More Sales! More Profit! More Life!


Unlocking Retail was born out of the desire to empower Retailers in areas of Retail Planning, Buying and Inventory Management. To supply specific tools and knowledge to maximise the full potential of all retail businesses. 

Utilising over 30 years of Retail experience in, Buying, Planning, Inventory Management, Analysis, Product Development and Store Operations, I assist retailers on how to increase their Profits and improve their Cash flow via effective Analysis and Forecasting Processes.

Inventory is the single largest investment in a Retail business, as such it is critical to manage this area of the business with complete confidence. I will ensure your business provides you with the best possible profit outcome by arming you with the knowledge and skills to confidently make critical business and purchasing decisions.

I will walk you through step by step, the systems and processes to achieve this. Supply you with effective tools, and up skill you in the areas of Planning, Forecasting and Buying, resulting in maximising the Return on your Investment.

Help structure your Planning and Buying processes to take back control of your business, increase profits and improve cash flow.





Inventory Management



Complimentary Strategy Session


Merrill started consulting with Busby (Guess Australia) in April 2014 following the departure of the Senior Planner. With an initial focus on the retail channel she subsequently also assisted the GM Wholesale with structuring the wholesale buying process. 

Merrill provided vital planning cover during the transitional period and then an important role in setting up an appropriate planning and buying process. She successfully works in an unstructured environment with relatively unsophisticated systems, providing and implementing solutions.

In addition to her excellent technical skills, Merrill has is an engaging personality, who interacted well with all levels of staff. She was importantly able to develop a strong relationship with the new planner and played a significant role in mentoring and developing him.

Overall I believe that Merrill can provide a very effective Planning and Buying solutions, at a cost effective price -making her ideal for SMEs. She can also provide a role in mitigating vacancy risk where lack of cover can have significant impact on future outcomes. 

Merrill continues to provide support to Guess Australia in both Retail and Wholesale channels. I would highly recommend her.

Ciaron Murphy


CEO - GUESS Australia

I have had both the pleasure and have reaped the benefits of partnering with Merrill Allen during my time as General Manager at both Guess and MJ Bale. I engaged Merrill to overhaul the merchandise planning practices and deliver immediate and ongoing value to both businesses.

Merrill has provided planning frameworks that delivered both discipline and transparency that enabled reduced stock holdings, improved forecasting, increased sales and improved profit.

In addition to this, Merrill has also provided mentoring services which have enabled new planners the benefit of an industry expert with more than 30 years experience in retail to fast track their knowledge and planning expertise.

In any retail business, one of the most important roles of a merchandise team is to produce facts and data, analyze the data, provide insights to tell a story about what’s happening and why, and then propose solutions and influence decisions to help grow the business. Working with Merrill enables this to be achieved quickly and effectively and the team have fun doing it, making it an experience that is as enjoyable as it is beneficial to the bottom line.

Any retail business that needs to take control of their stock and wants to build a strong, disciplined and talented merchandise team while improving their profit should engage Merrill without delay.

Shannon Luxford


Chief Commercial Officer

As a growing footwear retailer with a strong wholesale background we needed to apply effective planning and buying systems to cater for the current size of the business and any future expansion.

Merrill has extensive experience both working for large retailers and running her own business. She has implemented multiple business plans to suit our individual departments including a category plan, buy plan and range plan. We are now able to effectively forecast sales, purchases and any sale/promo activity. Merrill is easy to work with and approach if you need further clarification. She has also adjusted our internal systems to ensure we are receiving the correct information to make the right decisions.

We highly recommend Merrill Allen to other retail business owners who need structured planning/buying processes due to either a growing or changing business. We are so impressed with her work ethic we have kept her as a consultant ongoing. Merrill caters to your specific needs and adjusts the methods to best suit your business.

Anthony Bianco



Clients I have worked with