Many retailers wonder how they can effectively work with their vendors to get help with goods that are not selling.

What I can tell you, is that vendors do NOT respond to “It’s tough out there,” “The economy is killing me,” “I’m having a rough time,” etc. They will respond this way: “Yeah, I know. It’s hard on everyone.” And you’ll get nothing.

If you want them to help you, you have to give them some hard stats. Those stats should include how much you bought, how much you sold, what discounts you had to give to sell those items, how much you have left, and what you’ll have to do to sell that off.

If you have actual stats, they have something they can think with. Your sales rep will have data that he/she can go to the boss with. You might not necessarily get markdown money, but you could get extra dating on invoices, promotional groups (where you can get more margin), leniency on cancellations, sponsored events, and more.

You won’t know until you ask.

So put your stats together, show them to your vendors, and ASK. The worst they can say is no, but in this economy they need to make friends with retailers, so they’ll probably give you something.

Try it. It will be fun.