Livingston's opened for business in June. Its location was on a side street half a block from the main downtown street.
During the first three months of business, with heavy advertising, sales volume remained relatively constant and at a level well below the break-even point. G.A. Wright was retained to conduct a six-week Grand Opening to begin on the 1st of September.
Growth of the business was to be accelerated by increasing visibility in the community, developing heavy traffic flow, and exposing the store to a large number of people who would return as regular customers. Increased expenses of conducting the promotion were to be paid from the increased gross profits resulting from the event. The significant advantage to be obtained from the promotion was the reduction of time necessary for the store to reach the break-even point in the growth cycle.
The results of a Grand Opening are more difficult to analyze because of the lack of a store track record with which to compare performance. To provide a reference point, statistics were obtained from another clothing store of approximately the same size and inventory level in the same market area. This store was located on the main street within one block of Livingston's and was well established, having been in business for more than ten years.
Average sales during the Grand Opening were 358% greater than average sales during the first three months in business. Average sales during the four-month period after the promotion ended were 180% greater than sales for the first three months. Sales for June, July and August for the control store in this market were 1.5 times sales for Livingston's for November through February of the year after the Grand Opening were 1.1 times sales of the control store.
Sufficient increases in gross profit were obtained during the promotion to pay consulting fees and the added costs of conducting the event.
With a Grand Opening, Livingston's was able to surpass, in a few months, the sales volume of a well-established store in the same area. While the return of profit during the promotion was approximately at the break-even point, the cost of the event was covered and the promotion was well justified by increases in future sales volume.
Located downtown, initially as a children's store, Versie's, Inc. subsequently acquired space on both sides of the store and connected each space with walk-ways. It evolved into three-stores-in-one containing children's clothing, women's and children's shoes and women's ready to wear.
Although business had been steady during the previous 3 years, Versies experienced cash flow problems and slow inventory turnover. The owners retained G.A. Wright in September to conduct a Sales Promotion.
The goals were to obtain volume of 2.5 times normal sales, during an eight-week period with an advertising budget of 7% and to expose the business to extensive new customer traffic.
The September Sales Promotion resulted in substantial increases in cash flow and new customer traffic.
The consultant identified several problem areas during the course of the event. These areas were analyzed and suggestions were made for a variety of changes and improvements. Specific areas addressed were advertising expenditure, compilation of a mailing list, use of newspaper advertising, radio advertising, special promotions, inventory control, open-to-buy calculations, employee motivation, sale follow-up, and store policies concerning charges, returns, layaways, and approvals.
The G.A. Wright program at Versie's surpassed the volume objective reaching 2.7 times normal sales. The advertising expenditure was 5% saving a substantial amount of the projected budget. The Client said that the learning experience was one of the more valuable results of the program.
Michael's Jewelry opened as a family owned and operated jewelry store. Michael's is located on Main Street in a town of 12,000 people. This was the largest jewelry store in town.
Michael's was operated profitably for a period of 35 years but had accumulated many one-of-a-kind items and an overstock of gift items. As local competition increased, the owners felt they needed to clear out the old goods and make a strong promotional effort in the community. The decision was made to retain G.A. Wright to conduct a Sales Promotion.
The sales plan called for a reduction of inventory, closing out old gift lines that weren't contributing to store profitability, exposing new customers to the store and generating additional cash flow.
Opening day of the Sales Promotion generated 89% of the total gross sales for the entire month before the promotion.
The promotion resulted in very heavy customer traffic within the store and produced over three times the sales volume that was generated during the same period the previous year.
The Retail Sales Promotion was effective in reducing and balancing the inventory while substantially increasing cash flow. The store image was enhanced, expanding its customer base and visibility for future profitability.