This book takes users step by step through the concepts of
merchandising math. It is organized so that the chapters
parallel a career path in the merchandising industry. The
book begins with coverage of fundamental math concepts used
in merchandising and progresses through the forms and math
skills needed to buy, price, and re-price merchandise. Next
readers learn the basics of creating and analyzing six-month
plans. The final section of the book introduces math and
merchandising concepts that are typically used at the
corporate level. For individuals pursuing a career in
From the Inside Flap
The mere thought of taking a math course causes most
people to clench their teeth, break out in a cold sweat, and
start biting their fingernails. Relax! This course is
This course uses practical applications to help you
understand the tools of the trade. The approach is geared to
help you interpret industry words and thoughts and then use
your calculators (or computers) to translate your needs into
clear mathematical answers.
You will approach this course in a very logical manner,
with a step-by-step approach, one that parallels your career
path in the merchandising industry. From the start in
Chapter 1, you will discover, with the help of the text,
which uses a worktext format, that your calculator is a key
tool for solving problems effectively.
Chapter 2 teaches you the fundamentals of working with
numbers. You look at the relationship of whole numbers to
parts so you can calculate sales figures, commission
statements, taxes, and discounts. With the numbers serving
as the foundation, you can then look at how the numbers
reflect the consumer, economic, fashion, and lifestyle
trends that businesses address daily.
Once you grasp working with numbers, the work will flow,
just as though you were on the job, to more responsible
tasks. In Chapter 3 you will look at some of the forms you
may be asked to complete in a clerical position or as an
assistant buyer. Along with the forms, you will learn what
you will be filling in, and why. The information on these
forms comes from a buyer's purchases at market. You'll take
an inside look at the buyer's role in the marketplace, as he
or she must negotiate prices with the wholesalers to arrive
at the sharpest terms and conditions of sale, including
product price, payment arrangements, and shipping charges.
The text then takes you to the retail end of
merchandising, pricing and reprising products. In Chapters 4
and S you will apply the basic math skills you learned in
Chapter 2 to determine individual, initial, average,
cumulative, and maintained markups. Through the exercises in
Chapter 5, you will continue to develop strong critical
thinking skills that reinforce pricing decisions. Markdowns,
a very strong component in the competitive retailing world,
are covered in Chapter 6.
As you move on in the text, you will see how job
responsibilities expand and provide further challenges. Part
IV of the workbook is designed to help merchandising majors
learn the financial planning methods used in the industry.
This section covers six-month plans, open to buy, and
classification planning. Chapter 7 introduces you to the
elements of six-month plans and explains why they are
important to a merchandising operation. From there you move
on to Chapter 8, where you will learn how to analyze and
interpret what the numbers mean and how a merchant can use
these figures to judge the overall "healthiness" of an
operation. Chapters 9 and 10 will carry you to a different
level, that of the planner. With a solid foundation in
analyzing numbers, adding on markup, and applying markdown
pricing, as a merchandiser you now plan stocks, balance the
flow of new merchandise and maintain balanced stocks, first
by using last year's figures as a guide in Chapter 9 and,
then, in Chapter 10, by designing a plan from scratch, just
as you would do for a new business. Chapter 11 helps you
prepare buying plans for market, which are then reinforced
in Chapter 12 as you learn how to build strong merchandise
assortments through classification planning.
Part V shows you how numbers serve as tools to use in
determining if a company's objectives and goals have been
met. Here you take a look at how buying, pricing, and
planning decisions are measured and evaluated. Again, using
the skills from Chapter 2, you will apply basic math skills
to profit-and-loss statements and income statements in
Chapter 13. Sales per square foot, a key factor in
profitability, is introduced in Chapter 14.
Part VI briefly introduces the basics of corporate buying
offices. With an increase in national brand products and
private labeling growing worldwide, merchandisers faced with
increasing competition now have to be able to calculate the
cost of goods sold and determine if it is feasible to
develop a product for a company. In this chapter you will
learn how to prepare cost sheets and apply the pricing
concepts you learned in Part III to determine if a product
is competitive. Here you get a glimpse of how merchandising
strategies are developing for the 21st century.
The final section provides a check-in point for students.
Often students want to make sure they are doing the
calculations correctly, but if they are working outside the
classroom, they don't have anyone with whom to check. Basic
formulas and the solutions to the odd-numbered problems are
So, relax! You will take this course step by step, just
like your career in the industry. This text will give you
the big picture, serving as a "reality check" for what
really goes on behind the store windows.
Hands-on experience is always the first step in
on-the-job training, and this is a great place for all of
you to start. The skills you learn here will lead you to the
next step, coordinating this skill set with technology.
Merchants today depend on the speed and accuracy of
information provided by computer software programs. However,
you first have to learn
What is entered into the programs What the data means How
to interpret and develop effective strategies based on the
direction the numbers target
Math for Merchandising: A Step-by-Step Approach guides
you through the common-sense steps needed as you develop
visionary ideas, forecast trends, and end up with financial
success in the ever-changing fashion merchandising world.
Completion of this project was due in great part to my
students, who, for many years, have challenged me to find
better and easier ways to teach them the merchandising math
skills needed for success in the job market. I am grateful
for their insistence and their one constantly repeated
question, What do I do first? I thank all of you for reading
and improving the materials in this manuscript over the
years, but, most importantly, for the confidence you've
placed in me.
Many people at Prentice Hall have played significant
roles in the completion of this project, and I wish to
extend my special thanks to Mark Cohen for his ongoing
encouragement and to Stephen Helba and Elizabeth Sugg for
their support and confidence.
To Kelli Jauron and Michael Jennings with Carlisle
Publishing, I truly appreciate your efforts to design a very
user friendly book for students of all ages.
I would also like to thank the experts who critiqued this
work and provided such good advice and direction for the
second edition: Leslie Evans Bush, Phoenix College (AZ);
Gary M. Donnelly, Caspar College (WY); Farrell D. Doss,
Ph.D., Radford University (VA); Fran Huey, ICM School of
Business (PA); Dr. Gwendolyn Jones, University of Akron
(OH); and Jerry W. Lancio, Daytona Beach Community College
Along with the help of my peers, the meticulous attention
shown to me by Michelle Churma, associate editor, has been
And, most importantly I would like to say to copyeditor
Linda Thompson: Your advice, suggestions and expertise
through both the first and second editions of this text,
have been invaluable to me, and I honestly cannot begin to
thank you enough!
Evelyn Moore --This text refers to an out of print or
unavailable edition of this title.