Guerrilla Retailing Life in the Fast Lane
In the end, Wal-Mart was able to post a three-percent increase over December 2003 sales, meeting or exceeding the holiday forecast. Like other retailers, Wal-Mart's holiday sales represent a disproportionate share of annual income—nearly 20 percent, or $50 billion. Most importantly, the steep markdowns did little to affect margins and the company was able to deliver profits close to those originally projected for the quarter.
Wal-Mart's holiday season success also illustrates the importance of velocity in creating highly profitable companies. If the largest retailer in the world can turn on a dime, smaller companies must learn to move more quickly.
First, you need to have ready access to information. Key indicators might include not only total sales and gross margin, but average sales per ticket, number of items per sale, average sales per hour, sales per associate, inventory turns and GMROI (gross margin return on investment) by product category and brand.