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fashion-features

NRF’s ‘Really Big Show:’ Talk of Consolidations And More Discomfort

NEW YORK — After muddling through 2002, retailers have a lot to look forward to in 2003 — most of it not to be welcomed. There will be more...

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So how do retailers cope? Steidtmann said companies must learn to be more flexible in their operations, because deflation rewards companies with cash, rather than those heavily laden with hard assets such as real estate and inventory. Real estate can be taken off the balance sheet through sale and leaseback agreements, while inventory can be decreased by requiring suppliers to take more ownership. Outsourcing is another way to take capital and human resource costs out of the business and increase flexibility.

Other considerations are "dynamic pricing" based on real-time information, having unique merchandise, format innovation and new products or brand extensions, Steidtmann added.

"Ideas really do transform the world," he concluded.
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