Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Lessons from Comic-Con? Yes, but... Bookmark

Lessons from Comic-Con? Yes, but...

You've heard of Comic-Con, right? It began in 1970 in San Diego to celebrate pop culture, from comic books to films and science fiction/fantasy literature. It has since grown into an extravaganza attracting 130,000+ costumed fans, industry professionals, Hollywood types, vendors and spectators. 

Or, as Patricia Vekich Waldron, the CEO of Vision First observed*, "After nearly 50 years, Comic-Con has turned in many ways into the ultimate pop-up store."

And she challenges retailers, developers and brands to "pay attention to how Comic-Con continues to captivate and delight its fans." 

2018 Holiday Prediction: "Umm, what happened?" Bookmark

2018 Holiday Prediction:
In any given situation, there are three types of retailers:

• Those who make things happen

• Those who watch things happen

• Those who say, "Umm, what happened?"

Increasingly, it looks to us as if the 2018 Holiday Season is going to be one where most retailers will be saying, "Umm, what happened?!?"

They're in Your Stores, Too Bookmark

They're in Your Stores, Too
"Sausage stations, 'beer dens' cater to growing ranks of men in grocery store aisles," according to a July 10 article in the Wall Street Journal*. 

Much like car dealerships and consumer electronics stores who "discovered" female shoppers some years ago, the efforts of these grocery chains to cater to male shoppers are lauded with much the same breathlessness. Nonetheless, it is not to be dismissed.

Some grocery chains report that the share of male shoppers has risen from 30% to 40%.  "The dad has been the most overlooked population in grocery-store marketing and brand communication. By ignoring half the population, stores are leaving money on the table."

Confluence of two troubling trends Bookmark

Confluence of two troubling trends
Perhaps you too have seen those worrisome articles about the "yield curve" recently.

No, it has nothing to do with the World Cup, nor is it another baseball analytic.

Instead, it pertains to the bond markets. It is the difference between interest rates on short-term and long-term government bonds. When long-term interest rates fall below short-term interest rates, the yield curve becomes inverted.

Here is why that matters: According to research by the San Francisco Fed, "Every recession of the past 60 years has been preceded by an inverted yield curve."

Pigeon Party Party Pooper Bookmark

Pigeon Party Party Pooper

An outdoor, upscale mall in Southern California had an extensive renovation and expansion two years ago. As reported by Linda Childers in The Washington Post (June 22, 2018), "Unfortunately, the transformed mall attracted not only new customers but also dozens of pigeons." 

And, of course, pigeon droppings. 

Mall management rejected adding fabric netting or strips of spikes to their property.

Ominous Impacts from "Tariffs Wars" Bookmark

Ominous Impacts from

The so-called "Tariff War" that's in the headlines these days seems to most of the public to be a yawner, a distant spitting contest. 

But to us, it seems much closer to home.

We're in the business of helping retailers and, when we can, providing a heads up when we see trends that may be impactful. The current trade disputes between the United States and most major countries in the world is one of those times. Retailers need a heads up.


Retailing in the Palm of Your Hand Bookmark

Retailing in the Palm of Your Hand

Here's a revealing factoid from Bloomberg News: "Of the people who use social media, one in three makes a purchase every month through a platform such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Snapchat."

That's right; transactions initiated and completed all via smartphone. At least once a month. One out of three "social media users" (or, 33% of almost everybody?!) 

It's what some are calling "handheld retailing." 


It's a trend you may not like, but heads up, folks. It's a tsunami!

Retailers: Who Else to Lead by Example? Bookmark

Retailers: Who Else to Lead by Example?
We all are deeply involved with the retail industry worldwide. As we're apt to remind you, there are opportunities, responsibilities, and yes, obligations that come along with that.

As we often explain, "Retail is a mirror of society." As such, we believe all retailers have an opportunity to lead by example. And most of us do a fine job. 

Recently, however, there have been some extraordinary examples of retailers taking an extra chance but certainly setting some fine examples.

Want to grow your profits? Bookmark

Want to grow your profits?

Of course you do! Doesn't everybody?

But as pressures grow to raise wages, increase benefits, renew leases, improve technology, and oh yes, pay taxes, many businesses find their profits diminishing.

But retailers have a special advantage. An often under-utilized  pocket of profit growth potential. 

Yes, we're talking about your inventory! 

For each $100 of inventory @cost, as it sells, its markup (margin dollars) helps cover expenses and adds to profit.

Even a modest increase in inventory turnover rates per year can yield a dramatic increase in margin dollars and net profits. (For the formula for turnover and more perspective, see the Retail Benchmarks section at The ROI.)

Take a look at this chart.

About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Browse Around

There's lots more for retailers to see and use! Available nowhere else.

 go to Inventory & Turnover go to Cash Flow Control go to Sales & Profits Management

See for yourself why thousands of busy retailers from around the world use and love The ROI!

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