“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

It’s not easy to keep inventory in line. You analyze sales trends to make decisions. You review margins, sell-thru, and return on investment to evaluate profitability. You create buy plans, propose reorders and cancellations, and you suggest markdowns. All this just to keep your inventory in line. Inventory management is crucial to thesuccess of your business. Why? Because accurate purchase order planning is a necessary step towards optimal profit. Inventory influences sales.Sales drive business.Business creates profit.And profit measures success. Having the right product at the right place at the right time is the reason why sales occur, making it crucial to use all the information at your disposal to make inventory management decisions. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. The longer you hold on to merchandise that isn’t moving out the door, the more moneyyou are losing. In this article, we will share the 7 best practices on how best to manage your inventory, putting you in charge of you store’s success. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. Plan before you buyUse your data to plan out your assortment rather than reordering using the same quantities you always have for convenience’s sake. In the long run, profits beat convenience. Take the time to analyze which items are profitable and use past numbers as a guide to forecast future demand. Only after thoughtful data-driven planning should you start writing purchase orders. If you’re in the process of ordering merchandise for a particular season, use historical data as a benchmark for pricing decisions and sell-thru rates. Too often, merchants get stuck pricing seasonal or trend-driven...
“Surf Expo retailer registration for the next show is now open plus Surf Expo highlight videos” via the awesome people behind Surf Expo

“Surf Expo retailer registration for the next show is now open plus Surf Expo highlight videos” via the awesome people behind Surf Expo

Surf Expo is the largest and longest running watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow in the world. Since 1976, retailers from around the globe have relied on Surf Expo to identify new trends, new brands, and to get business done. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this vibrant, award winning marketplace! Surf Expo is excited to welcome our board specialty retailers back to forge new relationships and celebrate old ones with Vendors and each other. The Surf team is committed to creating an event experience at the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse where their customers, partners and employees can safely and effectively conduct business. Show Dates:  September 9-11, 2021 (Waterfest Sept. 8th)Location:  Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, Orlando, FL  | View MapShow Hours: Thursday & Friday: 9 am to 6 pmSaturday:  9 am to 4 pmRegister for the Show: Click HereMake Your Hotel Reservation: Click HereTo view the Exhibitor List:  Click Here Click and view the following videos to recall the relevance, helpfulness and fun of this remarkable trade show: Surf Expo Overview January 2020 Surf Expo Highlights BRA Battle of the Shop Bosses Surf Expo January 2020 (shorter edit) BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion from Surf Expo Connect (Sept. 2020) January 2019 Surf Expo Highlights Surf Expo Orange County Convention Center 2021 Click on the link above to register for this relevant, helpful and fun trade show Surf Expo is a trade-only event. The next show will be held September 9-11, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida. www.surfexpo.com or connect on Instagram @surfexpo, Twitter @surfexpo and Facebook @SurfExpoOrlando. For more information on Surf Expo visit surfexpo.com Surf Expo provides access to its...
“Trek and Locally Hit the Road Together” by Mike Massey via Locally.com

“Trek and Locally Hit the Road Together” by Mike Massey via Locally.com

Consumer Behavior is Changing One of the most inescapable business themes of the past decade is the evolution of consumer shopping behavior. Nearly every business news story about consumers involves the application of new technology to everyday life. Whether it is something as simple as reserving a table for dinner or as complex as renting a vacation home in a foreign currency on the other side of the world, internet-based technologies have raised the bar for what’s expected in day-to-day commerce. Locally was founded by a group of retailers in 2013 to address the gap between what evolving consumers expect and what’s needed for local retailers and their suppliers to thrive. Identifying the Problem for Retailers When we read stories about how these changes have affected various industries, physical retail is often held up as an example of an industry that has failed to stay current with technology-based solutions. Stores have limited hours, significant physical location costs, a smaller assortments of merchandise, and usually require shoppers to get in a car and come to them. It’s easy to see why pundits would expect physical retail to be toppled by a more modernized shopping paradigm. Still, these issues are not insurmountable, and physical retail continues to play a major role in shopper behavior (arguably the largest). Stores like Apple and Lululemon that have combined digital and physical retail have absolutely thrived in recent years. It seems that having physical locations near customers is less of a problem than creating digital connections to shoppers. Locally has served as a natural extension of our business – and aligns perfectly with our goal...
“How to Find Strength In Being A Brick and Mortar Retail Store” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“How to Find Strength In Being A Brick and Mortar Retail Store” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

This is a post for retailers with physical stores competing with online shopping and technology that threatens their sales. Yes, it has been a year of chaos, but the pandemic in the U.S. is receding. That still doesn’t mean you can go back to exactly what you did before … especially if it wasn’t working. In some ways, the pandemic has been a gift. It forced businesses to evolve their operations, update their websites, payment capabilities, and more. We all cope with a world spinning out of control by controlling our own environments as much as we can. Our collection of followers, the pictures we curate to show we’re having a great time, and the people we text are all filtered versions of ourselves. We like to believe we don’t need anyone. We’re self-sufficient and smart.  I can do it myself and better. Many of us, when dealing with the stresses of everyday life, turn to our smartphones to make us feel we are loved. Research shows the chemical dopamine that is released when we get a text on a smartphone gives us the same feeling as gambling or drinking. Our focus on getting ahead and staying current means staying connected to social media platforms. Even with many followers, some people can’t rely on their friends because they know their friends will blow them off if something better comes along.  This has left many employees as well as shoppers adrift with the illusion of connection. The trouble is that we’re growing more addicted to that dopamine rush of a text message or a thumbs up. This is why we do more and...
“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

Online shopping received a serious bump in 2020. So did its offshoot, social commerce. In fact, among the strongest trends in the e-commerce industry, making purchases from social platforms seems to be the one to watch due to its projected year-over-year sales bump of 35 percent. It only makes sense that people would start using social media to not only find and explore items, but also to buy them. After all, social platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok have taken on a digital “hangout” role, especially for younger audiences. Being able to snag a deal without leaving a favored platform removes barriers and increases convenience. Social commerce isn’t just attractive because it’s easy for consumers, though. It’s also exciting because it can replicate the feelings elicited during in-store shopping — but virtually. Consumers can interact with brands in real time through likes, comments, direct messages (DMs) and chatbots. They can also share their “finds” with followers, creating opportunities for retailers to enjoy organic cross-pollination. From the retailer’s perspective, social commercemakes just as much sense — particularly for companies in tangible product categories like electronics, apparel, home decorations, jewelry, and cosmetics. Why? The business basically has a built-in pipeline to consumers without the need for a physical location. Additionally, most brands already have a social presence. Therefore, adding social e-commerce into the mix by using Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, or a third-party integration doesn’t involve a giant leap or learning curve. Related story: The Power of Social Media, Video and Storytelling for Two Blind Brothers Crafting Your Own Social Commerce Strategy Nevertheless, brands shouldn’t underestimate the need to map out their social...
“Should retailers continue to require associates and customers to wear masks?” by George Anderson with commentary by 38 retail experts via Retail Wire

“Should retailers continue to require associates and customers to wear masks?” by George Anderson with commentary by 38 retail experts via Retail Wire

Americans who have received full doses of COVID-19 vaccines (one or two shots, depending on the manufacturer) and have allowed at least two weeks to pass will now be free to go about their daily activities without wearing a mask. This applies both to outdoor as well as most indoor activities, with the exception of airline travel, public transport and certain other mandated situations. Everyone else needs to keep wearing masks, particularly in indoor environments. Those are the basic rules laid out in new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provided the caveat that citizens should continue to follow local and/or state rules as they apply to mask wearing. The guidance did not specifically address businesses, although the takeaways seem clear for public-facing companies. Masks should continue to be worn by all that have not been vaccinated even when state or local rules say otherwise. That means, in practical terms, that unless a retailer has a way to verify people have been vaccinated before they enter stores, it is prudent that they continue to enforce mask wearing rules. This seems to be particularly true in locations where COVID-19 disinformation is prevalent and vaccination rates are low. Business owners and employers are being cautioned by workplace experts not to fling open the doors and throw away their masks just yet. Kevin Troutman, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Houston, told SHRM Online, that employers should wait until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updates its workplace safety guidance before making any changes. The New York Times reports that some states have lifted mandates following the CDC’s announcement and...