• Get The ROI Newsletter

    It's your USER GUIDE to The ROI

From The Co-Founders

Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt

The Retail Owners Institute®Retail Turnaround Experts

Bold Way To Improve Productivity

As we look around, we see a popular cost-saving and productivity-boosting tactic being instituted by many national retailers, shopping malls, and restaurants. They are open fewer hours.


This offers an opportunity for you to revisit your store hours and employee scheduling practices. Maybe it's time to consider some changes, if you haven't already.


Your customers have voted with their feet. Start with the mass of data resting comfortably in your POS system. Look for all the reports by the day of the week. (This could be a fine project for a summer employee home from college.)


Start With, Say, the Last Four Weeks

What you are looking for is data such as this, by the day of the week. Yep, seven columns of data. Wait till you see what it can reveal! Here’s where to start:

  • Total sales by day of week

  • Total # of transactions (e.g., customers) by day of week

  • Total gross margin dollars by day of week

  • Hours the store was open per day of week

  • Total employee hours and payroll per day of week


For each of those, look at some averages by the day of the week:

  • average transaction per customer;

  • average GM dollars per transaction;

  • average sale and average transaction per hour per day of week.


Now, as you review this, do any patterns emerge?

  • Which days of the week have the highest number of transactions/customers?

  • Which days of the week have the highest sales volume?

  • Which days have the highest average transactions?

  • Which days have the highest average gross margin $$ per transaction?

  • Which days have the highest results per hour?


Here's our hunch: while you already know the "slowest" days of the week, it’s likely that seeing the numbers will produce some surprises.

  • What exactly is the difference between a “good day” and a “slow day?”

  • Or, might the “slow” days in total volume have a higher average sale AND a higher gross margin dollar average?


If so, why might that be? And what might that suggest? (This is when it really gets fun!)

  • Is it because there are fewer customers on those "slower" days, each one receives more personal attention from your staff?

  • Or, are there fewer "veteran" staff people working on those busier weekend days? (Seniority has its benefits, you know.)

  • Plus, you likely have a different group of shoppers on the weekend than are available to shop during the week.


All of this is invaluable for re-imagining your store hours and scheduling. For instance, here are some ideas:

  • Maybe open your stores a couple hours later on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays? That would save 8 staff hours each week, which will add up nicely over time.

  • Reschedule your staff, specially the seasoned pros, to those higher traffic days when their prowess is needed to increase the average sale?

  • Some office employers find that 4 ten-hour days are more productive than the traditional 5 eight-hour days (and employees like it as well.)

  • Be flexible. Not every person has to work the same kind of schedule.


And of course, monitor the results! The intent is to improve productivity. Does it?!

  • Monitor the same reports, calculate the same averages.

  • Do the same with the operating expenses.


See what difference these slight changes to your schedule are making in the overall productivity of your stores.


You may be in for some surprises, some pleasant surprises at that. For 2024, productivity is the name of the game.

Resources for Owners

Quick Quizzes for Retailers

Did you know? Posted on The ROI site are some online Quick Quizzes for Retailers. There are 4 of them, one for each of the  "four financial wheels" under every retail business.

They're all online, easy to take, at your own pace. Just 10 questions each. And you get immediate feedback on how you did. It's fun!


Up to the Challenge?

So, what do you think? Ready to test your financial know-how?


Just go to The ROI site to get started. (Don't worry; your score will not be revealed.)


Free, fast, and yes, actually fun!

Webinars By The Co-Founders

Tips, Tactics & Timing For Markdowns

Powerful and eye-opening for buyers and sales managers alike.


Aargh! Sometimes retailing doesn't turn out quite as you had planned.


If you find yourself long on inventory and short on cash – whether from overbuying, expanding lines too quickly, taking advantage of "special buys" or overestimating sales – don't panic. You still can whip your inventory back into shape.


The key: act quickly, but be smart about the timing!


To see how to do that, be sure to take advantage of the TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week, presented by Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt.

  • Gain insights about the strategy behind effective markdowns. (Yes, timing IS everything!)

  • Hear dozens of practical alternatives for clearing out old merchandise without taking markdowns.

  • And, see how The ROI's 3-in-1 INTEGRATED Calculator enables you to strategically plan and manage markdowns proactively.


This is an explanatory and informative session.Be sure to take advantage.

Monthly Sales Results versus Last Year


You know how your May sales were. But…how do they compare?


Which sectors are sales up versus LY?

About the same?

Or down?

Are your stores trending the same way? Or better?


Avoid mistakes • Seize opportunities • Look ahead now

From The Co-Founders

Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt

Retail Turnaround Experts

Use This Four-Day-Fourth to the Max!

Get “Freedom” From Old Merchandise!

Find out how revolutionizing it can be to have freedom from old merchandise!


This year, the stars align. The 4th of July is on a Thursday!


We see it as a gift for retailers from the calendar gods. Four days, Thursday through Sunday. What a great opportunity for a true blow-out sale event.


The smart merchants, like you are, can hardly wait. Only 3 weeks to go. Use the lead time, starting now. Plan out every aspect.


Look around at your merchandise, wherever it is. On the shelf or in the backroom. Whether you sell tires, or toys, or tomato plants, everything is a candidate.

  • Even if it's fairly new, but not selling – mark it down!

  • If it's not current, it's old.

  • If it's old, mark it down! Turn it into cash. Take whatever you can get for any and all old goods.


Be ready to use those 4 days to the max. Start now!

  • Plan to experiment. Feature some discounts as percentages, others as dollar amounts. See which works better.

  • And be sure to make those discounts big enough to matter to today's shoppers! (Noticed how 20% off doesn't cut it anymore?)

  • Get the balloons and signs ready.  

  • Think sidewalk sales. Maybe rent a big tent?

  • Make it festive and fun. Involve your staff in doing that.

  • Group merchandise by color (you know which ones to feature!)

  • Play those Sousa marches (keeps people moving too!)

  • Consider lowering the prices each day. Minimize what’s left over.


Do it right, and the customers will love it!

  • Just remember, you won't be the only retailer doing this.

  • Be ready to be very competitive.


Find out how revolutionizing it can be to have freedom from old merchandise! And, more cash in the old till!

Webinars By The Co-Founders
Self-Paced Online Training for Retailers

How To Have CA$H When You Need It!

The ROI makes Cash Flow planning easy and fast for retailers!


And you can do it yourself, without your bookkeeper or accountant. The Co-Founders of The ROI, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, show you how in this lively and free Webinar of the Week.

  • This is a fast-moving, informative, and yes, even fun(!) 45 minutes, filled with practical know-how and insights.

  • Plus, see how The ROI's remarkable 3-in-1 INTEGRATED Cash Flow Calculator enables any retailer, anywhere, to do your own Cash Flow projections...in moments!

We know of no better or faster way to gain control of cash flow in a retail business.


If Any Of These Need Improvement…

Profits • Inventory • Cash

Then Subscribe Immediately To The ROI

Still just $34.95/month! 👀

Get Access To All Five Steps To Gain Financial Strength


Avoid mistakes • Seize opportunities • Look ahead now

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