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Retailing: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Retail Sales Percentage Increase / Decrease...
Calculate the difference between two sets of sales figures to find the increase or decrease percent with this JavaScript calculator.
Retail Markup Markdown Calculator
Calculate the retail sales prices of a product or profit or loss using markup or markdown with this JavaScript calculator.
Learn the Key Formulas of Retail Math
Retail math is often used in various ways by store owners, managers, retail buyers and other retailing employees. It is used to evaluate inventory purchasing plans, analyze sales figures, add on markup and apply markdown pricing to plan stocks. Use the following equations and retail math formulas to track merchandise, measure sales performance and help create pricing strategies.
50 Smart Ideas for Marketing Your Retail Business
Small business owners can easily get too involved in the day-to-day operations of their retail stores to spend any time brainstorming marketing ideas. Some retailers worry that marketing is too expensive, others may find it too time consuming. Without announcing who you are and what you sell, how will anyone know? Here are 50 marketing ideas for retailers.
A Simple Store Layout for Clothing Stores
A well-planned retail store layout allows a retailer to maximize the sales for each foot of the allocated selling space within the store. Store layouts generally show the size and location of each department, any permanent structures, fixture locations and customer traffic patterns. Each floor plan and store layout will depend on the type of products sold, the building location and how much the business can afford to put into the overall store design. Here are a few basic store layouts.
6 Ways to Increase Your Retail Sales
Whether it's due to forces beyond our control, seasonal sales or a decline in foot traffic, many retailers will experience a slump in sales at some point. The following are a few simple ways you and your staff can improve your retail sales.
How (and Why) to Balance the Cash Drawer
The process of counting the money, reconciling the receipts and balancing the cash drawer creates an internal control or accountability of the day's transactions. Here are some tips for how, why and when to balance the cash drawer.
How To Control Your Inventory
Good inventory control is critical to ensuring an adequate level of stock is on hand for the amount of sales being generated. Having too much inventory (or the wrong type) during certain periods can slow your cash flow and reduce profits with too many markdowns. On the other hand, if you under buy and miss sales opportunities then you are not making your potential profit. A retailer can be sure to stock the right amount of the right products at the right time by using an Open-To-Buy (OTB) plan.
How to Decide if a Product Is Right for Your...
Finding a product for your retail business to sell may very well be the most difficult decision you will need to make when starting a business. Not only should there be a demand for your products, but it must be profitable and something you enjoy selling. Before you commit to a product or product line, consider these factors while deciding what to sell.
Retail 101: How Do I Buy Wholesale Merchandise?
Looking for wholesale merchandise? Don't know where to get the products to sell in your store? Once you know what products or product lines you would like to sell, it's time to buy wholesale merchandise. Here's where to find wholesale merchandise to resell.
Starting a Retail Business? You'll Need These
Knowing what business licenses and permits your retail business needs can be very confusing when planning a new business. Each item requires time, energy and paperwork to obtain the proper business registrations. Here are some of the more common retail business licenses and permits to keep your business operating legally and where to find them.
A Retailer's Guide to Setting the Right Price
Knowing what and how to price your products can be confusing for any new retailer. We're in retailing to turn a profit and while there are many factors that affect the profitability of a business, setting the right price is a major step toward making that profit. Here's how to determine which of the retail pricing strategies to use in order to set the right product price.
How to Estimate Store Front Leasing Costs
Evaluating startup costs can be difficult for new retailers. The bottom line is many of the figures for the business plan will need to be estimates. Others may be found through research.
Want to Start a Retail Business? Follow These...
The dream of starting a retail business can easily become a reality. It may take a lot of initial work as you start your own business, but with the right planning anyone can achieve their goals. The following steps to starting a retail business should be used as a guide before you open a store.
What Does a Retail Business Look Like?
What is the definition of a retailer? One who sells goods or commodities directly to consumers. These items are generally sold in small quantities, at a marked up price from the manufacturer or wholesaler.
The Do's and Don'ts of Naming a Business
Need business name ideas? Here's how to use brainstorming to generate some options for your business name.
How to Stock a Cash Register
How much money should my retail business keep in the cash drawer? The question of petty cash should be addressed during the business planning stage, while creating internal procedures. The amount of money a retailer should keep on hand will vary by the volume of sales, the ability to safely store the money and the type of payments the retailer receives from customers. It may take a few weeks actually dealing with the public before you can determine exactly how much petty cash to have on hand.
Daily Cash Drawer Report - Sample Form for...
The process of counting the money, reconciling the receipts and balancing the cash drawer creates an accountability of the days transactions. In order to track the day's sales, use the following form to balance the cash register.
5 Ways to Track and Evaluate Retail Sales
Your shop has customers steadily coming through the doors, employees are busy and there is the frequent 'cha-ching' of the cash register, but how well is your business really doing? It is critical for the success of your business to constantly work towards improving not only the efficiency of employees, but the productivity of the store's selling space and inventory as well. Here are a few of the ways to measure a retail store's performance and track retail sales.
How to Create and Use a Retail Planogram
The planogram is a visual diagram, or drawing, that provides in detail where every product in a retail store should be placed. These schematics not only present a flow chart for the particular merchandise departments within a store layout but also show on which aisle and on what shelf an item is located.
Understanding Advertising Rate Cards
A rate card is a document provided by a newspaper or other print publication featuring the organizations rate for advertising. It also details deadlines, policies, additional fees and artwork requirements. Many newspapers and magazines have their rate cards online in a PDF format.
Opening a Retail Store? Ask These 4 Questions.
Page 2. Don't feel rushed into making a decision on where to put your retail business. Take your time, research the area and have patience. If you have to change your schedule and push back the date of the store’s opening, then do so. Waiting to find the perfect location is better than just settling for the first place that comes along. The wrong location choice could be devastating to your retail business.
6 Tips for Using Customer Comment Cards
A carefully planned and well-written customer comment card allows the customer to express their opinion and provide valuable feedback. This form of store evaluation not only helps measure customer satisfaction, but also shows the retailer what areas of operation may need additional resources.
The 7 Branches of a Retail Organization
The organizational structure of a retail store will vary by the size and type of the business. The following is a brief outline of some of the divisions in a retail organization.
The New Retailer's Guide to Sell-Through Rate
Sell-through Rate is a calculation, commonly represented as a percentage, comparing the amount of inventory a retailer receives from a manufacturer or supplier against what is actually sold to the consumer.
The New Retailer's Guide to FOB
Shipping term used to indicate who is responsible for paying transportation charges.
4 Causes of Retail Shrinkage
Do you know the four sources of retail shrink? The percentage of loss of products between manufacture and point of sale is referred to as shrinkage, or sometimes called shrink. Here are the four main sources of inventory shrinkage in retail.
Success in Retail is All About Mastering This
A creative display can draw the customer in, promote a slow-moving product, announce a sale, or welcome a season. Some stores located in a mall or other structure may lack windows, but don't despair. There are many places throughout the store to build beautiful displays.
Stopping a Shoplifter Starts with This
It is important to plan policies and procedures for shoplifting early in the business planning. We hope it will never happen in our store but in the event it does, retailers and their staff should be prepared to handle the situation. Take the following questions into consideration when writing your shoplifting policies and procedures.
Understand the Benefits of Product Knowledge
Knowledge is power and for retailers, product knowledge can mean more sales. Read on to learn some of the benefits of knowing the products you sell.
Need to Write a Business Plan? Start Here
The most important thing you can do for your new or existing business is to write a business plan. Businesses have different reasons to write a business plan but the process of creating a solid business plan will help the business become successful.
New Retailer's Guide to POS Systems
Point of Sale (POS) refers to the area of a store where customers can pay for their purchases. The term is normally used to describe systems that record financial transactions. This could be an electric cash register or an integrated computer system which records the data that comprises a business transaction for the sale of goods or services.
How to Choose Between a Cash Register and POS...
Should you choose a cash register or a Point of Sale system for your retail business? The one item in a retail store a business owner can’t do without is the cash register. Whether it's the traditional, electronic cash management system or an elaborate computerized point of sale (POS) system, every store needs a machine to process sales. Here's where to buy a cash register, the benefits of a POS system and understanding your cash management needs.
The amount of gross profit made when an item is sold.
Staff Meeting Topics: Basic Safety
The key to accident prevention in retail begins with awareness of basic safety. It's also a great topic for the next staff meeting!
How to Calculate GMROI in 4 Easy Steps
An important tool in analyzing your sales and inventory is GMROI (also known as GMROII) which stands for Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment. The GMROI calculations assist buyers in evaluating whether a sufficient gross margin is being earned by the products purchased, compared to the investment in inventory required to generate those gross margin dollars.
The Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a number assigned to a product by a retail store to identify the price, product options and manufacturer.
How Shoplifters Give Themselves Away
In order to stop a shoplifter, retailers must first be familiar with the categories of shoplifters, common shoplifting methods, and know what to look for in customers who exhibit strange behavior. Learn how to spot a shoplifter.
What Size Building or Store I Need?
What size store do you need? When planning your retail store, the amount of selling space will be one of the most important factors in selecting a location. It is also one of the most difficult to determine. Here's how to determine how many square feet of selling space your business needs.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Small...
Everyday small business owners make drastic mistakes when selling their business and lose thousands of dollars in the process. All their hard work and long-term investment goes down the drain. Motivational speaker, Debbie Allen offers five mistakes to avoid when selling your small business.
How to Keep Thieves from Stealing Your Profit
This shoplifting prevention guide will help retailers identify shoplifters and shoplifting methods, create a less attractive environment for shoplifters and teach retailers how to put policies and procedures in place to protect their store against theft.
Planning a Retail Sale? These Formulas Can Help
The longer a person is out of school, the easier it is to forget how to use percents and other basic business math formulas. Computer programs, cash registers and automated point-of-sale systems can easily complete the calculations; however there will be moments when retailers will need to process the numbers manually. Here's how.
10 Ways to Market Your Retail Store in the...
Marketing online is as important for a brick and mortar retail store as an e-commerce site. Increase exposure by marketing online with these marketing tips for your retail store.
15 Things a Retailer Should Never Say to You
We all know that a positive tone and language are highly important when it comes to good customer service, but many retailers still use phrases that may give the wrong image and negatively impact our customers' shopping experience. Here are some customer service phrases retailers should avoid.
Startup Cost Calculator - Calculating Costs to...
This calculator lets you estimate the initial costs of starting your retail business. While Inventory is not usually included in calculating Monthly Operating Expenses, it is often overlooked in calculating business expenses and it is therefore listed below. Remember, inventory sold must be restocked.
What Retailers Should Know About Keystone Pricing
Keystone pricing is a method of marking merchandise for resell to an amount that is double the wholesale price.
Point-of-Purchase Display
Point-of-purchase displays, or POP displays, are marketing materials or advertising placed next to the merchandise it is promoting. These items are generally located at the checkout area or other location where the purchase decision is made. For example, The checkout counters of many convenience stores are cluttered with cigarette and candy POP displays.
Parts of a POS System
Retailers can’t choose the right point of sale system for their business if they don’t first understand the parts of the POS cash register. POS systems can be purchased bundled, with or without software. Like your home PC peripherals, the various POS components can be purchased individually. Prices vary widely by brands and technology. The following is a guide to understanding point of sale hardware.
The 6 Types of Merchandise Your Retail Store...
In retail, there are 6 types of merchandise you should always carry in your store. Each of these types appeals to a different customer and all of them make you money.
Where can I find average sales per square foot...
The average sales per square foot for your chosen type of retail store are often needed to write a business plan. However, average sales per square foot data can prove difficult to locate. Below are a few places to find the average sales per square foot by retail industry.
Top 5 Types of Retail Ownership
Entrepreneurs have many forms of retail business ownership available to them. Each business model has its own advantages, disadvantages, support and style. Choosing a type of retail business to start will depend on why you want to own a business, as well as your lifestyle, family, personality, basic skills and much more.
5 Must-Read Books for Retail Managers
The following titles feature our top picks for books we recommend for retail managers and store operators.
Receiving Goods
When the products arrive, they may be in plastic containers, cardboard cartons, wooden crates or other packaging. Some merchandise may be on hangers, other items may be on pallets. Keep in mind that a receiving area is designed to receive, not warehouse merchandise. Each step of processing freight should be done quickly and efficiently. Page 2.
Types of Retail Locations
Retail locations are available in many different forms. Stop and think about the stores in your town. Like most communities, there are probably older shopping areas, new bustling retail locations and some tucked away shops. Retailers have many store location options to consider when choosing a place for their business. Here are a few of the more common types of retail locations.
Calculate Inventory Turnover
Controlling inventory turnover is the key to keeping our shelves stocked with interesting products and keeping the cash flowing. We want to buy the merchandise, move it quickly and then repurchase more products for our customers. However, if the turnover becomes too high, sales may be lost because of reduced customer selection. Here's how we calculate inventory turns to help create a proper inventory control.
Top 10 Recommended Retailing Books
The list of business books explaining how to start a business is almost endless. However, the number of good guides to opening and operating a retail store are few. The following list is our top picks for books we recommend for retailers starting their own shop.
Products and Services
This part of the business plan is most important to retailers developing a business. The Products and Services section describe the goods and services offered, how they are provided, information about the vendors, and any plans for future growth of the product lines.
Setting Store Policies
Establish policies and procedures for your retail business during the planning stages, including types of payment, product pricing, hours of operation, returns and exchanges
Writing a Return Policy
Retailers should keep customer service in mind while writing a return policy. It's a delicate balance to strike, but an obtainable one. First, understand what customers want. Shoppers want their returns to be effortless. They want the returns to have a reasonable time frame, include the ability to receive credit for the merchandise and not be penalized for making a return. Page 2.
Hardlines is a retailing term referring to a store department or product line primarily consisting of merchandise such as hardware, housewares, automotive, electronics, sporting goods, health and beauty aids or toys.
What Is a Purchase Order?
A purchase order (or PO )is a written sales contract between buyer and seller detailing the exact merchandise or services to be rendered from a single vendor. It will specify payment terms, delivery dates, item identification, quantities, shipping terms and all other obligations and conditions. Purchase orders are generally preprinted, numbered documents generated by the retailer's financial management system which shows that purchase details have been recorded and payment will be made.
5 Most Important Elements of Visual Merchandising
Visual merchandising is comprised of many elements and can create uncertainty about where to start. Many retailers leave valuable dollars on the table through poor visual merchandising.
Is Your Retail Space Ready for Customers?
Zoning, recovery, straightening--call it what you will--is simply the act of getting a retail store ready for customers. It is the combination of several processes to make the store look great, ease store operations and it should be done on a daily basis. Make your store recovery go by quickly and efficiently with the following tips.
Job Safety and Health Protectin (OSHA) Poster
Job Safety and Health Protection (OSHA) and other workplace posters for retail businesses as required by the U.S. Department of Labor. Page 2.
Top 10 Ways to Turn Off Customers
As retailers, we can't afford to turn off a single customer and image is everything. Keeping our stores neat and clean is not only easy to do; it is generally an inexpensive way to attract customers and create a pleasant store atmosphere. Take a look around your retail store. Do any of the following situations exist?
District Manager Job Description
What are the responsibilities of a retail district manager? Learn more about this position, including necessary experience.
Comp Sales
What are comp sales? Comparable-store sales is a measurement of productivity in revenue used to compare sales of retail stores that have been open for a year or more. Historical sales data allows retailers to compare this year's sales in their store to the same period last year.
Own a Business? Here Are 10 Ways to Make it...
Retailers all have the same basic path to success. That is, we must increase sales and reduce expenses in order to improve profitability. The goal is the same but how we achieve each milestone may vary. Take a look at the following ways to better your business.
5 Must Follow Rules for Retail Merchandising
Having the right merchandise in your retail store is one thing, having it at the right price is quite another. Learn the art of balancing these two ideas for your retail store.
Marketing Strategy
What importance does the marketing section have on your entire business plan? What should you include and what should you leave out?
Visual Displays Photo Gallery
The images in our Visual Displays Photo Gallery have been submitted from retailers, merchandisers and visual display artists wanting to show off their talents. Find out how to submit your creative, attractive displays.
Motivating Your Retail Sales Staff in Slow Times
Just because sales may be slow doesn't mean the economy is bad. If you are doing the right things to market your business and staying in touch with your customers on a regular basis they will return after your slow period of summer vacations, back to school, etc. Motivational speaker Debbie Allen tells how to motivate your retail sales staff in slow times.
Why Signs Sell in Retail
We believe that interior advertising, also known as signage, is the most misunderstood and underutilized tool to increase sales in retailing today.
What is a Retail Business?
Retailing is the sale of goods or commodities in small quantities directly to consumers. Also known as to sell at retail. For example: We began our retailing business by selling a locally made product to the community.
More Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Small...
Everyday small business owners make drastic mistakes when selling their business and lose thousands of dollars in the process. All their hard work and long-term investment goes down the drain. Motivational speaker, Debbie Allen offers five mistakes to avoid when selling your small business. Page 2.
A reduction or loss in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud.
Brick and Mortar
Brick and mortar store refers to retail shops that are located in a building as opposed to an online shopping destination, door-to-door sales, kiosk or other similar site not housed within a structure.
Merchandise Return Form
Download this sample merchandise refund and return form for your retail store.
Festivals and Craft Fairs - Retailing...
Retailers looking for a part-time solution, and storefront alternative, may find the low overhead and convenience of selling at festivals and craft fairs enticing.
Top 3 Cash Registers Under \$200 USD
There are several good cash registers available today for less than $200. While it may seem these low-priced machines are sacrificing functionality for price, we suggest you take another look. These affordable electronic cash management systems come with thermal printers, built-in customer display poles and drawer locks. The following are our favorite cash registers under $200.
Basic Business Legal Structures
Several factors should be considered when choosing the best form of business ownership. The type of business structure you choose can have an impact on multiple aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, and your exit strategy. Here are some basic forms of business ownership in the United States.
Starting a Retail Business Quiz - Do You Have...
Are you ready for retail? Is retailing right for you? Take this Starting a Retail Business Quiz to find out if you have what it takes to open your own shop.
Conduct a Physical Inventory
Most retailers are required by tax and/or accounting rules to provide an accurate on-hand value of the merchandise in its store. Although the retail store may be using a perpetual inventory system or other software to keep track of all items, it may still be required to physically count all inventory. Here's how to conduct a physical inventory with as little disruption and as much accuracy as possible.
Scheduling Employees
One of the most important tasks of the retail manager is scheduling employees. Creating the work schedule requires meeting the needs of the store, while satisfying the needs of the workers. Learn factors which influence the weekly work schedule.
5 Things That Tick Off Customers
A customers shopping experience should be easy and enjoyable. While we would never intend to frustrate customers or make their shopping experience difficult, retailers often put processes in place that lead to aggravated shoppers.
Independent Retailer
Becoming an independent retailer, that is starting your business from scratch, is one of the several types of retail business. Understand each type of retail business, the advantages and disadvantages of each to learn what style of business is right for you.
Three Ways Your Retail Business Can Crush the...
It's inevitable that your retail business will have some form of competition. And while you can't control what your competitors do, you can minimize their impact on your business. Here are three ways to rise above the competition.
Top 5 Ways Retailers May Lose Customers
Without customers, we wouldn't be in business. That is why it is surprising how easily retail shops unintentionally drive customers away. Sometimes, understanding the what can ruin a business can help us focus on what not to do while building our enterprise. Here are five simple ways to lose customers.
Retail Topic Ideas for Store Meetings
As a retail store manager, have you ever planned a staff meeting and had no idea what to talk about? Consider discussing one of these staff meeting topics at the next store meeting.
6 Essential Tips for Retail Promotion
A calendar of some of the major US, Canadian or U.K. holidays, retail trends, and other seasonal events to help plan your store's retail merchandising. Page 2.
Visual Merchandiser Job Profile
The visual merchandiser is the driver of the brand experience in the retail store. They are the silent salespeople in retail with a powerful voice.
Retail Store Evaluations
Every retailer starts out with the store matching their vision exactly, but if they do not constantly evaluate their retail store, it will eventually become something you do not want.
The Retail Sales Bible
The best book ever written on retail selling os the Retail Sales Bible. It's authors have over 50 years of combined retail experience and the lessons learned are included in this text.
4 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty
The Pareto Principle says that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. To keep these customers coming back, you need to help them remain loyal to you. Here's how to build customer loyalty and keep customers coming back.
What is Open to Buy?
Open to Buy is a much needed tool in retail. However, it can get complicate fast and is only as good as the data inserted into it. How do you use open to buy in your store to make money?
A percentage added to the cost to get the retail selling price.
Top 10 Bargaining Tips for Retailers
Learn how to bargain and negotiate prices with vendors to receive the best pricing and terms on products with these negotiation tips for retailers.
6 Things that Must Be In Your Business Plan
Do you know what goes in a business plan? Take a look at the various business plan parts and what to include. The purpose of your business plan will determine how much information should be included and what format to use. For financing, you'll have a better chance of convincing someone to fund your company if there are plenty of details provided. Here are the essential business plan parts and what to include.
Use Store Design to Reduce Shoplifting
The easiest way for retailers to discourage theft in a store is by taking away opportunities to steal. A well-designed store layout will not eliminate all shoplifting but will help reduce it. Here's how to use your store design to reduce shoplifting.
Loss Prevention
Loss prevention is the act of reducing the amount of theft and shrinkage within a business.
8 Low-Cost Perks
Excellent customer service must begin by creating happy employees. Retailers that develop long-term incentives, perks, and rewards for its staff often see benefits like less employee turn-over and better customer service. What perks can a brick and mortar retail shop offer employees? Here are 8 low-cost perk ideas for retailers.
Trade Show Attendance Tips
Knowing what you would like to accomplish before, during, and after the trade show will help maximize your time. Here are some trade show planning tips.
First In, First Out
First In, First Out, or FIFO, refers to a method of stock rotation in which goods that are received first are sold first. Newly received product is stocked behind the older merchandise.
Pros and Cons of Starting a Retail Business
If you are considering opening a retail store, the following highlights some advantages and disadvantages of retailing.
Top 7 Styles of Hangers and Their Uses in Retail
Economical plastic, durable metal and classic wood hangers may all be suitable to use in a retail environment. Before choosing clothes hangers to use in your store, learn about the more popular types of hangers.
Merchandise Mix
A merchandise mix is the breadth and depth of the products carried by retailers. Also known as product assortment.
Choosing a Newspaper to Advertise Your Business
The number of non-personal channels of communication is extremely high, giving retailers many options for advertising. These include newspapers, radio, television, billboards, magazines, posters, and the list goes on. The following information looks at advertising with newspapers.
Gondola Shelving Unit
A photo guide to some of the most common retail store fixtures used to display merchandise. This is a gondola display unit with pegboard and shelves. Page 15.
Store Supply List
What retail store supplies does your business need? View this list of store supply items needed in each area of your brick and mortar retail store.
Merchandise budgeted for purchase during a certain time period that has not yet been ordered.
New Retailer's Guide to Average Inventory Cost
Average inventory cost is found by adding the beginning cost inventory for each month plus the ending cost inventory for the last month in the period. If calculating for a season, divide by 7. If calcualting for a year, divide by 13.
Executive Summary
An Executive Summary is critical to the success of the business plan. The Executive Summary offers synopsis of the business plan, and highlights the key points raised within. Here is where you need to capture the reader's attention so that he/she will be compelled to read on.
Implement and Maintain a Planogram
In order to optimize shelf layout and receive a return on investment, a planogram should be properly executed and maintained by staff. Here's how.
How to Calculate GMROI
Using GMROI or gross margin return on investment can make a huge difference in your retail business. It is the most accurate measure of the health of your business.
Cash Management Systems
Find out how to select the right cash register, understand the benefits of a point of sale system, learn the parts of a POS cash register, and know how much money to keep in the till. We also have linked to other cash management resources, including POS software and POS hardware vendors. There is also a printable form for balancing a cash register daily.
Retail Store Evaulations
In order to meet our customers' needs, it is important to conduct regular retail store evaluations. Learn how and why, and what areas to evaluate. Page 2.
Do You Need an Assistant Store Manager?
The function of the assistant store manager is to oversee the overall daily operations of a retail store. Learn more about the key responsibilities, summary of experience, education and salary compensation for retail assistant store managers.
4 Social Media Tips for Retailers
Social media is a must for retailers. But what are the mistakes retailers make and how do they avoid them? Here are 4 tips to help you do social media well.
Dead Stock
Dead stock is simply merchandise that cannot be sold. This type of product has never been worn, used or sold and has been in inventory for an extended period of time. It often has original packaging and tags.
How much will inventory cost for my retail...
Evaluating startup costs can be difficult for new retailers. The bottom line is many of the figures for the business plan will need to be estimates. Others may be found through research. Here are few of the most common startup cost questions and answers for planning a retail business.
Break-Even Point
What is the break-even point? The point in business where the sales equal the expenses. There is no profit and no loss.
How to Properly Receive Merchandise
The individual tasks of freight processing vary from one retailer to another. The size of the delivery, the type of products, location for receiving and method of tagging each play a vital part in merchandise handling. However, the overall concept of receiving merchandise is very similar across most retail stores.
Pricing Merchandise
A crucial step of merchandise handling is pricing merchandise. The method will vary with each retailer. Some small shops may still place price labels directly on the product. Others use shelf labels as a means of communicating prices. Many retailers use bar codes and electronic point of sale to maintain inventory pricing. Page 3.
Retail Markdowns
Markdowns are inevitable in retail. They come in two forms and if not managed carefully or kept in check, they will destroy your cash flow. Learn how to control your markdowns.
Standard Industrial Classification Code
A coding system using four digits to identify specific industrial sectors within the Federal Government. The first two digits identify the broad industrial sector and the last two digits represent a facility's specialty within this broad sector.
Gross Margin
Gross margin is the difference between what an item cost and for what it sells.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage...
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage and other workplace posters for retail businesses as required by the U.S. Department of Labor. Page 3.
7 Device trends to Watch for in Retail
The day is coming very soon where Customers will enter your store with a smartphone and a drivers license and nothing more.
Retail Scheduling Basics
Once the retail manager understands the factors involved in scheduling employees, he/she can become skilled at balancing the store's staffing issues. Scheduling becomes easier over time. Here's what you need to write a weekly work schedule. Page 2.
Wholesale is the sale of goods, generally in large quantity, to a retailer for resale purposes.
Building Business or Trade Credit
Trade credit (or business credit) is an essential tool from suppliers for delaying cash outflow. It is an open account with a vendor who lets the retailer buy inventory now and pay later. Once a retail business has established that it can pay the bills on time while building business credit, it can negotiate trade credit terms.
The New Retailer's Guide to Cost of Goods Sold
The price paid for the product, plus any additional costs necessary to get the merchandise into inventory and ready for sale, including shipping and handling.
Retail Store Manager Profile
The function of the store manager is to oversee the overall daily operations of a retail store. Learn more about the key responsibilities, summary of experience, education and salary compensation for retail store managers.
Loss Leaders
Loss leaders are goods or services offered at steep discounts in order to attract new customers to a store and stimulate sales.
Softlines is a retailing term referring to a store department or product line primarily consisting of merchandise such as clothing, footwear, jewelery, linens and towels.
Competing With Big Box Stores
Retail business owners often worry when a large chain store comes to town. Similarly, many people contemplating starting a small business are reluctant to compete with the large retailers. Here are some tips to better position your retail business for competing with the big box stores.
What's Your Competitive Edge?
It's important for new businesses to complete a competitive analysis during the business planning stage, but competitive intelligence can also be useful for marketing, pricing, managing and other strategic planning for retailers. Before you can know your competitive edge, you must know your competitor.
Category Killer
A large retail chain store that is dominant in its product category. This type of store generally offers an extensive selection of merchandise at prices so low smaller stores cannot compete.
How to Keep Cool When Dealing With a Disgruntle...
In retail, it's inevitable that there will be the occasional disgruntled customer. No matter how wonderful your products are or how committed you are to provide the best customer service, problems do occur. Armed with the following customer service tips, you can diffuse a situation and possibly even save the customer, as well as the sale.
Use Customer Service to Prevent Shoplifting
Good store management can be an effective tool against shoplifting. Retailers should also use store layout, adequate inventory controls and follow common security practices to combat shoplifting. If your store has been designed with loss prevention in mind, another form of prevention is to use customer service techniques to take away opportunities to steal.
Dump Bins and Tables
A photo guide to some of the most common retail store fixtures used to display merchandise. This is a dump table with folding legs. Page 16.
Notice to Workers with Disabilities/Special...
Notice to Workers with Disabilities/Special Minimum Wage and other workplace posters for retail businesses as required by the U.S. Department of Labor. Page 4.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Retail Business?
How much does it cost to start a retail business? The research you'll put into your planning will show the startup costs and monthly operating expenses involved in running your retail store. It will also show how long until your business reaches a break-even point.
Power Failure in Your Store
We all hope we're never faced with having to operate a retail store without electricity, but acts of nature, mechanical problems and other emergency situations could result in power failure at your store. So what do you do when the lights go out during store hours? Start by preparing a power loss procedure before it happens. Read on to learn how.
Creating a Newspaper Advertisement
As a retailer, you have so many responsibilities to manage that I suggest using a professional to create your newspaper ad.
Recognizing Return Fraud
Does your return policy allow stolen merchandise to be returned for cash? We certainly hope not! However, the National Retail Federation's Return Fraud Survey says criminals often take advantage of retailers with relaxed return policies. Learn the types of return fraud and the signs your retail business may be the victim of return fraud.
5 Focus Points for Better Retail Management
Retail is one of the most competitive and difficult professions today. Here are 5 tips to help you grow your chosen profession of retail.
Retail Store Fixture Photo Guide
Retail store fixture photo guide of the most common retailing store fixtures used to display merchandise. Garment racks, counter displays, wall units and other retail store fixtures.
Auction House Bargains for Retailers
Many retailers are using eBay but few small businesses are capitalizing on live auctions. If you sell antiques or collectibles, chances are you know auction houses can be a gold mine of bargains for items to resell in your shop. Other retailers may not be aware of the deals they can find at an auction house. Local auctions are great places to purchase store fixtures, display props, merchandise and other items to be used in a retail store.
How Retailers Use Coupons to Boost Sales
Learn why and how to use coupons as an inexpensive form of marketing, create effective coupon promotions, and measure your coupon's response.

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