Anyone who has ever spent time owning or managing multiple retail locations knows that not every store is created equally. Some individual stores are committed to executing every program, surpassing every goal, and maintaining all company standards. Others are lucky to get their doors open on time with any level of consistency. As such, finding ways to balance each store’s highs and lows to ensure the success and profitability of the company as a whole can be challenging.
Often, the key to multi unit success comes from the ability to amass and breakdown broad based data analytics. Some of the data is easy to find and easy to drill down. Sales numbers are one of those metrics. Each store reports their daily sales; those numbers are compared against individual store goals, while the total sales are evaluated on a chain wide basis. By using those numbers, an owner gets a better picture of where the company sits as a whole, and where the breakdowns are coming from.
What if there was a way to break down those numbers even further to make a more significant impact? Instead of just calculating sales data, can you use information collected to reduce extraneous payroll expenses or eliminate marketing programs that are not providing a return?
Using people counting systems like the popular VisiPlus traffic counter you can garner a completely different perspective on your sales data that will help you effect those financial changes. People counting systems are based on a small device placed near entrance doors that calculate how many people enter your stores each day.
A report is made that breaks the traffic down by hour of the day for each day of the week. These totals can be used to determine patterns for not only the individual store, but also for the entire company on a chain wide basis.
The patterns that the people counting systems might start to show can be a great eye opener. You might find that one store does all of their business after 6PM. Another location might have traffic and sales spread out evenly throughout the day. Maybe one location has a big Monday morning boom, and another is busy only on the weekends.
Now you can provide a much better forecast and goal for the sales of an individual location that will actually contribute to the success of the entire company. All too often, sales and payroll goals are broken down by store, by month and by day based off of last year’s comp, and forecasted averages.
By making realistic goals based off of actual traffic patterns will help your stores achieve their goals, also increasing internal morale and a feeling of true ownership by the employees. It will also offer an opportunity to provide necessary resources to ensure those successes actually take place.
Picture this- one of your stores is busy throughout the week, but has little store traffic (not just sales) on the weekend. Another store has high traffic (but little sales) on the weekends. Instead of hiring additional employees, can employees from the first store pick up hours in the second store on the weekend?
It eliminates the need to hire additional staff permanently for the second store. It also increases the likelihood that the additional staff can help turn the customer traffic into sales by being available to answer questions, locate products, and decrease checkout times. By rotating and flexing employees you can maximize the resources you already have, while reducing unnecessary costs that are decreasing your profitability.