About Retail

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

“Facts is facts. I run a business here, I’m cleanin’ house.”

If we simply stay focused on bad news we will continue a self filling decline into the retail abyss. Yes business conditions are difficult. Possibly as difficult as they have been in the last ½ century, but retail furniture remains a numbers business.

Is your inventory at the proper level? The industry average for inventory turn is 3.2, what’s yours?

The equation: COGS / Average Inventory = Inventory Turn.

During recent performance group meetings we spent significant time discussing this topic. The question is simply; would you rather have furniture in boxes in the warehouse or cash in the bank?

Back in 1986 one of the smartest retailers I have ever known explained to me during difficult times the key to weathering the storm is to control your inventory. “Spread the floor, decrease density, make each display more attractive, and put the money in the bank!” he’d say.

22 years later I believe this to be the best advice I’ve ever received.

Maybe some of you can use it in 2008

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Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

A Leading Small Business Development Site recently asked:

Poll Results

Does your business have an Operations Manual that’s actually in use?

No – 75%
Yes – 18%
Not Sure – 5%

The old adage; “you can’t manage what you can’t track” sure comes to mind here.

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Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Welcome to the ride of your life!

This spring, The Lively Merchant decided to move from a behind the scenes consulting company to a full service managment company. We bring our considerable and successful retail background to bear on each client situation.

The Lively Merchant is run by the husband and wife team of David and Amy Lively.

For the first time in the history of the earth, businesses will be affected by four different generations at the same time, each with different expectations and needs. David’s upcoming book, Generational Transfer-Legacy 1.0, is the first book to deal exclusively with the serious challenges coming from the onslaught of inter-generational transfer of family business in the United States. It will be released during the 4th Quarter of 2009.

Stay tuned and welcome to the ride of your life.

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