CONSIGNED TO THE FUTURE

With an eye on reducing inventory, improving cash flow and forging stronger vendor relationships, a number of leading retailers have stepped up their efforts to buy merchandise from manufacturers on consignment.Initial tests of consignment buying -- which allows retailers to delay paying for product until it's scanned at the front end -- show promise for both retailers and manufacturers, executives

With an eye on reducing inventory, improving cash flow and forging stronger vendor relationships, a number of leading retailers have stepped up their efforts to buy merchandise from manufacturers on consignment.

Initial tests of consignment buying -- which allows retailers to delay paying for product until it's scanned at the front end -- show promise for both retailers and manufacturers, executives said.

As a result, more chains are testing programs and some pioneers are eval

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