Since 1999, enabling retailers worldwide to 

"Turn on your financial headlights!"

The ROI's promise: Everybody can "get it!"       

Foremost self-help resource • Basics of retail finance and inventory control 

Go to The ROI's Webinar of the Week

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How to Have What It Takes to Manage Your Number One Responsibility 

Friday, March 24 – Thursday, March 31

The #1 responsibility of the Owner of a retail business? 

The survival of the business. 

That challenge must be faced, day in and day out.

And what's most important to survival? What is the singular key, essential ingredient 


Day in and day out, you must have cash to survive.

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute, understand this. And in this week's TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week, they share specific, real world (and street smart!) ideas you can apply immediately in your business to find and conserve cash.

Bonus: Free Online Retail Cash Flow Forecaster

Plus, they will demonstrate The ROI's free SPEEDY Headlights Retail Forecaster. See how you can find out for yourself in advance! answers to those relentless "Owner questions".

This is very empowering for owners. Don't miss it.

Go here to take advantage of this powerful – and empowering – session • FREE access • This week only 


Tips | Tactics | Insights | specially for Busy Retailers 

Top Five Reasons Retailers Fail

People who get their understanding about retailing from the popular press or from political rhetoric often believe that declining sales - “Comp store sales are down” - is the death knell of retailing.

While that is a popular view, it is not accurate.

So, what ARE the major causes of retail failures? (Spoiler alert: declining sales did not make the list.) 

No need to guess. 

Just go here in The ROI’s Library for Owners to see a recap of the Top Five "Killers" of Retail Businesses.

You may be surprised. 

But you also can be better prepared to protect your business from adversity!

Profits in Store -2

From The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson & Dick Outcalt


"Are retailers eating themselves alive?" 

That was the provocative headline we recently saw. Then this followed: “Retailers' rising e-commerce sales are taking a big bite out of their brick-and-mortar revenues – a wide-ranging problem.” Other pundits we've seen call it “an untenable dynamic for these retailers.” 

“Huh?”, we scoffed, as we read this about major retailers.

The definition of retailing is “selling to the ultimate consumer.” Why does it really matter whether they buy from you in-store or online?

Moreover, our rant continued, retailing also is having the right product at the right price at the right place at the right time for the right customer. 

If that "right customer" wants to buy online instead of in-store, kudos to the retailers who figure that out!

But then we paused. 

Hmm. Maybe there IS something to be considered here. Something about the focus on that “right customer.” 

Easy – and free – fact-finding project

So, here’s a simple, free project to try. Choose a short period of time, like one month, to try it out. Just gather your sales data for that past month. 

A. Make a simple tally sheet of two columns. One column is for In-Store sales, the other is for Online sales. 

Then, for each sale, enter these bits of info into the appropriate column on your tally sheet: 

Total dollar amount of the sale

What they bought (by major merchandise category)

B. Next, add it up. Get a total dollar amount for each column. And, maybe a total dollar amount for each merchandise category in each column.  

C. Look for the patterns. And the surprises (yes, there WILL be surprises!)  

D. Then, consider what that might mean. (This is a great time to involve your key staff people as well.) 

For instance, it may confirm the purposefulness of your shoppers. 

Do they seem to have a clear idea of what to buy from you online, and what they prefer to buy in-store? 

Or, maybe it will illustrate how you have two very different kinds of shoppers. One group likes to shop in-store; another likes to shop online. If so, would that make any difference in your operation? Should it? For instance,

• Does each group demand/deserve different merchandise mixes? 

• What will it take to grow sales from each group? 

• Should one group have priority over the other?

• Will you need other vendors?

• Different marketing programs?

• Or…?  Or…?

Or, maybe it's telling you about your merchandise mix

• Some might be better suited to online shopping. 

• And how might the merchandise your customers seem to prefer to buy in-store be presented more effectively? 

Fun, isn't it? We think this exercise will stimulate the merchant thinking for you and your people.

Is "cannibalizing" a concern?

So, should you be concerned about “cannibalizing” your business by offering products online? 

We doubt it. But you should find out for yourself!

  1. Quickly gather the data. (It's free, remember?) 
  2. Serve it up as some great food for thought
  3. And then feast on it!