13.9 Following are six questions that might be found on questionnaires. Comment on each as to whether or not it is a good question. If it is not, explain why. (Assume that no lead-in or screening questions are required. Judge each question on its own merits.) a. Do you read National Geographic Magazine regularly? b. What percentage of your time is spent asking for information from others in your organization? c. When did you first start chewing gum? d. How much discretionary buying power do you have each year? e. Why did you decide to attend Big State University? f. Do you think the president is doing a good job now? 15.3 A problem facing show store managers is that many shoes eventually must be sold at markdown prices. This prompts us to conduct a mall survey of shoe store managers in which we ask, What methods have you found most successful for reducing the problem of high markdowns? We are interested in extracting as much information as possible from these answers to better understand the full range of strategies that store managers use. Establish what you think are category sets to code 500 responses similar to the 14 given here. Try to develop an integrated set of categories that reflects your theory of markdown management. After developing the set, use it to code the 14 responses. a. Have not found the answer. As long as we buy style shoes, we will have markdown. We use PMs on slow merchandise, but it does not eliminate markdowns. (PM stands for “push-money” special item bonuses for selling a particular style of shoe.) b. Using PMs before too old. Also reducing price during season. Holding meetings with salespeople indicating which shoes to push. c. By putting PMs on any slow-selling items and promoting same. More careful check of shoes purchased. d. Keep a close watch on your stock, and mark down when you have to that is, rather than wait, take a small markdown on a shoe that is not moving at the time. e. Using the PM method. f. Less advance buying- more dependence on in-stock shoes. g. Sales- catch bad guys before it’s too late and close out. h. Buy as much good merchandise as you can at special prices to help make up some markdowns. i. Reducing opening buys and depending on fill-in service. PMs for salespeople. j. Buy more frequently, better buying, PMs on slow-moving merchandise. k. Careful buying at lowest prices. Cash on the buying line. Buying closeouts, FDs, overstock, “cancellations.” (FD stands for “factory-discontinued” style.) l. By buying less “chanceable” shoes. Buy only what you need, watch sizes, don’t go overboard on new fads. m. Buying more staple merchandise. Buying more from fewer lines. Sticking with better nationally advertised merchandise. n. No successful method with the current style situation. Manufacturers are experimenting, the retailer takes the markdowns- cuts gross profit by about 3 percent- keep your stock at lowest level without losing sales.