December 11, 1994|By Christine Shenot of The Sentinel Staff
THE POINSETTIAS WERE SELLING QUICKLY — 700 in a distinct day. And the abatement abundance was about out of alfresco anniversary decorations and several accepted toys.
Ted Whitney, a absent administrator of Target in Altamonte Springs, fabricated some brainy addendum as he able for a appointment alarm with added Target managers.
Could he actuate addition abundance to accelerate him added poinsettias? How about some Power Rangers? And should he see if anyone wants some of his Christmas timberline lights or delay one added week?
Shoppers will be active during the abutting two weeks aggravating to accomplishment up their Christmas lists. But for retailers, those 14 canicule will be authentic mania. Decisions. Priorities. Staffing. And lots of planning that has annihilation to do with the holidays.
To adviser the division through retailers' eyes, The Orlando Sentinel will analysis in anniversary anniversary with Whitney and retail veterans in two added food - the J.C. Penney at Orlando Fashion Square capital and Tuni's, a women's accouterment abundance on Park Avenue in Winter Park.
Whitney is everywhere, it seems abaft the register, blockage the books and walking the aisles, area he stops frequently to align displays or advice barter acquisition items.
Though he's in connected motion, his address is easy. He bounces from one abeyance to addition afterwards accident his focus.
interruption to addition afterwards accident his focus.
In a brace of hours, he'll be on the buzz with added Target managers in the appointment call. Every anniversary during the anniversary arcade season, they allocution about what's affairs and what isn't. Then they try to cut whatever deals they can with anniversary added to antithesis their inventories.
''We're all like poker players,'' he said. ''It's aloof a amount of who holds their cards longest.''
Near the advanced of his store, Whitney has abiding a affectation of ''Great Gift'' toys, a appropriate band that the aggregation gets anon from the manufacturers in Target's own dejected packaging.
The toys - archetypal cars and added abiding favorites - are absolutely abounding on the alpine shelves. ''I'm a little abundant in this now,'' he says. Still, he hopes the display's afterimage abreast the store's access will get shoppers interested. He won't be alms up the toys in the appointment call.
Whitney active against the garden centermost in the back. ''I appetite to see how the copse are because we did a bang-up business in copse over the weekend,'' he says.
Along the way, he stops at a abundance buzz to acknowledgment a page. The alarm is from a adolescent Target manager, but the accountable isn't Christmas. The two allocution about their inventories of fettle products, which the food will advance afterwards the holidays in an anniversary bloom fair.
At the access to the garden center, Whitney gestures against some bogus copse and a half-empty alley nearby. ''Our alfresco decorations are about bankrupt out, and there's no added advancing in,'' he says. At this backward date he won't be attractive for more. He'll aloof adjustment a bigger accumulation abutting year.
He asks an agent about the commitment agenda for Christmas copse and seems annoyed he'll get them on time. But he's anxious about the poinsettias, which are affairs quickly.
''Let me apperceive aback they come,'' he says. Then, appearing to anticipate bigger of it, he tells the salesman to alarm the Lake Mary Target to see if they are overstocked.
Back central the store, Whitney addendum that baby kitchen appliances, like best chump electronics, are affairs beforehand than accepted this year. The abundance has already run out of a accepted steamer barbecue fabricated by Hamilton Beach. ''Usually, this all goes in the aftermost bristles or six canicule afore Christmas,'' he says.
Whitney says he's got a few items - lath games, for archetype - that he can allow to accord up if addition Target administrator wants them. But the division is still young. He'll authority off on any above shipments to added stores.
''I'm captivation my cards for now,'' he says. ''It's still too early.''
Drew Brosnan has a narrower focus as he starts his anniversary at J.C. Penney in Orlando Fashion Square mall.
After yet addition balmy weekend, Brosnan, arch of men's merchandising, has been alive on new displays to get shoppers absorbed in the sweaters, jackets and added abundant accouterment he has had in banal for weeks.
Sitting in a tiny appointment by the bathrobe room, he's communicable up on paperwork afterwards a abounding day of affective commodity about and putting up auction signs. A assemblage of 20-percent-off cards sits on an added desk.
''The weather's been aloof - it's been tough,'' he says. ''We approved to get some auction prices that shouted at the customer.''
But Brosnan is upbeat. He expects sales in his administration to access 6 percent or added over aftermost year's anniversary results. Casual clothing, such as Dockers trousers, and men's apparel accept been affairs well. Ditto for wrinkle-free dress shirts and slacks, accessories and abounding items in the young-men's department.
Brosnan watches the antagonism and checks his sales every day, account by item, to adjudge what to mark down. Aback article is affective slowly, he looks aback to see how it did if it was on auction earlier.