Six-Month Merchandise Plan: Environmental Scan

Pre-Planning Stage

The Environmental Scan (Section 3, Part 2)

We recommend printing off the course content reference guide to assist you in the third section of How to Think Like a Buyer courses: Preparing the Six-Month Merchandise Plan.


Macro Trends Affecting the Marketplace

The first stage of development for creating the Six-Month Merchandise Plan is the Preplan Stage.


This stage provides the foundation for making critical decisions relating to the calculation of the future merchandise plan. As previously discussed, it is a continuous process of gathering information about the current environment in which the retailer is operating.


Micro Trends Emphasizing the Target Consumer

The microenvironment consists of:


  • the company
  • Suppliers of the company
  • Marketing intermediaries
  • Other groups impacting business
  • Employees and management
  • Competitors
  • Target consumers


The buyer must constantly track all these factors. Each impact, to some degree, decisions concerning the creation of a profitable Six Month Merchandise plan.


Buying-Selling Process

In addition to analyzing the macroenvironment and microenvironment factors impacting The Six-Month Merchandise Plan, the retail buyer must constantly multitask in order to complete all the job responsibilities, duties, and activities in an ordinary workday.


For many buyers, those duties include the following activities:


  • Planning and evaluating in order to develop the Six-Month Merchandise Budget
  • Procuring merchandise
  • Promoting merchandise
  • Merchandising the department
  • Supervising personnel
  • Managing the department