A recent article in the Chicago Tribune noted that his holiday buying season was good for retailers. It also noted that good inventory management was part of the success:
Memories of having to take unexpected markdowns of up to 70 percent on leftover holiday merchandise during the recession prompted retailers to keep inventories low during the critical months of November and December. The strategy has helped retailers better manage their businesses, but it also means clearance racks are expected to be thin.
Good inventory optimization are critical to a firm's success. Only by optimizing inventory across the supply chain can you truly optimize inventory within the stores. This often can involve both the retailer and the suppliers jointly optimizing inventory. Proper inventory optimization can give your supply chain the flexibility to meet unexpected high demand with a minimal amount of inventory invested in the system.
As retailers try to continue the momentum of this holiday season, inventory optimization will play a critical role--- too much inventory creates a financial risk if sales do not materialize and too little inventory creates a risk of losing revenue or market share.