Yet another "pivot" for retailers | Cash flow planning - more critical than ever | Retail sales now going against pandemic numbers | Really, how productive is your inventory?
Monday, April 19, 2021
 

From The Co-Founders

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

Calling All Merchants: Ready for This Pricing Pivot?

Here's a post-pandemic strategy that should not be missed: higher margins! 

Not the entire store, of course; you must be a merchant here. 

But think about it: many shoppers have increased savings, reduced debt, or gotten their job back. Maybe all three.

And after months of being at home, and spending on home improvement and groceries, many shoppers have pent-up demand to spend on items they have had to postpone, like for themselves. Whether that would be in a restaurant or in a specialty store, shoppers are more willing and able to spend. (And some even feel entitled to spend.)

For over a year, we've all held our breath and our wallets. But now it's a new environment. 
  • That hammock that Dad really wanted for Father's Day last year (but thought it was a bit of a spurge?) He's ready to show it off.
  • Really good new tires are expensive. Right now, they are best sellers for tire dealers, as folks plan summer driving vacations. 
  • Grandma wants to have a better way to order online and do more Zoom sessions. So she's actively shopping for a laptop or tablet.
  • And Mom? She's shopping all over town while thinking about new clothes for everyone in the family. Finally!
What an opportunity for true merchants! Don't miss it!
  • Remember, price is not a function of cost. Instead, price is what someone will pay for it.
  • And especially in the optimism of this post-pandemic environment, shoppers are more willing to pay.
  • Plus, since retailers are unlikely to be over-inventoried, there already is a built-in sense of scarcity.
So, dust off your merchant skills, and seize this opportunity!
  • Now is the time to experiment. Which of your items could be priced just a bit higher? 
  • Think this way when you are ordering, too. Especially with some of the online wholesale marketplaces, you may be able to source some unique items, in small quantities, giving you even more pricing flexibility.
Don't be shy about this. Decide which items – for which customers – you choose to markup higher. And then watch them carefully.

Keep that merchant hat on. Be ready and willing to adjust as needs be. The goal is to be a merchant, not a museum curator.
  • If the customers are resistant, take the markdowns quickly (and let the customers have the sense of getting a deal.)
  • Then, buy something else and see how that does! Keep it lively and dynamic.
  • Give the shoppers reasons to come back. They always want to know "What's new?" 
Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Getting back to "doing retail." And getting back some of those lost margin dollars from 2020. 
 
 

How to Have Cash When You Need It


Sound familiar?

You're meeting your sales plan, but still caught in a cash flow crunch. Even when you had a profit! What's the deal?!

You likely are not alone. But, if you want, there is a way out of this. A simple, sound cash flow plan saves time, money, and frustration.

What are the secrets to effective cash flow planning?
  • Understanding the time lag between sales and cash.
  • And, knowing that profits and cash are NOT the same thing!
Go here to find out more. By using just a pencil and The ROI's "Speedy Form for Cash Control", you can start today to gain control of your cash flow. All free, of course.
 
Have CASH When You Need It
 

"How Are Sales?"

The Monthly Retail Sales results have just been released. And of course, we are just starting to go against the COVID numbers of 2020. An altogether good reminder of the perils of percentages.

But also a reminder of how all retail sectors had to adjust in 2020.
  • Those storers deemed "essential" last year will now see declines versus last year's results.
  • And of course, some sectors that were particularly hard-hit due to the lockdowns can report quite robust (percentage) increases. 
  • These patterns are likely to be amplified in the coming months. 
The principal reason we provide these trend charts, just like the Key Ratios Benchmark numbers, is to make it easier for all retailers to get better perspective on the performance of their own stores. 
 
Monthly RETAIL SALES Trends
 

Use the Power of GMROI

Why Not Be Like Costco?


Did you know? Costco's Gross Margin is around 12-13%. 👀

So, how is it that they operate so successfully?

Their inventory management is driven by GMROI – Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment (what some call "earn 'n turn.") They get maximum productivity from their largest asset: their inventory. 

You can too!

The ROI regards GMROI - Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment - as the #1 Inventory Productivity Tool. Find out directly from Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The ROI, why and how to use GMROI in your retail operation.

Be sure to take advantage of this lively – and free – TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week.
 
Free Access • Webinar of the Week
 

"You actually counted them?"


The Count Is Done. It's Official!
There are 94 Ways to Take Advantage of The ROI 

 
We were suprised, too. That IS a lot of online, self-help for retailers. In fact, more than ever before.
 
How many ways can you take advantage of The ROI?
  • See in advance whether you'll have a profit?
  • Pick up consulting tips from the recorded webinars?
  • Get clear explanations of those things your accountant or banker think you already know
  • Or...? 

The best news: no one needs all 94 at once! 

But, knowing they are available, on-demand, 24/7, whenever you need them, can be very comforting. It's like having a safety net for your business. 

Ready to see what you've been missing? Go to The ROI  home page. Available whenever you need it, 24/7/365.
 
Need some live & lively Zoom workshops for your retailers?

more info here
 
 
 
Sharing is good!
Let others who care about retailing (or retailers!) know about The ROI. 
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
 
 
Essential to see for yourself | Are your stores "Oscar-worthy?" | Building Resilience for Your Stores? | Why not be like Costco?
Monday, April 12, 2021
 

From The Co-Founders

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

"On the selling floor, from 11 to 4"

There's a lot of optimism in the air these days. 

Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are being eased. More people are becoming vaccinated. Upbeat economic news is reported. Unemployment figures are improving. Restaurants are preparing for diners to return. And of course, given that we are now starting to compare sales results to the meltdowns of 2020, dramatic percentage growth is being reported and forecast for the balance of the year.

These positive and optimistic news reports all are very welcome. Retailers are eager to see customers return. 

But what should retailers expect? To brace yourself for the  myriad changes. 

No matter where your store is located – whether in a mall, in a downtown business district, or a suburb, you undoubtedly have different neighbors.
  • Some shops will have moved out; new businesses may have moved in; spaces have been downsized, new buildings may have sprung up.
  • Plus, if you are near offices, the "hybrid" schedules accommodating work from home arrangements will affect the number of people near your store each day. 
  • Partly drawn by your different neighbors, but primarily drawn by pent-up shopping desire, customers in all markets are going to be decidedly different than they were pre-pandemic. 
In other words, everything has changed.

Which means it is absolutely essential, whether you have one store, 25 stores, or 100+ stores, for senior management to be in a store each day, seeing for yourself what is happening. "On the selling floor, from 11 to 4" must prevail.   

Why? You must be able to respond more quickly to this new and challenging environment.
  • Real merchants know that you cannot wait a couple of weeks to get some computer printout report.
  • The in-person, real life, real time observations you and your key people make can enable you to  recognize that you must react and respond with unprecedented speed. 
  • If you don't, your "new" customers will find other places to shop very quickly. You decide. 
You will find yourself energized by all this, plus surprisingly informed by participating in the retail activity. What better way to "listen to the shopper"?

The best merchants are also leaders of their organization, and lead by example. There can be an enviable ripple effect among your staff that will serve you well. And wear a smile. It will brighten the selling floor!

Your customers – whether long-standing or new – will relish the results of it.
 
 
 

How Resilient Will You Be?

One of the diagnostic resources available from The ROI is what we call the "Adversity Test." 

Since it uses key ratios, we decided to apply it to some overall retail segments, using the 2020 and 2019 data from their Benchmark pages at The ROI. 

With a potential high score of 25, here are the Adversity Test results for five segments. See any surprises?

  • Furniture Stores: 10
  • Hardware Stores: 15
  • Shoe Stores: 18
  • Sporting Goods Stores: 9
  • Womens Apparel Stores: 7

It is an insightful – and very revealing – way to assess the ability of your stores to withstand unexpected adversity. (Actually, it probably should be called a "Resilience Indicator.")

Go here to use this free tool for your own stores. How resilient will you be in 2021 and beyond?

The ADVERSITY TEST
 

Are Your Stores "Oscar-Worthy?"



The Oscars are awarded just once each year.

But, in the "Theater of Retailing", your stores must deliver Oscar-winning performances every day!

And who's voting? The "Academy of Customers!" 

Here's a 25-item checklist to be ready.
The STORE RATER
 

Use the Power of GMROI

Why Not Be Like Costco?


Did you know? Costco's Gross Margin is around 12-13%. 👀

So, how is it that they operate so successfully?

Their inventory management is driven by GMROI – Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment (what some call "earn 'n turn.") They get maximum productivity from their largest asset: their inventory. 

You can too!

The ROI regards GMROI - Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment - as the #1 Inventory Productivity Tool. Find out directly from Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The ROI, why and how to use GMROI in your retail operation.

Be sure to take advantage of this lively – and free – TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week.
 
Free Access • Webinar of the Week
 
Need some live & lively Zoom workshops for your retailers?

more info here
 
 
 
Sharing is good!
Let others who care about retailing (or retailers!) know about The ROI. 
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
 
 



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