How-To

Worksheet: Merchandising Calendar

Courtesy of WeConnectFashion

The merchandising calendar is one the most important tools within a clothing manufacturing company as it greatly assists in the production process. It is this calendar that decides who handles what activity, and when the activity is to take place. This is everything from style development to sales forecasting.

The merchandising calendar can seem somewhat daunting and overwhelming at first look, however, once you can clearly understand and know how to read and make a merchandising calendar, it is quite simple. The example provided is one from a budget junior manufacturing company. All merchandising calendars are different according to the company and what their needs are. Activities on the merchandising calendar can vary, but they tend to follow a generic outline.

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Activities Breakdown

  • Establish key dates
  • Review last season’s best sellers
  • Market research line direction
  • Shop major retail and fabric markets
  • Order prototype yardage
  • Test prototype yardage
  • Plan concept boards
  • Edit Line
  • Establish advertising concepts
  • Initial fabric selection
  • Finalize colors
  • Order fabric and trim sample cuts
  • Spec sheets and engineering evaluation
  • Cost the collection
  • Manufacturing breakdown
  • Complete sales plan
  • Ship samples to salesman
  • Review with top accounts/prospects
  • Line Preview
  • Grade production marker
  • Order production fabric
  • Order trims and sundries
  • Cut and sew production plan
  • Sales forecast adjustment
  • Start/complete manufacturing program
  • Establish key shipping dates

Refer to the sample merchandising calendar provided. You will notice that this company produces for four seasons a year: Spring, Summer, Fall I, and Fall II. Every season has a color assigned to it so that the colors in the activity section correspond to their season. You will notice that for Spring, the company starts the process in the second week of February, and it doesn’t finish until the fourth week in December; the shipment for Spring starts in the fourth week of February the FOLLOWING year. All of the activities start at the top of the calendar and some of the season’s activities continue on to the next year, which is indicated by how the color of the season starts in January towards the middle of the page and below, not at the top.

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