Saturday, June 18, 2011

I should be selling candy.

I chose the wrong business, I tell you.

Seems like every young family who came in over the last two days had bags of candy.

I've actually carried candy before, but I tend to eat up the profits. I can only stare at a candy bar for so long before it starts staring back at me. ("eat me!" it whispers...)

I know one thing -- if parents thought to feed their kids minds with books as much as they are willing to fill their stomachs with candy, I'd be a wealthy man.

(Still -- I'm thinking of giving in and carrying a variety of Costco candies -- and just try to be more disciplined. If you can't beat them, join them.)

Summer business has started -- sorta, kinda.

This week is what I term "transition week." The kids have just gotten out of school; they are transitioning to summer plans -- staying with the 'other' parent, camps, etc. etc. So actually quite a few locals, versus out-of-towners.

Next week we should start seeing more tourists and less at-loose-ends-locals.

It's always kind of a shock to be getting so many people in the door. Don't get me wrong, I still do most of my real business with regulars, but I'll sell the occasional this or that to tourists, enough to boost sales.

The lateness of the summer start is one of those things that have really changed over the last 20 years. Used to be, summer business would kick in right around Memorial Day and pretty much end at Labor Day.

Now, at least two or three weeks later for the start. And the end of summer has extended halfway into September. I think this is because the school year has shrunk the summer months, and we get older tourists taking advantage of the summer weather in September. Something like that.

The old 80/20 rule seems to be in play, though. 80% of the traffic flow accounts for 20% of the sales; and 20% of the traffic flow accounts for 80% of the sales.

It's just everything is at a higher level of activity. Not like the old days, where I'd do as much as 50% more business. It's much more moderate than that nowadays, but it's still helpful to catch up on the bills.

Last summer was the smallest boost I'd ever seen, so I've planned for a small boost this year, too.

It's all about the expectation.


H. Bruce Miller said...

"I think this is because the school year has shrunk the summer months"

That doesn't make sense; the school year has been getting shorter, not longer, for most districts.

Weather-wise, summer seems to start later in Oregon now than it did 20 years ago; maybe that has something to do with it.

Duncan McGeary said...

I'm pretty sure I'm right about this. The number of days off WITHIN the school year has grown greatly, but the school year has expanded its width.

Nighttime said...

Skip the typical candy. If you think candy is dandy, put in the sugar laden stuff that Powell's has that will appeal to your brand of customer.

Like the zombie breath mints, the Romulan Ale power drinks, the Star Wars Pez and M&M stuff. Regular Hershey bars and such wouldn't appeal to me in your store. And they don't seem like they would fit.