I’ve spent my entire career in the retail industry, in various roles, both working directly for retailers and as a consultant. These experiences gave me an opportunity to view the retail industry through a number of different lenses. As a result, I’m often asked what is on a retail CEO’s mind in today’s current business climate, to which I typically answer, with certainty, one thing: inventory.
Inventory optimization, inventory effectiveness, how to improve inventory decisions in an omni-channel world. Inventory remains the top challenge for most retailers, as seen from the $1.4 trillion inventory problem stemming from lost sales and excessive markdowns. New realities force the need for a new approach. While customer expectations have changed and retail operations and execution have changed, inventory decision-making (for the most part) has not.
The fact of the matter is that inventory is a complex problem and complex problems do not have simple answers.