Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"







Loading
  • Get Retail Financial Know-How

    Free each week from The ROI • Opt out anytime • Specially for busy retailers
What's between the ears of Owners? | Retail Sales trending UP! | Turns still matter | Quick check: How much is too much? | Tap into your "hidden" assets | Need a new perspective?
Monday, October 26, 2020

From The Co-Founders

Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC  •  Retail Turnaround Experts

What's between your ears? Opportunities!


Since we first established The Retail OWNERS Institute®, we have asserted that the greatest growth opportunity in retailing is between the ears of the owners. And nothing since then – not even (or maybe especially!) –  a once-in-a-century pandemic has diminished our belief. 

Independent retailers and restauranteurs have been among the first business owners to pivot to a survival mode. Why? Because they have had plenty of practice! 
  • Change is the name of the game in retailing.
  • Independents in particular have been beset for years by the changing dynamics, whether it was regional malls, lifestyle centers, category killers, Amazon, and now the election, or whatever. 
"Retail Darwinism" has been thinning the herd of retailers for many years. Who has survived? Those who are most adaptable. And now. they have less competition.

As the Covid virus persists and resurges, retailers still are finding ways to survive. How? By keeping their connections with their customers.

The combination of enhanced online presence plus ready access to your knowledgeable staff people, carefully edited selections, a safe shopping environment, very charp- markdowns on clearance merchandise, an array of ways to get the merchandise to the customer, and as always a cheerful presence is especially welcome. 

As we approach the Holiday shopping season, there will be differences in what people buy. Less travel, fewer "experiences," smaller family mealtime gatherings suggest more money going toward home furniture, appliances and accessories, at-home apparel, or books, or specialty cookware, plus of course electronic devices. 

But the overarching theme of this season will be ingenuity and community. Expect a marked increase in Holiday decorations. More community support and outreach.

The warmth, genuine concern, and sense of fellowship of the Holiday season will be magnified this year. All to the good!

The trio of pandemics have brought a new warmth and awareness for family and friends. And as always, retail is a mirror of society. 
 

That "Ideal" Inventory Level


Retailing is a delicate balance between merchandise and cash. 

Inventory control requires disciplined effort. It takes work to maintain a steady flow of fresh merchandise while keeping stock quantities proportionate to your ideal turnover rate.

And during these challenging times of the triple pandemics – the virus, the economic meltdown, and the civil unrest – retailers have been beset with even more uncontrollable variables.

How to respond? Keep calm and carry on!

In that spirit, take a look at this how-to article on inventory turns. Chock full of good reminders, that apply even more in late 2020.

And while you're on that page, be sure to check out the sidebar. It gives you a quick 4-step process to determine whether your inventory levels are ideal. Very useful rule-of-thumb for everyone in your shop. 
 
Like Cruise Control

Retailers: Looking for a new perspective? Start here!


These can be challenging times for retailers. It's hard to know where to turn sometimes. 

Family, trusted employees, and anxious advisors want to be supportive. But sometimes, their input seems biased, and all too predictable. 

If that sounds familiar, here's another option: take advantage of a free 45-60 minute phone or web conference with Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®.

What will you get?
  • Objectivity.
  • A professional perspective (actually, two professional perspectives!)
  • And – while delivered in a sympathetic way – very likely a dose of reality!
Why Pat and Dick? Besides being the folks behind all The ROI's self-help resources, their "day job" is working directly with retail owners and decision-makers (see OutcaltJohnson.com.)

What separates them from your other advisors is they have a unique retail-specific approach that's been refined over many years.
  • It's the merger of strategic marketing with strategic financial solutions.
  • It has worked for hundreds of retailers. (See RetailTurnaroundExperts.com)

Talk Shop with the Co-Founders – Free!

Talk with the Co-Founders - Free

Monthly Retail Sales Trends Are Trending UP! 👀


Recapping the monthly retail sales trends versus last year showed some encouraging results.

In September, every retail sector showed one of two results compared to August: greater increases over LY, or, reduced top line losses (see the results for the Apparel sector as an example of the latter.) 

As reported by Eliza Carter in the October 16 Retail Brew:
  • "What drove the increase? Most likely a) the government’s $300 supplement to unemployment insurance and b) some people returning to work. Fear of infection on public transit drove consumers to spend on vehicles, while we also dropped cash on credenzas and second offices as part of the WFH revolution."
  • "Looking ahead...things look iffy; infections are rising, job growth is stagnating, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance just reached a two-month high. Not to mention, another round of stimulus from D.C. is appearing about as likely as a Michael Bay Oscar win."
Go here to see the trends for the past 6 months for each retail sector. How do your stores compare?

 
Monthly Retail SALES TRENDS

Now's the time!

Tap into your "hidden" assets

Free Access • Webinar of the Week

Did you know? A retailer's assets are not limited just to those listed on the Balance Sheet. In fact, The Retail Owners Institute® has identified that every retailer has THREE kinds of assets.

And, unlike the economy – which no one retailer can control – all three kinds of assets are manageable variables in your business!

Those retailers who understand this, and then shrewdly marshal and manage all three kinds of assets can:

  • improve their financial strength
  • improve their staying power
  • And, give themselves choices!

Take advantage of this week's TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week. Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, the Co-Founders of The ROI, will share this empowering concept with you.   

Get free access to this lively session, 24/7, all week long, only at The ROI.  This is not the time to be sitting on your assets!

Free Access • WEBINAR of the WEEK
Sharing is good!
Let others who care about retailing know about The ROI. 
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward



The New Normal is here for retailers | Retail Sales trending UP! | SPEEDY Cash Forecaster | When employees want to know "Why?" 
Monday, October 12, 2020

From The Co-Founders

Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC  •  Retail Turnaround Experts

Continuing Flexibility Test


As we introduced last week, the New Normal for retailers is already here. It is a new "retail clock." 
  • "As the global efforts to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic continue, there is another curve that is being flattened. That would be the seasonality of retail sales. 

    "And this may prove to be what really defines the New Normal for retailers. 

    "The customary peaks of retail spending have been flattened."
Of course, it is not just retailers who have been affected; the shoppers also have been adapting. But whereas retailers think in terms of seasons (weeks and months), the shoppers are adjusting their patterns at the daily and weekly level.
  • For instance, given the restrictions of the pandemic, this year weekends have increasingly been used by people for outdoor fun activities, whether it's bike rides or hikes or now outdoor dining, not household chores.
  • Much of the shopping that might have typically been saved for the weekends has now been replaced by online ordering and home delivery. The convenience and time-savings of having basic commodity-type items arriving at one's front  door will continue as a preferred way of shopping. 
Meanwhile, other shopping is occurring mid-week, as people have the "found time" of not commuting. They also have discovered retailers closer to their homes (and possibly with parking right in front of the store.) 

Have you noticed these trends in your retail operation?

So not only are the seasons flattening, so too are the weeks. 


As retailers compare daily sales to last year, the transactions and dollar volume on weekends may be down. But, what has happened to the weekdays?
  • Which previously slow days are becoming more active?
  • And what does that mean for your scheduling? Your advertising? The coordination with your neighboring retailers?
Once again, it is a flexibility test. But that is nothing new for 2020, is it??

The New Normal is being defined by this flattening of the retail clock. The whole notion of what constitutes "retail time," retail seasons, and shopping days is changing.

And what has driven this? Yes, the customers. Getting what they want when they want it is a priority for today's shoppers. 
 
Retailer's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster
Retailer's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster
The ROI's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster means every retailer can do your own CASH FLOW forecasting.

Hmm. So what??

What could that really mean? Less uncertainty!!
  • For some folks, the SPEEDY Cash Forecaster provides great peace of mind. The picture it shows for their business is reassuring. Saves a lot of worry.
  • For others, turning on their financial headlights shows how much they need to adjust.
In either situation, this is when the fun begins. Playing "what would happen if I...?" 
  • SPEEDY does the number-crunching for you. In a flash!
  • As you see – in advance – the financial implications of each of your changes, you can focus on making informed choices; applying your good judgment.
The Big Guys call this "financial modeling". We call it empowering! (And it's about time!)

Whatever you want to call it, don't wait! Less uncertainty is a good outcome for everyone!
 
See Your Own Future

👀 Monthly Retail Sales Trends Are Trending UP! 


Recapping the monthly retail sales trends versus last year showed some encouraging results.

In September, every retail sector showed one of two results compared to August: greater increases over LY, or, reduced top line losses (see the results for the Apparel sector as an example of the latter.) 

As reported by Eliza Carter in the October 16 Retail Brew:
  • "What drove the increase? Most likely a) the government’s $300 supplement to unemployment insurance and b) some people returning to work. Fear of infection on public transit drove consumers to spend on vehicles, while we also dropped cash on credenzas and second offices as part of the WFH revolution."
  • "Looking ahead...things look iffy; infections are rising, job growth is stagnating, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance just reached a two-month high. Not to mention, another round of stimulus from D.C. is appearing about as likely as a Michael Bay Oscar win."
Go here to see the trends for the past 6 months for each retail sector. How do your stores compare?

 
Monthly Retail SALES TRENDS

Employees Asking "WHY?"

Why it matters to answer. And how to do it!

Free Access • Webinar of the Week

One of the powerful attractions of retailing for many owners is how dynamic it is. Change is the name of the game! 

Yet, many retailers encounter resistance to changes, not from customers, but often from their own employees! And especially, from that generation raised to expect answers when asking "Why?"

This insightful TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week by  Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute® shows how you can answer those "Why?" questions. (And maybe like one retailer we know, discover in the process, "Well...why not?!")

Take advantage of free access all week. See for yourself how you can use this approach for your own business.

Especially timely amidst all the pandemics. 

Free Access • WEBINAR of the WEEK
Sharing is good!
Let others who care about retailing know about The ROI. 
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward