The Forecasting Dilemma

Top story in Vogue today: '2018 Fashion Trend Predictions.' But, who really cares? We're not picking stocks here, we're making product–– why do we need to predict anything?

Well, the consumer sometimes cares. Or, at least, certain consumers do. Some people like to be on the cutting edge of the masses. Meaning, they like to wear what everyone else is going to wear, just before everyone else wears it. There are grey scales here; it's nice to be fashion-forward, but only a few people want to be really avant-garde in their choices.

And, retailers rack their brains all year trying to forecast where that middle ground is for their consumer. They have conversations like, "how many units of W are we going to stock for season X so that we can make Y dollars and then give a Z discount on what people don't want?" Here lies the great forecasting dilemma: How does anyone know?

And so, huge dollars are thrown in to forecasting and data. Huge dollars are thrown in to inventory that's never sold. And, none of that money goes towards making great product.

The solution? Make your stuff where you sell your stuff. And then do an awesome job at making it, and be honest about why you're selling it.

Brandon Cohn