Re-Inventing Retail

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

New "Exit Strategy" Concept Bookmark

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"Retirement" looming? Ready to reduce hassles and worries, but not really ready for a rocking chair? 

Here’s a variation on a “mixed use development” that could offer a great transition plan to retailers.

We just heard about a new kind of “mixed-use development” (you know, retail shops on the ground floor, residences up above.) Some of the new townhouses being sold in a planned resort community come with a first-floor retail shop. The owner of the townhouse owns the shop space as well!

Back to the Basics Bookmark

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Sound merchandise management is crucial for the survival and prosperity of your retail business.

For example, say you’re currently keeping about $150,000 tied up in inventory

You discover that a carefully-monitored merchandise management (or “Open-to-Buy”) plan can cut that by 10 percent

That means you’ve just freed up $15,000 in cash for more prudent investment!

Chances are you have slack of at least 10% in your inventory right now! (And remember, the same math applies if your inventory is $1.5 million, or $15 million, or more! How much cash does 10% of that represent?)

NPR = Never. Pay. Retail. Bookmark

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A new consumer study by First Insight* confirmed: “Today’s consumers expect discounts every time they shop.”  The documentation of this phenomenon – what we often refer to as “NPR: Never Pay Retail” – is not surprising. But it is quite sobering.

And then there is this (why do we need to be reminded?): In the battle to deliver "what the customers want", discounts offered have to be real! 

Yes, even if your name is Amazon!

What Causes Retail Failures? Bookmark

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Top 5 Killers of Retail Business

People who get their understanding about retailing from the popular press or from political rhetoric often believe that declining sales - “Comp store sales are down” - is the death knell of retailing.

While that is a popular view, it is not accurate.

Cannibalizing Sales? Really? Bookmark

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"Are retailers eating themselves alive?"

That was the provocative headline we recently saw.

Then this followed: “Retailers' rising e-commerce sales are taking a big bite out of their brick-and-mortar revenues – a wide-ranging problem.” 

Other pundits we've seen call it “an untenable dynamic for these retailers.”

“Huh?”, we scoffed, as we read this about major retailers.

The definition of retailing is “selling to the ultimate consumer.” Why does it really matter whether they buy from you in-store or online?

The Myth of "the Bottom Line" Bookmark

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Retail business owners are conditioned from day one to "have a profit" and "improve the bottom line".

Yet, sadly, most owners aren’t sure exactly "Why?" 

What IS profit? 

Where does it go? 

Why is it important? 

...And many happy returns Bookmark

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How important is it to have - and brag about - a “free and easy” return policy? 

That is an issue that vexes many retailers. 

Processing and handling returns can be costly and time-consuming. 

But, there also are "costs" associated with more restrictive return policies. 

A two-year study comparing return policies of two similar retailers offers some new insights. 

Excess Inventory? Bookmark

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10 Tips to Turn Your Inventory Into Cash – FAST!

Sometimes retailing doesn’t quite turn out as you had planned.

Did last year fail to live up to what you predicted—and budgeted for?

Did you overestimate the popularity of your generous order of a particular product?

Are there areas of your inventory brimming with overstock?

Relax! There is a way out of this mess.

Food for Thought Bookmark

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How to deal with the turmoil and stress of today's retail environment?

Recent strategic changes by two global firms – McDonald's and 7-Eleven – offer good reminders for us all.

Each of these long-established businesses dealt with their growth challenges first by listening to their customers (using good data analysis and research).

Then, what they chose to do next offers some "food for thought" for all retailers. 

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.

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