Sustainable inventory

Re-imagining inventory

The traditional approach of producing an inventory which is then sold, is being transformed into an approach where a partly, or fully, virtual inventory is showcased as much as possible, and then produced to order.

I’ve been employed as part of consultant teams to help improve buying, merchandising & inventory by Boots, AllSaints, Ferrari, Nespresso, Max&Co, Camper, Cortefiel, Sonae, Zippy, Otto Versand, La Caixa, National Geographic, Real Madrid, Gruppo Vestebene, OVS, Alessi, Portaventura, & Bialetti amongst others.

Clients like the approach which is datacentric and customer focused. It is based on the premise of supplying what the customer wants, and not on what the retailer is able to deliver.

Clients also like the process which is highly collaborative. This must involve open-minded, cross-functional teams who begin always with the intelligence of what the market wants, what the customer will buy, how soon they want it, and how much they will pay for it.

The appropriate supply chain strategy, partners, quantities, initial margins and how much of the assortment is real, and how much of it is virtual, all follow from this customer-centric mentality.

Every consultancy project is created and developed for each client’s specific needs and requests. The scope, timing, resources and process is agreed after an initial discussion process.

To have a discussion about your B&M, email me at


Italy & Europe

It has been my pleasure to work with Gruppo Coin, and their mass-market format OVS, for many years, in the beautiful area around Venice & Treviso.

Many aspects in the mind-set of a traditional retail business are driven by the buying process, which underpinned the profitability of a business. In our saturated markets, companies such as OVS are having to balance this mentality with that of a customer-facing business where profit is made from how well it sells to the customer.

This requires both a shift in emphasis and resourcing to shops and customer service, and also a re-invention of the possibilities of a supply chain that can be flexible and dynamic according to in-season sales patterns.

You can tell a lot about any retail business by how and when it rewards its employees.

I am still a little staggered when B&M teams are rewarded before any of the product has even reached the shops, never mind been in front of the customer.

It’s always worth re-considering, if that is still happening in your business.

There are more client project stories to discover on the Great Retailers page…

Check out B&M related posts on the Retailmeaning Blog

To have that first discussion, email me at

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