Unraveling the Mysteries of Assortment Planning

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The Parker Avery Group Publishes Research Study

The Parker Avery Group

Through countless discussions with our retail clients and colleagues, there was definitely a common theme: the strong desire to better understand Assortment Planning.

The Parker Avery Group, a boutique retail consulting firm, is pleased to announce the publication of its latest research study, “Unraveling the Mysteries of Assortment Planning,” compiled by the firm’s research and education unit, The Parker Avery Institute. Over the course of several months, the firm surveyed over sixty retail professionals from different segments of the industry with the objective of taking a deep dive into specific Assortment Planning practices and objectives, including the elements most important to retailers, the challenges that exist and plans or considerations for the near future.

“In determining our 2015 research agenda, we contemplated several areas, including pricing strategies, store operations, product lifecycle management (PLM),marketing alignment,” says Clay Parnell, the firm’s President and Managing Partner. “However, through countless discussions with our retail clients and colleagues, there was definitely a common theme: the strong desire to better understand Assortment Planning, how it fits into the overall merchandising environment and how to successfully take advantage of Assortment Planning capabilities as a strategic advantage.”

One of the study’s areas of focus was on the technology used to support Assortment Planning. Parker Avery discovered a strong majority of retailers continue to rely on spreadsheets and custom developed applications to perform Assortment Planning, despite the emergence over the last decade of viable solutions to support planning capabilities. While use of spreadsheets was expected, the ubiquity of the tool was surprising. In the study, Parker Avery also provides perspectives into retailers’ plans to assess and implement more advanced and integrated planning solutions.

In late October, Parnell presented highlights from the study’s findings and Parker Avery’s own insights on Assortment Planning during one of the main sessions at Apparel Magazine’s much acclaimed Apparel East 2015 conference held in New York City. As Title Research Sponsor, associates from The Parker Avery Group also played key roles in the “Ask the Experts” and “Technology Topics” sessions during the conference, focusing on a variety of high priority topics, including the impact of technology on customer engagement, solutions and implications of advanced pricing, as well as objectives and options for clustering. Nearly 100 apparel brand and retail executives were in attendance.

“Based on the high level of interest from not only our study panel, but also from requests for a preview copy of the study’s findings and throughout the Apparel East event, without question Assortment Planning is viewed as a crucial element for the success of most retailers,” says Parnell. He concludes, “Parker Avery strongly believes that retail brands who fully develop and execute their planning strategies and integrate Assortment Planning processes and tools within their enterprise, will be in prime position to lead the industry.”

The study and additional retail research can be downloaded from the firm's website: Research

About The Parker Avery Group
The Parker Avery Group is a boutique strategy and management consulting firm. The firm’s professionals serve as trusted advisors to leading retail and apparel brands. Parker Avery specializes in merchandising, planning, supply chain and omnichannel business models, integrating customer insights and the digital retail experience with strategy, solution implementation and operational improvements to achieve retail business objectives. To find out more about the firm’s services and industry thought leadership, please email contact(at)parkeravery(dot)com

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Samantha Sorrells
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