Wednesday, August 28, 2019

If Men Are From Mars and Woman Are From Venus, Then My Boss Must be on Jupiter!

Sometimes talking to the boss is like talking to an alien 👽 from another planet.  If Men are from Mars and Woman from Venus, then the boss must be from Jupiter. 
There seems like the communication between the home office and store is delayed because  of the light years in distance between them.

I watched as the local supermarket chain remodeled its stores.  Had a grand reopening.  Then changed  aisles back the way they were.     The store associates shaking their heads saying, we knew they were making mistakes but no one would listen. 

The home office on the other hand make decisions based on the analytics.   In theory what changes they made make sense.   But these people don't have any practical experience.    They cut costs by making cookie cutter decisions.   They don't realize people's buying habits are very local things.   You don't sell Matzo ball soup in Chinatown!

Local store employees know what their customers want, because they interact with them every day.   Yet, no one asks them.  The home office employees spends less than 24 hours a year working in a store.  Yet, they think they know best.

In the end they realize sales dropped because categories were removed.  Things the employees were as saying all along.   Now they have to hope they didn't lose any customers.

All this could of been avoided had the boss come to Earth in peace, used a universal translator when talking to the store associates.  Instead they spent extra time and money undoing mistakes they made. 

The store employees are now running around preparing the store for the grand reopening. Not to impress the customers.  But, worried because the "BIG BOSS" was coming!

I know the boss has no idea what the employees are thinking. Just like I know the employees have know idea what management is thinking.  Why,  because I've talked to them both, I've worked both for both sides. 

Why is it they can't talk to each other?  The employees are scared of upper management.  Some are known to hide when they come to the store.   They see the big boss tour the store usually ignoring everyone around them.

I love watching undercover boss.  I like most when the boss realizes he doesn't really know what's going on in his business.    😟

Somewhere in the trip from Jupiter to Earth the Boss forgot what it was like work in a Retail store.  Or worse, they never did!

I remember 2 experiences while starting my career in retail management.  In first job a Regional Vice-president who knew I was afraid of him told me, "You don't have to like everyone you work for."  How true, but, was this the right thing to say to me?   

The second, just after and not unsurprisingly, that company went out of business. In my very next job a store manager told me to "Remember that the boss isn't special, He puts his pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us.  Don't be afraid to talk to him. "

In that company I got my first promotion to store manager!  And that company through mergers is now one of the largest retail drugstore chains in the Nation.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

What Does A Retail Store Manager Do?

What Does A Retail Store Manager Do?
Retail Store managerIt is the store managers responsibility to run the day to day operations of a retail store.  Depending on the size of that store he or she may delegate some of their work responsibly to assistant and  department managers.

Duties may include:

1. Hiring, Training, Scheduling and Supervision

2. Being a key Holder to open and close store

3. All Cash Handling procedures

4. Sales and Customer Service

5. Freight handling, including Shipping & Receiving

6. Inventory Management

7. Maintenance of facility and equipment

8. Merchandising and Store Presentation

9. Loss Prevention, Assets Protection, and Security

10. Facilitator of all Company Policy and Procedures

Sunday, August 27, 2017

wandering mind II Mug

wandering mind II Mug

Give this mug as a gift 

  • Choose between 2 styles: Standard White Mug & Standard Mug with black interior & handle
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  • Great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, housewarming or for students & coworkersP

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017

    A General Store Evaluation

    A friend of mine asked "Why can't I get the foot traffic to come into my store?".  

    Well I said lets evaluate your store.  The one thing we want to do is compare your store to the competition.  Why do they go in their stores?  The Store in question is a small general merchandise store.  About one third is clothing.  He sells at competitive prices, but doesn't specialize in any one area.

    His competition in the same shopping center:

    1.  Major Supermarket
    2. Dollar Tree
    3. Card and gift shop
    4. Food Shops 
    5. Post Office
    Down the road (less than half mile)
    1. Staples
    2. CVS
    3. Rite Aid
    4. Another Supermarket
    5. Marshalls
    6. Toys R Us Express
    7. Varies clothing and other stores
    So I said first rule of retail is Location, Location, Location

     What makes this the right location for your General Merchandise Retail Store?

    Are people going to come into your store for a specific reason. Or, are you just hoping that they will just come in to see what you have?   In a city this store might do well.  Somewhere where people have to walk and carry every thing they need.  In that case the closest store gets the business.  But given a choice, people will drive down the block or around the corner for a specific item.  Because he doesn't specialize in any one thing.  The customer can get the same merchandise while in another store.  

    I can buy cleaning supplies in the supermarket.  I can get cheap items in Dollar Tree.  Get greeting cards at CVS.  By the time I do my other shopping I already bought everything sold in the general store except clothing.  But, because there is a wide range of clothing stores nearby, I'm less likely to shop in a small general store.  

    So my answer is this is not the right location for a small general merchandise store.  Either move the store or change what you sell.   If the rent is so good, the foot traffic is there.  Then Change what you sell to something that people aren't going to get nearby.

    What items sell the best?

    His answer was gadgets, small impulse items, toys, small electronics.  I said well that your answer.  Specialize on those items.  Sell off the rest of your stock and slowly turn your store into a gadget selling store.

    Keep your price range better than a dollar but not too high.   You want items they cant buy in the supermarket and better quality than the Dollar store.   Now if people want a decent charger for their phone, either they come into your for it or have to drive down the block.   By changing what he sells he will cut down on the local competition.

    People too often open a retail store selling what they want to buy. And then think its what everyone else will want.   Sam Walton the founder of Walmart said that if you want to compete with Walmart you have to specialize.  General merchandise stores sell a little of everything.  Your choices are limited.   If your want model cars, your only going to find a few choices in a general store.  Where as a hobby shop may have dozens of choices.

    If your set on owning a general merchandise retail store, I suggest you find the right location.  Somewhere where people don't have a local store.  If People have to drive a half hour to get to your competitor than that's the right spot

    Tuesday, May 2, 2017

    Top 10 Easy Stores to Steal from!

    Top 10 list of easy to steal from stores

    1. Small Privately owned dollar or dollar plus stores
    2. Dollar Tree
    3. Family Dollar
    4. Privately owned Drug Stores
    5. Small Card stores
    6. Convenience stores
    7. Gift Shops
    8. Small privately owned Super Markets
    9. Small Privately owned Hardware Stores
    10. Any store with few employees

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    How To Reduce Shoplifting

    Fred has been finding empty packages all over his store for months now.  But he never seem to ever see the people stealing all his merchandise.  

    That's because shoplifters pay more attention to what he was doing, then he does to them. 

    But, Fred doesn't know who is stealing from his store.  So what is he supposed to do?

    The most common reason shoplifters steal from a retail shop, is because they can.  No one in paying any attention them. 

      In my current position I  have supermarket customers coming up to me looking for help.   I see the fustration on thier face when I tell them I don't work there.  They all say the same thing.  "Nobody works here", " I can't find anyone".  

    I see employees everywhere.  As a consultant it's my job.  But, customers shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get some help. 

    Shoplifters take advantage of this void in customer service.  Everyone is busy doing thier job and no one is concerned with the customer down aisle 5. 

    The best defense against shoplifting is a strong offense of GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE !

    Be aware of and greet every customer that walks in the door.   A large store should have a door greeter or security guard up front.   A small store should use a door chime and have the cashier's in sight of the doors at all times.

    Watch your customers you will start to see things.  You see the customers who are walking out just because they can't find what they want, even though it's there. 
    You will also see the Customers hiding in the back always looking to see who's watching.  

    A real shoplifter will get annoyed when you watch them.  Annoy them enough they will leave.  A real customer will appreciate you helping them and may even buy more. 

    A trick to use when your overwhelmed with too many customers to watch.  Page security!

    See who looks concerned or walks out.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    What is an Easy Store to Steal or Shoplift From?

    What is an easy store to steal from?

    It doesn't matter if you're from New York or California, from Boston or Miami.
    Small stores are easier than large stores to shoplift from.

    Small retail stores with few employees are easier to go under the radar when shoplifting. If your the manager of a small store it is your responsibility for shrink control. Train your employees about all forms of shoplifting.

    15 ways in How shoplifters steal from retail stores

    Don't ever forget who is the number one shoplifter in small retail stores. The employees are the biggest shoplifters stealing a lot more than a candy bar.

    Professional Shoplifters are more likely to pick a small family owned supermarket before stealing from a large chain supermarket. why? Because even with a camera everywhere, its less likely anyone is paying attention.

      I worked for a small 14 store chain of closeout stores. One night after inventory the district manager put together A bag painting supplies. He explained they were painting the office. There was no accounting of the merchandise and the store manager didn't question it.

       Same store I caught a teenage neighbor of the owner stealing from the register. She was smart she didn't steal directly from the store. What she did was give the customers the wrong change. when no one was looking she would take money out of the cash Register. I caught her by watching for signs of a their and doing an audit. Because it was a small company and she was a friend if the owner, nobody seemed to care. "Well she wasn't stealing from the company", they said.

      Today that company is out of Business. Control Shrink or shrink will control you. I'm pretty sure it wasn't lack of sales or a low gross margin that killed that company. More likely it was Poor Management.

       If your reading this blog you are either a retail manager or a thief. Read my past posts and learn how to stop shrink. Then teach what you have learned. Pass on this blog to your fellow employees.

      Think Shrink !

    How To Turn Pe

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    How To Have a Successful Garage Sale in NY

     It's Garage Sale Season,

     Are You Prepared?

    How To Have A Successful Garage Sale.


    By E.A. Kogward


    A Garage Sale, Yard Sale, Tag Sale or are all the same.  Basically it tells the buyer's you're selling stuff out of your house, yard or garage.   Need to make some money, you can sell old junk you don't need anymore.  Some people make a living working Garage sales.   Some are looking for that special item they can resell in their store or online.   Others sell collect junk and collectibles and and use a garage sale a the beginnings of an online or brick and mortar store.
    People are hoarders they don't want to part with anything.   Every year tons of good sellable merchandise just sit in attics, basements and garages until either people move out or die.
    Junk companies get rich doing three things. They charge the homeowner to clean out the basement. They then sort the items and sell anything of value, and lastly they recycle any metals and electronics before carting what's left to the dump.    Truth be told they should pay you to take away that trash.
    Keep in mind the ordinary garage sales makes $100 - $200.  That's $100 -$200 more than you had yesterday.  Sort out those items, do your homework on what its worth and don’t let people take advantage of you.  Then turn your garage sale into $300 - $500.   The more merchandise you have that people want the better you will do.  Of course larger ticket items like furniture, Jewelry and electronics will raise your average sale.  

    Monday, August 8, 2016

    Don't Sweat The Small Stuff !

    Recently I received a comment that my spelling and grammar were bad.  Nobody is perfect.  I'm amazed at all the managers who spend their time criticising  employees for little things.  These are the same people who never acknowledge a job well done.

    Don sweat the small stuff.  Their are more important things to worrie about.  I'm not saying forget em.  I'm a big fan in teaching and learning.   It's then ideas of how to manage that I try to teach hear.  Anyone who thinks that pointing out little mistakes in a purely negative way, does not make a good manager.  

    Sunday, May 8, 2016

    Shrink 102: Why You Need To Take A Physical Inventory

    Taking a complete physical inventory of your retail assets is a must.

    Taking inventory is the process of counting all the merchandise to see the total value available for sale.

    If you keep good records, you should know how much inventory is supposed to be on hand at any one time.   Buy merchandise, you add it to your inventory.  Sell merchandise and you  subtract it from inventory. 

    So why take an Inventory?

    Taking an actual physical inventory of all the goods in your shop will tell you if anything is missing.  If you have more merchandise than you expect to have you have a surplus.  If you have less merchandise you have a shrink.

    Shrink means that your on hand inventory is less than you expect it to be.  It shrunk!  So what causes it to shrink?

    • Bad record keeping counts for a large amount of shrink in small retail stores.  How can you expect to know exactly how much merchandise you have on hand if you don't keep good records.

    • Honest mistakes can cause shrink.  Always double check what you received equals what you paid for it.  Make sure your pricing the items correctly. 

    • Damages can cause shrink too.  Many employees just throw out damaged merchandise.  Keeping records of your damages can be more helpful than just keeping tabs on your inventory.  By keeping a list of damages you know, what is getting damaged, what's coming in damaged, when damages might be happening.  Not keep records it just goes in to one category of missing merchandise or shrink.  Plus, there are ways to get some money out of damages, so they are not a complete loss.

    • Theft is the main cause of shrinkage of inventory. 
      • Known theft, those empty packages you find.  Keeping track of those empty packages helps you know where problem are between physical inventories.
      • Unknown theft usually counts for the largest portion of shrink, both internal (employee) and external (customer).
    Here are some examples of how simple mistakes can cause shrink on you inventory. 
    1. Fred owns a small card, candy and gift shop.  A few days a week his daughter works the closing shift after school.   He allows her to have a soda and snack on any open candy as a perk to the job.  Being young she doesn't think it's a problem to open a bag of candy when damaged bags are not available.  The other employees see this and think its ok for them too.  Fred not being there during the closing shift doesn't know the employees are opening and eating the candy.  He thinks the customers are opening the candy.  Either way,  by not keeping track of the amount of candy the employees are eating, its assumed to be shrink when inventory is taken.  The big question is how much money is it costing you?  Do you want to allow this perk? If so keep track of it and list it in your books as an employee perk.  Or, it just gets mixed in one larger number of unknown shrink at inventory.
    2. Fred's wife come to the store and does her shopping right off the shelf.   If this merchandise is not recorded,  you will never know what was stolen or just taken for personal use.   Other employees even family members may see this and just think its ok to do same.  Without keeping records, you may never know.
    3. Fred ordered 48 pieces of wrapping paper for .50 cents each.  He usually sells it for $1.00 each.  Fred didn't open the box and count it before it went on the shelf.  If he did he would of know that only 36 pieces of wrapping paper came in.  The bill comes listed as 48 pieces.   Fred pays it thinking its correct.  His daughter mistakenly forgets to change the price in the marking gun and puts a sticker of .89 cents on them.    $48 in merchandise went into inventory(from the bill).   $32 worth of merchandise was sold (through the register), causing a $16 in shrink.



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