Founded and owned by Chris Gabrelcik, Lubrication Specialties (also known as Hot Shot’s Secret) manufactures industrial-grade lubricants and additives designed to improve engine performance in both professional and everyday consumer applications. Located in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, just north of Columbus, the company has outgrown three buildings in the past eight years and now is headquartered in a 30,000-sq.-ft. production warehouse set to double in size in the coming year.
Retail Store Review
As retail businesses reopen across the country and customers gradually return to stores, companies are rolling out new policies to adapt to the “new normal” business climate afforded by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Foremost among those are new protocols for workplace cleaning and sanitation.
As of May 20, 2020, all states with stay-at-home orders began lifting their restrictions, including those pertaining to commerce. But while America’s retail sector has been getting back to business, it hasn’t been business as usual—and things likely will be different for some time to come.
Businesses seem to increasingly find themselves at the mercy of some sort of natural disaster, whether it’s a hurricane, an earthquake, a flood or a wild fire. As a result, it’s crucial for business owners to be prepared and have a response plan in place in the event the unthinkable happens.
Getting “unstuck” is a popular small-business topic, and there’s no end to advice articles online. Most of them deal chiefly with burnout and the motivational blocks that can stymie a business owner. However, small-business expert Barry Moltz believes that there’s more to getting a retail business unstuck than motivational gimmickry—even while he concedes that it’s hard for a business owner to exude enthusiasm day in and day out.
As a retailer, are you doing everything you can to minimize loss from theft? Whether it results from shoplifters, employees or vendors, theft remains a leading cause of “inventory shrinkage” and operational loss among retailers. In fact, according to the National Retail Foundation (NRF), inventory shrinkage cost the U.S. retail industry $46.8 billion in the last year. The NRF further set the average shrink rate for a retail business at 1.33% of sales. That may sound small, but for a retail outfit making $1 million in sales a year, that’s over $13,000 unaccounted for.
There’s little doubt that the explosive growth of online sellers has given local retailing a run for its money. Still, while big sellers such as Amazon can be tough competitors, they can’t completely drive traditional brick-and-mortar stores out of business. That’s because local retail outlets have several inherent advantages that the big guys can never match.
Harold Hunt, owner of SuperATV in Madison, Indiana, is a motorsports enthusiast, and he instills that same passion in the people he hires. They aren’t just clerks; they go out on the weekends and ride so that they can come back to the shop and relate their product knowledge and experience to customers.
Spartan 4x4, which caters to the youth off-road market, was founded in 2015 by 17-year-old Robert Bowden III out of his parents’ garage in Atlanta. In 2017, Bowden relocated to a 600-sq.-ft. office in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Now 21 and an entrepreneurship major at Western Kentucky University, he expanded yet again in March to a 1,000-sq.-ft. facility with six employees and moved to a 6,000-sq.-ft. facility in July, which houses an office, a shop and a showroom—all under one roof. We recently interviewed Bowden about his progress.
Del Amo Motorsports’ humble beginnings can be traced back to 1985 in a 6,000-sq.-ft. facility in Redondo Beach, California, offering a single product line. The company now features multiple product offerings across a wide spectrum of machines in four locations throughout Southern California, with the original one now encompassing 45,000 sq. ft.