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.
What an opportunity for true merchants! Don't miss it!
So, dust off your merchant skills, and seize this opportunity!
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.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Getting back to "doing retail." And getting back some of those lost margin dollars from 2020.
The Retail Owners Institute® has developed a retail strategy for "Inventory Management Going Forward."
As we often do, it was recapped as an unassuming chart (see above) identifying the Five Stages of Merchandise Mix Management, from "Before COVID-19" to the "New Normal?"
If 2020 was the year of pandemic disruption and scramble-to-survive mode for retailers, 2021 may be the year of relentless Retail Is Detail reminders.
Many of you may well have benefitted from one or more rounds of PPP loans and their potential "forgiveness." Now comes the reminders that you must seek forgiveness. In writing. From the bank that loaned you the funds. And there are some time deadlines involved. Yikes.
Oh, and total forgiveness may not be forthcoming. It depends. (See below for these guides* and disclaimers from the SBA.)
Then there are the so-called "bookkeeping details" surrounding all this.
Retailers, it’s time to be proactive.
In the midst of this unprecedented and unsettling Coronavirus pandemic and its disruptions of daily routines, you are (or will soon be) in the midst of a whirlwind.
As one person observed, "It's like walking a tightrope in a hurricane." And with the changes that seem to occur at an ever-faster pace, every day can feel like whack-a-mole.
YOUR GOAL: QUICKLY GET TO A FIRST DRAFT.
Face it. Sales are dropping. By how much? For how long? Nobody knows for sure.
But, you can make some assumptions, some educated guesses. Put those into the 3-in-1 Cash Flow Calculator.
These totally volatile times cause a lot of opinions and fears to be swirling around. Seeing "what if...?" can be very helpful.
All in just minutes. On your own.
Independent retailers are renowned for being "technology laggards." Those days have to end!
As you wait and worry about re-opening your stores, the state of the economy, the health and safety of your family and friends and employees, here is an idea of what you might do with some of your found time.
When you do re-open, be sure that you are actually in the 21st Century! Put your energy, your resilience, and your flexibility to use, focusing on improving your IT.
The goal: When you re-open, be even better than your competition! And more relevant to your shoppers.
You've gotten through the Holiday season, likely enjoyed some vacation time, and perhaps even have your own financial statements in hand.
For many retailers, 2021 proved to be a very profitable year. Congratulations!
In fact, go here to check out the pre-tax profit trends for the past two years for the median performers in 50+ retail segments. To borrow a phrase, everybody (almost) is above average!
Still less than $1 a day! 👀