5 Must-Have Tech Tools for Retailers

5 Must-Have Tech Tools for Retailers

By Susan Payton When it comes to growing a retail business, everyone can use a little help. Fortunately, there are numerous apps, software programs and tools that can help merchants manage everything from inventory to staff. Below are five must-have tech tools for retailers. 1. Point-of-sale software Gone are the days of writing down the price of an item on a paper receipt and adding up a ... [Read more]

Tech-Savvy Retail Management

Tech-Savvy Retail Management

By Adam Kinsey The modern retailer needs some technological prowess to maximize profits and efficiency. However, some of the most useful technology seems to be an unattainable mess of acronyms and jargon. Two types of management software a retail owner should consider using are ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and EAI (Enterprise Application Integration). These programs are designed to take an ... [Read more]

How to Source Returned, Overstock and Refurbished Items Online

IRdresses

By Rob Caskey, VP Marketing, Liquidation.com Many independent retailers rely on local wholesale outlets or tradeshows to purchase their goods. Another efficient option is to tap into trusted online sites that sell returned, overstock and refurbished items—aka the secondary market. There are numerous benefits to sourcing these types of products online, including greater product range, access ... [Read more]

Retail Businesses Need a Proactive Action Plan

retail cash flow

I heard a joke the other day, it goes like this: Do you know how to make a small fortune in the retail business? Start with a large one! I know, it’s a real knee-slapper, right? The only problem with this joke is that if it wasn’t so shockingly true in all too many cases, it just might be funny. How many retailers do you know where this scenario applies? Perhaps you are even one of them. If ... [Read more]

How to Improve Cash Flow

Business marketing

Let's begin with a simple multiple choice question. What helps to improve cash flow? A. Reduce expenses; B. Increase sales volume; C. Improve inventory turnover; D. Raise maintained markup; E. Properly timed deliveries; Or, F. All of the above. If you answered "F" congratulations, you are probably a savvy retailer. Cash is King in the retail business. Strong, positive cash flow is a must for ... [Read more]

Off-price Buying: Strategies and Pitfalls

Off Price Merchandise

Many retailers spend more time planning their vacations than they do planning their inventory. Of course I can’t prove this, but it stands to reason given the fact that the average shoe store still turns inventory twice annually and is accepting of a gross margin return on inventory (GMROI) of less than $2. If we accept as fact that proper inventory planning is a key component to maximizing ... [Read more]

Predicting the New Year

Retailers, while not acclaimed fortune tellers, quite often are asked to predict the future. How much inventory must be purchased to meet demand? Will markdowns be required? How will the new selling year fare? Without proper analysis of your financial situation, these predictions are nothing more than uneducated guesses. Instead, retailers must perform a thorough evaluation of their business and ... [Read more]

Open to Buy Planning

The formula for open-to-buy (OTB, a financial budget for retail merchandising) planning is not difficult. To start, look at planned sales. Where do they come from? Most independents get into trouble right out of the gate, by getting this segment of the planning process wrong. A common, albeit incorrect approach, is to plan monthly sales volume based on last year. Using last year’s figures to ... [Read more]

The Importance of Proper Timing: Setting up Inventory Deliveries

Inventory Delivery

As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” Although selecting the right vendors and styles at the right price points is very important, establishing ideal delivery start and completion dates for inventory orders can be just as important. Before buying for any new season, you need to know which vendors have been the most profitable, along with what styles and sizes sold best in the prior ... [Read more]

Top Topics and Trends Discussed at Retail’s BIG Show

New Shopping Trends

Scheduled to run Jan. 15 to Jan. 18, NRF sponsored “Retail’s BIG Show” is already making industry headlines and appearing as the topic of many blog posts after its first couple days of presentations and networking. As NRF blogger, Jennifer Overstreet, explains, “From business intelligence to point of service, mobile to kiosks, customer experience revolutions to supply chain optimization, ... [Read more]