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.
Retail Store Review
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.
When the story of Ingenuity Fab & Speed (IFS) began five years ago, Joshua Boucher was building chassis for a local shop. Like many, he was creating custom designs and fabricating parts for each job, pouring his creativity into them. His parents, aftermarket veterans, convinced him that he was giving his genius away. He realized that he had everything he needed to take ownership of his abilities and work for himself, so he incorporated IFS as an LLC in Montgomery, Texas, and hired his parents soon thereafter.
Based in Rockledge, Florida, Dare 2B Different! Enterprises is a small operation consisting of owner Stephen Saporito, his wife Zetty Gamboa-Saporito, and fulltime graphic designer Joseph Stuller. Starting his company almost as an afterthought in 2005, Saporito has since grown it into a thriving retailer and manufacturer earning seven figures a year retailing a carefully selected stock of OEM-replacement parts for a variety of applications. In addition, he produces his own Glassskinz-brand rear-window valances. It’s a testament to how far belief in an idea, long hours, perseverance and a willingness to understand underserved markets can take a business. In this interview, SEMA News asked what he does differently.