The world of how retail chains make money has changed dramatically with the advent of online shopping and big-box stores.
But the basics of retail success still rest on the ability to understand what customers want and need, and to offer it at a reasonable price. Retail profit is the difference between the revenue that a retailer earns through direct sales, and the expenses he incurs keeping his storefront stocked and his business running.
Retailers can increase profit by working with how retail chains make money side of the profit equation, either increasing sales or cutting expenses.
Attracting the Right Customers Retail success depends on attracting the right customers, those who are interested in your particular offerings and are willing to pay for them. Although advertising can be useful for raising awareness about your store and your brand, it can be expensive, cutting into your profit. Find cost-effective ways to appeal to the customers most likely to support your store.
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Use your website to showcase your retail location, providing pictures and information. Create unique window displays and reward customers who refer their friends with perks such as a free service or a percentage off their next purchase. A central retail location can also help draw your target market by increasing access to your store. Meeting Demand A successful retailer keeps sufficient product on hand.
If a customer can't find what he wants on your shelves, he's likely to look for it elsewhere and may not return to make future purchases. Keeping your shelves well-stocked involves understanding customer purchasing patterns as well as supplier schedules: If it takes weeks to restock a popular item, then you must be proactive and order it long before you run out.
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Keep records of sales and orders, and refer to them when creating your purchasing strategy. Managing Inventory Although it is critical for a retailer to have sufficient stock, profitability also depends on strategically limiting inventory levels.
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The more money you have tied up in product that sits on your shelf unsold, the less money you have available for essential daily expenses such as rent and payroll. Cash-flow shortfalls may force you to borrow money and incur finance charges, further cutting into your profit.
Maintaining reasonably low inventory levels can also contribute to profitability by averting waste, especially if your products are perishable.
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This decreased waste will show up in your profit and loss equation as lower expenses, or higher profit. Savvy Cost Cutting Retail businesses encounter daily opportunities to cut costs and save money.
Staffing should be lean but sufficient, with enough hours slated to take care of customers and keep shelves attractively stocked. However, if employees are standing around, you may be overstaffed.
Audit all of your expenditures, from your electricity bill to your shelving. Cut costs where you can, while avoiding cutting things such as essential inventory purchases that directly help you earn money. She has owned and run small food businesses for 30 years. Related Articles.