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Tips| Tactics | Insights from The Retail Owners Institute® • www.RetailOwner.com
Friday, February 24, 2017

From The Co-Founders

Ready? Most shoppers prefer to buy from stores, not online. 

Despite the ease and convenience of online shopping, “the majority of American consumers still choose brick-and-mortar stores over e-commerce.”

Why? According to Retail Dive’s Consumer Survey** of 1,425 U.S. consumers, there are three main reasons:
  1. “To see, touch, feel and try out items” is the top reason 
  2. Shoppers also want it now and want it fast; they want “to take items home immediately.” 
  3. One in five consumers cites easy returns  
Refreshing, isn't it? Shoppers want a shopping experience, in a real store. And it confirms that Amazon is nowhere close to being the only game in retailing. (If only everyone would quit hyperventilating.)

But, there is a far more sobering message here about today's very demanding shoppers. Retailers are expected to deliver on ALL fundamentals of retailing (the "right product", "right price", etc), ALL the time.

Assuring customers that "we can get that for you in just a couple days" won't satisfy. (After all, they have the web for that!) You must be in stock, with exactly what the customer was looking for, whenever she comes into your store. 

And oh yes, be sure it is offered in a compelling shopping experience!

Yikes! Some may call these expectations crazy. Or call the shoppers entitled. 

We call it the New Normal. And like it or not, relish the challenge – or close the doors.
  • Time to be nimble and quick.
  • Have much better inventory control.
  • Raise turns.
  • Be smart about markdowns.
  • Make all your stores compelling places to be.
  • And above all else, keep having fun!
Who better to meet that challenge than independent retailers? 
 
**Retail Dive’s Consumer Survey, sponsored by iQmetrix 


from the

Library for Owners

Expecting a growth spurt?

  • Considering a multi-store launch?
  • Opening additional locations? 
  • Testing a new retail concept?
  • Launching a robust e-commerce site?
Any one of these approaches to growth requires that you develop your plans, explore real estate or web hosting opportunities, evaluate systems, identify mid-management talent, line up financing, and so on.

But wait! Before you get too far down the road on any of these areas, you first must decide: What is your fundamental growth strategy? That is, HOW do you want to grow?


Why must you know that?
  • Because your growth strategy and your tactics must align!
  • Second (and maybe most important): how much change does each growth mode require of your organization?
Remember, change = "stress". Even "good change" involves added stress. All of your resources - financial capital, and especially human capital – will be impacted.

See more of this thoughtful analysis here: The Four (Only!) Ways That Retail Businesses Grow. It's a quick read, free for all subscribers to The ROI NEWS, and potentially very empowering!

Take advantage of this insightful and practical perspective on one of an Owner's fundamental responsibilities. Available exclusively at The ROI.

Available Now: Webinar of the WEEK

 

Online Open-to-Buys:

By Month. By Department. By YOU!

Friday February 24 – Thursday March 2

ALL DAY, ALL WEEK ACCESS • FREE


Buyers love how this time-saving "calculator" does the number-crunching for them. 
Frees up their time to apply their taste and judgment to their buying decisions.

Have you heard? The Retail Owners Institute has done away with the mystery and the misery (and too often, the high cost) of buying plans. Open-to-Buys now can be done online, by you, from anywhere, in minutes! Automagically! 

And that's why The ROI can insist so boldly, “Control your inventory buys – or get out of retailing!"

Join this week's lively, insightful and free TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week, led by Pat Johnson & Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
  • See how turns are like cruise control for inventory levels.
  • See how The ROI's online SPEEDY Multi-Department Open-to-Buy Calculator empowers you to do buying plans whenever you need them, all on your own. Automagically!
  • And meet the Buyers Tally Sheet; don't go to market without it!
See for yourself why this remarkable online "calculator" IS the "Buyer's Best Friend!"

Go here to take advantage of this powerful session. And be sure to encourage all of your buyers to take advantage as well!

Retail Business Insights

The Show Must Go On!
Every day, when your store opens, just like when the curtain goes up on a live stage show, you're in "The Theater of Retailing!"

And every day the audience is cheering and applauding...or not.

Your store MUST be entertaining, interesting or engaging to keep what The ROI calls, "The WOW Effect!"

Here's a very simple test.
  • If a customer returns to your store or department after a visit two weeks prior and sees the same merchandise, signing or layout as the last time... Hmm. It could be curtains!
  • Subconsciously WOW! is replaced with BORING!! And your final curtain may be starting to come down.
This is show biz. Keep it fresh for each day's new "audience".
Go here. See what The ROI is tweeting about.

"There are many ways to succeed in retailing. But, retail failures have only one cause: financial."

---The ROI

That is why Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC have been building The Retail Owners Institute® since 1999. 

The ROI, as it is known, is now the foremost self-help financial management resource for retailers and store owners.

Thousands of retailers come to The ROI each month to take advantage of The ROI's practical how-to info and unique, easy-to-use tools.

Use The ROI for your own stores. Make better business decisions, faster.

See in advance, for yourself, on your own: "What  would happen if I...?" 
 
(go here for more about Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC)
"Turn on Your Financial Headlights!"
 
Share The ROI NEWS
 
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Organizations:
Helping your retailers/dealers has never been more affordable.

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Retail Sales Trends
The "Bucketizer"
Free PROFITS Forecaster
Online Course
And much more!
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Tips| Tactics | Insights from The Retail Owners Institute® • www.RetailOwner.com
Friday, February 17, 2017

From The Co-Founders

Noticed sales creeping up?

Here's why. And how to pick up the pace even more.

Many retailers now are being buoyed by gradual upticks in sales. 

If you are one of those, we encourage you to give some thought to "Why?" your business is experiencing sales increases.

You will find that it will be for one of these three fundamental reasons.
  1. More customers, or  
  2. Higher prices, or
  3. More items-per-transaction 
But, The ROI suggests that, when you analyze your results, you will quickly eliminate reasons 1 and 2.

"More customers"? That's a stretch.
Few places are experiencing growth in population. Plus, with the proliferation of online shopping, while your customers don't need to be geographically close, they also have many more choices when they are ready to buy. Your competition may be growing faster than the market of customers.  

Higher prices are just not in the cards these days.
This is not an environment where many margins are increasing.

Inflation likely will not be a major factor. Plus, not only are retailers expanding online, so are many vendors, so price pressures continue to be downward. 
  
So, what IS driving sales increases?
We think you will find that it is for one of these reasons:
  1. more items-per-transaction; or,
  2. more transactions
Whether at the grocery store, gift shop, lawn and garden center, sporting goods store, or wherever they are shopping, many customers are giving themselves permission to buy more, or to replace ("Finally!") those things they've had for several seasons.  
  • Shoppers are feeling some more confidence, and have a decided case of "frugal fatigue". Enough already, they're saying. There are things we have not bought for a very long time.
  • Shoppers are increasingly purposeful in their shopping. When they go to a store (or a website), they have an intent to purchase. The traffic you do receive should yield higher conversion rates.
And all that is very good news. These are shopper behaviors that you can focus on, and increase!
  • Your sales staff can focus on add-on sales, to increase the items-per-transaction.
  • Your buyers can bring in more "impulse items" and more complementary products that lend themselves to add-on sales.
  • Your sales staff also can work on improving their conversion rate of "just looking" browsers to actual paying customers.    
Of course, be grateful for sales increases. Who wouldn't be?

But by analyzing and discovering "WHY?" sales are increasing, you can make them even better. Jump on this chance; it's unique!

Monthly Retail Sales Trends

So, how were your January sales?

The January 2017 monthly retail sales results have now been released. Go to the Retail Sales|Profits page on The ROI site to see monthly sales trends for the trailing 6 months for 12 retail and restaurant sectors.

Invaluable perspective on your own results.

The ROI provides these unique "comp sales results" as yet another free – and practical – resource for retailers. Here's how we do it, based on the data provided by the United States Census Bureau:
  1. The ROI calculates percentage changes in sales volume versus the same month the prior year.
  2. We then present these results in chart form for the trailing 6 months, revealing the trends in retail sales.

Available Now: Webinar of the WEEK

 

Answering the Toughest Question in Retailing

Fund my business? Or my family?!

Friday February 17 – Thursday February 23

ALL DAY, ALL WEEK ACCESS • FREE


This is a great session for spouses and other family members to attend. All they need is an internet connection!

One of the most difficult decisions for Owners is choosing where the money goes; who and what gets paid? And when?

All too often, given the seasonality of retail businesses, there simply is not enough cash to fund the business and take care of your personal obligations. 

So, the Owner must choose:
  • Do I take money out for my household and family? (To remodel the kitchen, or pay for college, or....)
  • Or, do I reinvest that money into the business? (Upgrade computer systems, remodel the store, or....)
  • And most important, when could I do any of those things? 
Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute, know and understand all these pressures.

From that, they have developed an insightful and innovative decision-making framework for retail owners. They share that in this week's TOPICAL TUESDAY Webinar of the Week.

Knowledge IS power!  Go here for more details about this powerful session. Be sure to take advantage, for yourself – AND your family!

Retail Business Insights

Peace of Mind
Nobody ever went into retailing to be a financier. Quite the contrary.
  • Retailers are "people people"; they love the interaction with the customers, staff, and suppliers.
  • They love the merchandise they sell, and the people who buy it.
  • But the numbers part? Ugh!
That's exactly why The Retail Owners Institute has been built!  The ROI offers the business basics of retailing.

Retailers who use The ROI's resources can gain more control in their business. And, for many, more peace of mind! 

Our goal is very simple:
Enable any retailer, anywhere, to improve their business financially. And therefore, put the fun back into retailing!
Go here. See what The ROI is tweeting about.

"There are many ways to succeed in retailing. But, retail failures have only one cause: financial."

---The ROI

That is why Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC have been building The Retail Owners Institute® since 1999. 

The ROI, as it is known, is now the foremost self-help financial management resource for retailers and store owners.

Thousands of retailers come to The ROI each month to take advantage of The ROI's practical how-to info and unique, easy-to-use tools.

Use The ROI for your own stores. Make better business decisions, faster.

See in advance, for yourself, on your own: "What  would happen if I...?" 
 
(go here for more about Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC)
"Turn on Your Financial Headlights!"
 
Share The ROI NEWS
 
Forward
Share
Share
Tweet
Organizations:
Helping your retailers/dealers has never been more affordable.

click here for details
Retail Growth Rater
Free SPEEDY Cash Flow Forecaster
Online Course
And much more!
more info