I actually suffered through section 4 of Economics 101 in college with about 250 other bored souls...but I did learn a few basics despite the uninspiring material. These days, retailers are re-learning the lessons of Supply and Demand and they're finding out that survival and/or profitability in 2009 will require taking responsibility. No more early orders, over-ordering or blatant speculation allowed - they need products that are winners, and in the right amounts.
Suppliers will have to sweat their way through the year as small or portioned orders trickle in, and the smart ones have already anticipated this. Usually, a goods maker is looking for that one big order or launch partner to make the year a success. That would be helpful this year too, but it's less likely to happen, and there's a higher chance of buy-backs and losses from heavy discounting of overstock.
Instead, I'd have my sales team courting every small retail commitment out there. Usually these smaller orders are regarded with some disdain but this year they could add up to success.
Read more in the Times