I help retail start-ups. 10+ Years in retail procurement/buying, assortment planning, demand planning & forecasting, replenishment and supply chain planning, store operations, cost reduction.
Retail margins are typically thin, and people are expensive. This means your processes must be efficient if you want to compete. Everything that you do in your store is a process, we can help evaluate your processes, identify the lease efficient ones, and recommend changes so you can focus on your customer, not your back room.
If you're looking to get your goods onto someone else's retail shelf, you know that getting to the negotiation table is tough, but closing the deal is even tougher! We know what drives Buyer behaviour, because we have been there. Preparation is key, and so is knowing what Buyers look for. Significantly increase your chance of closing the deal by understanding how buyers think, and tailor your pitch to their needs.
Retail is all about having the right product in the right place at the right time. A methodical approach to organizing and analyzing your sales data will help you draw important insights into how you can accurately forecast demand and optimize your allocation. Improved forecasts means less markdowns and more sales for you.
So you've determined that sales growth is not enough to reach your profitability goals, or you want to reduce overhead so you can reinvest in other opportunities. By reviewing your financial data, we can help determine areas of opportunity for cost reduction, estimate outcomes of aggressive and conservative actions, and implement new policies to drive sustainable change.
If you have operated a retail business for longer than a year, your vendor has likely sent you a price change memo indicating that your next PO (purchase order) will cost an extra X%. A methodical approach can help save time, deter cost change requests, improve your negotiation power, delay/reduce cost increase acceptances, and improve your relationship with your vendor.
Margins can vary by manufacturer depending on whether they are first (eg. Samsung TV), second (eg. Toshiba TV), or third tier (eg. RCA TV).
In your negotiations with the manufacturer, I recommend that you discuss price protection to ensure that your margin rates remain neutral as the product becomes obsolete. Alternatively though, you may be able to negotiate lower costs if you choose not to be protected; however, you would want a robust exit strategy to ensure your margins are protected should your sales not materialize.
These phone cases are not for the latest version of iphone and so therefore most of your sales will come from existing users looking to replace their current/old/broken case. As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to compete in the online space or at other mobile-phone or electronics shops.
Perhaps a different sales channel may help, like convenience stores, petro shops, or coffee shops. These are places where people are more likely to impulse shop or pick up a convenience item.
Firstly, congratulations on running such a successful business!
There is no silver bullet here. Back to basics. Sales = understanding your customer's needs and then meeting/exceeding them. If you are targeting independent stores, they will all have different needs, based on their existing strategy and constraints.
In my humble opinion, you have the option to either look for a communication channel that can reach a broad spectrum of independent store owners, or pound the pavement and try to create deep relationships with a smaller number of high potential clients.
The strategy will depend on your available resources, and whether you are looking to build new sales channels for independent products, or your entire line. Otherwise, a lower margin alternative may be to sell through a distributor to gain volume.
VC is by no means my area of expertise, however, I suggest partnering with the biggest benefactors of Uber's exit (in my opinion that would be the Taxi companies). Who are the most influential taxi company owners/corporations? Are those companies tied to larger investment firms? That would be my starting point.
I led Percy in his role as a Manager at Target Canada. Percy impressed me with his ability to inspire his team and influence cross functional partners. He holds himself accountable to consistently delivering results. Percy's collaborative approach to problem solving and strong work ethic was unmatched. He eagerly attacked big challenges no matter how ambiguous, it is a testament to his versatility and eagerness to learn. His ability to positively impact the business at an enterprise level gave leadership the confidence to entrust him with high priority enterprise projects. Percy would be a great addition to any team.
I had the pleasure of working with Percy midst the most challenging times while opening 124 stores in 8 months. Percy had the ability to build strong relationships with many stakeholders to quickly get things done. He was agile and adapted to change and volatility with grace. He was never daunted in the face of new problems, rather he welcomed them! He is an extremely fast learner and problem solver, with a strong desire to learn and continuously improve. Percy's relentless drive and attitude would be an asset to any company.
Percy held a very important job as the seasonal events leader, a role that requires sound thinking skills, collaboration and resiliency. Percy led a huge cross-functional team that helped develop the plan for Q4 execution. Because of his acute ability to anticipate problems, empower and engage his team, work collaboratively across many groups & levels and communicate effectively, he was able to drive a very successful plan. Percy was a pleasure to work with and any company and team would be lucky to have him.
I had the privilege of reporting to Percy for a year on our Seasonal Events team. Percy is a fast learner who is agile and capable of adapting and pivoting quickly to changes. He consistently challenged and supported our team to drive process improvement and adoption through collaboration amongst a myriad of key stakeholders, showcasing his desire to continuously improve and drive for results. His ability to build strong relationships across leaders in the organization ensured our team was aligned with enterprise goals and allowed us to drive a successful Q4 Holiday Season. Percy is a fantastic leader and would be an asset to any organization.
I had the pleasure of reporting to Percy for a year as part of the newly created Seasonal Events team. Percy saw our team’s newness as an opportunity to seek and develop invaluable relationships with partners across the organization, including our Target India and Minneapolis-based teams. Percy continued to challenge our team to drive innovative and creative solutions, processes and tools when faced with the most complex of problems. With his leadership, our team was able to drive enterprise-wide adoption of an end-to-end seasonal process that proved itself as the critical tool for Target Canada’s successful Fourth Quarter Holiday Season. I credit my development as a leader amongst my peers to Percy, an outstanding leader that would make an exceptional asset to any organization.
I had a fortune to get to report to Percy in my early months at Target. Percy’s reputation is already very well respected around the organization for his leadership, passion and sincerity. Everyone loves Percy. He has the power to build strong relationships with anyone around him – it won’t take you long to realize that you want to be Percy’s best friend and keep him on your side.
At a start-up stage at Target with many uncertainties and challenges, Percy led and showed us how to turn these uncertainties to opportunities, and how we can deliver strong results. Every time we ran into a challenge, Percy was always there to help us view the problem from different perspective, think outside of the box, and find a creative solution. What sets him apart, is that even if he has an extensive expertise in retail, he consistently asks questions to learn more and asks for feedback so that he can improve further. I cannot count how many business articles and presentation slides he shared with us, that shows his dedication to continuously improve and learn. Percy is a humble, genuine, and assertive leader that many of us admire at Target, I look forward to seeing where Percy ends up as a CEO!
Percy is true global leader. He has immense passion for managing talent and truly understanding global priorities. I had the opportunity to work with Percy on managing key seasons inventory planning and it was pleasure knowing how much open he was to new ideas that would drive great business results.
I had the privilege of reporting to Percy as he led the New Stores and Replenishment Operations team at Target Canada. The high energy, fast-paced start-up environment proved Percy to be a strong, agile leader. He was able to build strong relationships within his team and external partners right off the bat. Through his genuine desire to learn and continuously improve, Percy was both a reputed fast learner and a kind, effective teacher. He was able to easily break down problems quickly and clearly articulate solutions to key partners. Further, Percy was able to adapt to changes and volatility often found in a start-up. As a leader, Percy provided coaching and set a clear vision and path for those, like me, fortunate enough to have been a direct report.
I had the opportunity to report to Percy during my first year at Target Canada. My experience showed me that he truly is a dedicated and thoughtful leader, who naturally serves as an inspiring coach and mentor to all those around him. Percy is methodical, organized and has a knack for thinking outside the box when it comes to problem solving. He takes the time to holistically understand the issue, as well explore and understand all possible perspectives before making decisions. Percy’s positive attitude, ability to connect and inspire with those around him, and his problem solving skills will make him an asset to any organization.
I had the privilege of working with Percy for the past 8 months. Percy is an outstanding leader, who is able to drive his team to execute with excellence. He is a motivational and inspirational leader, the type whom team members wanted to work for. He was able to challenge his analysts, continue to give them challenging assignments to continue their career development, all while keeping them on task. As a leader of the new store team, through Percy's dedication and strategic leadership Target was able to open 124 stores in 1 year, a very daunting task. As the Seasonal Leader, Percy supported Target in driving a very strong Q4, with comps over 20% in November! Strategically speaking, Percy knows how to ask all the right questions, knows what partners he needs to take and is able to bring team members of all levels along the journey with him to drive his vision. Working with Percy was an honor.
Worked with Percy for two plus years in an intense start-up environment. One year as my direct report. Could be counted on to dig in on the details and communicate effectively across functions and levels. His teams consistently gave him high praise for his balanced focus on business results and team member development.