The Planning Factory

… specialised in Retail Merchandise Planning, Open to Buy Planning, Weekly Sales, Stock & Intake Planning (WSSI), Range Planning, Assortment Planning Channel Planning, Financial Budgeting, and Merchandise Planning Training.

This is the legacy site of TPF which has now ceased trading following the retirement from the business of John Hobson. John continues to offer consultancy services and merchandise planning training.

Our mix of experience, quality of design and rapid implementation was a winning combination for today’s cost conscious multi-channel retailer.

We understood why you needed to invest in merchandise planning systems and our unrivalled experience in this area helped you to make the right decisions first time.

We specialised in merchandise planning for 26 years, and we brought this experience to bear in systems specification, selection and implementation.


We are also very proud of our innovation.

In 1995 this was the first web site in the world dedicated to merchandise planning

We established another first when we introduced our web based merchandise planning training course in 2004.

In 2005 we introduced our Impact Planner, WSSI / Open to Buy model, which has been used by companies as large as J Sainsbury and Carrefour to control and improve their return on inventory investment.

In 2022 the limited company closed but John Hobson continues to offer consultancy services and merchandise planning training.

On this site you will be able to discover more information about Merchandise Planning as a discipline.