As Met Office figures confirm last month was the wettest April on record, global retail technology provider, Torex, says retailers can adapt to unexpected changes in weather with good merchandise planning systems.
Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski, global enterprise practice lead, Torex, said: “As we’ve seen in the news today, retailers are experiencing challenges with the unseasonal weather.
“As many retailers struggle to get back into profit, and with the weather in a constant state of flux, it’s important to make sure planning foundations are strong. Seasonal merchandise planning is imperative, but planners still need to identify and react to unforeseen influences quickly to maintain revenue streams and retain customer loyalty while minimising excess stock,” said Kula-Przezwanski.
“Retailers who want to adapt to sudden changes in the weather need the ability to capture and meaningfully analyse granular sales data to map trends quickly and respond appropriately.
“Not only can the product mix be influenced by the climate but the balance of sales through stores, online, mobile and social channels is often skewed. A single view of stock across the business to fulfil an order from anywhere in the estate improves availability and the customer experience while a good merchandise planning system will use the sales information by channel to reforecast the stock requirement by line and its allocation.
“Working in partnership with the supplier base to address challenges with stock provides mutual benefits. Having identified product performance drift from the original plan, sharing the information quickly enables a collaborative approach to get the right stock, in the right place at the right time to maximise sales and profits for everyone.
“Although the effect of the weather on retail sales in not a new phenomenon, at least retailers today have access to the technology solutions that will allow them to adjust the customer proposition and adapt business processes in a matter of hours,” said Kula-Przezwanski.