquidity and operating efficiency.
After putting too much merchandise on the shelves for the past three years and being forced to discount heavily, purveyors of everything from women's leather coats to high-end televisions are being conservative this year. Many have cut inventories sharply, hoping to keep prices firm and profits decent -- even if that means losing revenues when popular items sell out. Says Michael Keefe, CEO of Hilco Merchant Resources, an inventory-management company: "Retailers want to create a sense of urgency so shoppers will buy early and not try and wait them out."