“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Mobile retail is at the early experimental phase of development, but operators are looking to achieve the same level of acceptance as food trucks have achieved in the restaurant space. The Lovesac Company, the home furnishing brand known for its adaptable Sactionals couches, just launched Mobile Concierge in the Seattle and Washington, D.C. areas. Customers schedule a visit from the van and, inside, receive live demonstrations, see the latest innovations, touch and feel fabric cover options, and design their own Sactionals setup to fit their space and style. Mobile Concierge builds on the growing use of showroom and virtual appointments, as well as interactive Facebook Live demos over the last year. “We wanted to create a new way for customers to shop our products, free from the stress of busy shopping centers and limited parking,” said Shawn Nelson, Lovesac CEO and founder, in a statement. “We decided to bring the showroom right to the customers’ home with a one-on-one, tailored shopping experience. Santa, created by former Wework veterans, recently debuted in Texas with two trucks canvassing Plano and Frisco. The trucks offer a weekly-rotating range of fashion, beauty, tech, home décor and gifts with a focus on locally-made. The initial idea was to offer front door exchanges to eliminate the hassle of online returns, but Santa’s mobile trucks also enable customers to try on clothing and see how décor looks in their homes before purchasing. Customers see the merchandise on the Santa app and are notified when the truck will be in their area. “Santa is an attempt to create a new kind of physical store that moves around and...
“15 Ways to Increase Retailers’ Profit Margins” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“15 Ways to Increase Retailers’ Profit Margins” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Retailers’ profit margins have been more relevant than ever lately … It all started with curbside pickup, the only way many stores could sell their products during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, some experts are suggesting retailers add similar programs: “You should really offer social shopping.”“Why don’t you ship and return for free?”“Can’t you deliver to trunk like Amazon?” This advice is well-intentioned but misinformed. If you’ve got the same resources as Amazon, Walmart, or Target, great! Add as many bells and whistles to your retail sales strategy as you like.  But if you’re anything like the retailers I know, you don’t have unlimited capital from stockholders. And programs like these take funding — additional costs you’ll have to compensate for elsewhere.  The truth is, improving your retailers’ profit margin is a two-step process: Step 1: Know your average profit margin (and a good margin to shoot for.) Don’t worry. I’ll make this process easy for you, even if you’re not a “numbers person.” Step 2: Implement my 15 proven ways to increase your retail profit margin — no complicated programs or freebies required.  Ready to get started? Good. Let’s dive in. What is retail margin? “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business.” – Marcus Lemonis So, what is retail margin? If you’re an accounting whiz, feel free to skip ahead. For the rest of us who could use a quick refresher on some bookkeeping fundamentals, here are the numbers you need to grow your business: Gross retail profit margin is the percent of revenue that remains after deducting the cost of goods sold. It doesn’t account for additional operating expenses...