MERCHANDISING A STORE IN WHICH EVERY ITEM MATTERS

For years, retailers have wondered how to handle the rush of new-item introductions, and the answer has been elusive for just as long.In 2003 alone, there were 11,500 new items -- a 20% jump over the prior year, according to the Global New Products Database from Mintel, the Chicago-based market research firm.On the one hand, you don't want to miss out on carrying potentially hot items in real time.

For years, retailers have wondered how to handle the rush of new-item introductions, and the answer has been elusive for just as long.

In 2003 alone, there were 11,500 new items -- a 20% jump over the prior year, according to the Global New Products Database from Mintel, the Chicago-based market research firm.

On the one hand, you don't want to miss out on carrying potentially hot items in real time. Yet the danger is the store becomes cluttered with peripheral products that o

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