12 FEB 2020 0 View this email in your browser Transition from executive to owner | What's hiding in plain sight in your stores? | Concerns about inventory control? Check out all these options - free! Monday, February 10, 2020 From The Co-Founders Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC • Retail Turnaround Experts The Abiding Optimism of Retailers We just read about a new boutique launched by two folks whose careers began as buyers at Target, and continued to senior executive positions involved with e-commerce and strategy. Since then, one has been involved with a women's boutique, and the other has been investing in some early-stage startups. They then decided to launch their own shop. To go from being an employee, and especially a senior level executive, at a national retailer to launching and owning an independent shop is a transition that has humbled many. And this couple was certainly tested. Hurdles encountered along the way have a familiar ring for many of you. For instance, this couple's new store has been in the works for three years. Why so long? Well, there were delays with the city planning process. Then, the rezoning requirements. Oh, now an elevator must be added to the building. They hustled to open before Thanksgiving. And their store was still surrounded by scaffolding. How welcoming is that? And, their corporate background in e-commerce notwithstanding, they still are struggling to get on Google Maps. And as for a website? "It's in the works; coming soon." What else about their story has a familiar ring to it? The stories they can share about all the merchandise in their store. "We can speak to things that we sell very authentically. The store has got our personality. It very much reflects who we are as people. It's fun. It's edgy. It pushes the boundaries a little bit." Importantly, they also bring some of the corporate disciplines to this operation. They have their own private label merchandise, a line of branded coffee mugs and sweatshirts. Remember that elevator? They have plans to use their second-floor space as an event space, or perhaps a shared working space for executives. Plus, there is an open-air rooftop They imagine using that to host yoga classes, fashion shows, and brand launch parties. Meanwhile, they have hosted smaller events - pet photos with Santa. And one more indicator of their likelihood of success: they are riveted on constantly bringing in new inventory. "Keep it fresh. Keep it experiential. You've got to create compelling reasons for customers etc come again and again and again. These folks clearly had some significant financial staying power to weather the three years of getting their shop launched. The regular corporate paychecks disappear; as owners, they may or may not get paid! And only after everyone else is. But, what bodes particularly well for this couple is how they seem to have successfully merged the advantages of fundamental business disciplines with the responsiveness of a merchant. This may provide the staying power going forward. And begins to define what successful retailing in the 2020s will be. As more national retailers shed executives, expect to see many more new shops springing up. And many executives humbled. Don't Let These Assets Stay Hidden WEBINAR OF THE WEEK • Now thru Sunday, February 16 Every retail business - whether bricks-n-mortar or online - has assets. As you know, these are listed on the Balance Sheet. And now, The ROI has identified that a retailer's assets are not limited just to those listed on the Balance Sheet. Instead, every retailer has THREE kinds of assets. And, all three kinds of assets add to – or subtract from – the total value (yes, equity) in your business. Sadly, the other two kinds of assets - those not listed on the Balance Sheet - can be obscure, unrecognized, or sometimes simply overlooked or dismissed. Yikes! Don't let that happen to you! Take advantage of this week's TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week. You'll gain new insights into the value of your retail operation. Plus, a new-found appreciation for all of the assets available to you to achieve your business goals and dreams. Free Access Now: WEBINAR OF THE WEEK Focus on Inventory Control The Retail Owners Institute® website is like a library. It has hundreds of pages of resources and info for retailers. And it is meant to be used on an as-needed basis. For instance, one of the major sections at The ROI is focused specifically on Inventory Control. On one "gateway" page, you will find an array of direct links to proven, practical tools and resources The ROI has developed. And these are available to everyone, for free! Need to help your buyer decide whether to bring in a new item? There's a Quick Quiz for New Items to help buyers come to the right conclusions. What sales results are likely with the amount of inventory in your stores? The ROI's Index of Retail Sales Potential answers that. ("Your mileage may vary.") Tap into The ROI's unique and lively webinars. Watch short samplers on markdowns, GMROI, Open-to-Buy plans. (And see some of the online calculators in action too.) Look at what's available in The ROI's Library for Owners. Explanatory, how-to articles: the basics of merchandise planning and inventory turnover; the costs of excess inventory (the "Diamond of Doom"); markdown management; GMROI (what The ROI calls "the #1 measure of inventory productivity.") And, as they say, much more! The Inventory Control section is just one of the gateways into The ROI site. There are similar gateways for Retail Sales & Profits, and Retail Cash Flow Management. Each represents a helpful starting point for you and your staff to use. Online, 24/7. Built specially for busy retailers. Free Tools & Resources • INVENTORY Management 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. All four of these quizzes are online, easy to take, at your own pace. Just 10 questions each. And you get immediate feedback on how you did. It's fun! Are You Above Average? Here are the averages of the overall results from the last few months: Income Statement average score = 71% Balance Sheet average score = 75% Inventory Management average score = 57% Cash Flow average score = 67% Up to the Challenge? So, what do you think? Can you beat the average score? Or, how about the key members of your management team: what might they discover? Just go here on The ROI site to get started! (Don't worry; your specific score will not be revealed.) Free, fast, and yes, actually fun! QUICK QUIZZES for Retailers Retailers: Questions? Concerns? Let's talk! Facing disruptive changes? Have concerns about growth? Feeling stymied? Talk with The ROI Co-Founders! (Remember, their "day job" is Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists.) Get objectivity and perspective. Private. Confidential. Specially for owners. And first hour is free. Go here to reserve your free phone consultation. Talk with the Co-Founders Retail Business Insights Does Size Really Matter? "If you think that being small means you can't have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito." -- Anita Roddick, Founder. The Body Shop.