Take a Memo

Memo is a love/hate topic. Retailers generally love it, and manufacturers generally hate it. Used properly and judiciously, the practice of having some consigned merchandise at retail makes sense. Used carelessly, it breeds nothing but trouble for both the retailer and the manufacturer. • Originally, short-term memo enabled a retailer to bring in a particular piece or pieces for a specific customer. • Typically, the term of the memo was a few weeks. If the manufacturer got the sale, everyone was happy. If not, the merchandise was returned and no one was hurt. • Over time, memo became more and more important as retailers’ demands increased to the point that, unless memo was provided, the retailer would go with a competitor who did offer a program. Memos became addictive—spreading from diamonds to wedding rings to colored stones to virtuall

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