The Supplier View: ‘Just Not So!’

Some 45% of suppliers polled by JCK said retailers were buying less than they did in the past; 70% said they were buying later in the year; 60% said they were buying fewer basic styles to keep in stock; and 55% said they were more frequently looking for goods that are sold at a price point. "I don't think I've ever seen quite the level of reluctance among retailers to buy," says Jonathan Louttit, director of operations, Imperial-Deltah, in East Providence, R.I. "A lot of companies are trying different enticements, including price, extended terms, merchandising, co-op advertising. Even those things aren't working." Manufacturers say the inventory situation forced them into not-always-pleasant reactions, including restricting cash flow (50%), reducing staff (40%), and changing their marketing and advertising budgets (50%). It has also had an impact on styling, as retailers are less lik
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