Retail sales forecasting is done for several different reasons.  It is important for clothing stores to analyze their future sales projections so that they can determine the appropriate quantity of inventory to maintain as stock in the store and what level to have at their warehouse (learn about inventory management). 

Future sales projections are also needed by the garment production department so that they can plan the time & action calendars and decide how many units need to be manufactured by a particular date.  It is important to get production started at the proper time, so that it is available for the store at the time needed in the retail sales projections. 

Outside of our industry it is also important for financial institutions to be aware of future sales performance.  For example, a retail sales forecast is important to banks, factors, and even stock market traders.  Sometimes we need to know how retailers performed last year or quarter.  And we often need to understand the forecast or projection for next quarter and beyond.  Wouldn’t it be great to be a stock trader that knows how well a retailer will perform before the earnings are announced.  Possibly forecasting tools and software can assist the fashion industry and the financial industry equally.

Retail Sales Forecast Resources:

Monthly and Annual Retail Trade (US Census)

NRF (National Retail Federation)

Kiplinger

Forecasts.org

You may also find the production & sales statistics information provided by the Small Business Association to be helpful.

Additional Research Guides:

Apparel Research Reports

Black Friday Sales Reports

Fashion Industry Statistics

Fashion Industry Statistics 1992 - 2014

Retail Sales Forecast Technology Resources:

SAS Retail Sales Forecast: Predict consumer response to price changes and promotional activity in order to generate a demand forecast at the store level. You can forecast demand for long- and short-lifecycle retail products by considering critical causal factors – price, promotions and marketing activity – and analyzing the effects across the whole category.  Improve forecast accuracy by analyzing consumers' response to price, promotion, marketing and operational activities and their effect on demand. Price and promotions will affect demand more than any other single factor. Most retail forecasting solutions do not consider price a causal factor when generating forecasts, but it's a core component of our solution.  Having a better understanding of demand means that it can be used as an input to the space management function in order to calculate ROS, stock holding, turns, safety stock and, therefore, required space.

Forecast Pro is a comprehensive forecasting and forecast management system. This affordable and easy-to-use solution gives your team the capability to create accurate and credible forecasts, along with the tools for efficiently managing, monitoring and improving your forecast process.

Retail Planning from Demand Solutions:  Demand Solutions Retail Planning is designed to support the concept of continuous replenishment. It makes the demand from each POS location available and empowers the account manager to intelligently analyze the data to create a replenishment order. The data can be managed and analyzed at aggregate levels while the system calculates the replenishment order at the individual store/SKU level.

If you own a fashion boutique or large clothing store, you may want to read the business planning sales forecast article on the Small Business Association website. 

Your sales forecast is the backbone of your business plan. People measure a business and its growth by sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for expenses, profits and growth. The sales forecast is almost always going to be the first set of numbers you’ll track for plan vs. actual use.

We hope that you agree with us that a retail sales forecast is important.  Hopefully this page helped you learn a little more about the subject.

Learn more about fashion retail software.

You may also want to know about fashion forecasting which is a bit different.

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