We were down 5% from last year, which was within range of my target. The goal this year hasn't been to increase gross sales, but to increase profit margins. More importantly, the goal has been not to fall into debt during the slow months, and we've managed that.
That means that summer profits can be used for things other than just "catching up."
Like for taxes -- or investment.
I'm still satisfied with the mix I have. I intend to increase the space devoted to boardgames and books, while consolidating space for toys. Toys are a bit of a problem in that they have fairly low margins and take up more space than most items. There are spots in the store, though, where toys are appropriate and nothing else is -- the higher up the walls space that won't work effectively for things like books.
So I've rearranged the store to make more room for boardgames and books.
In ten more days I can start ordering for summer -- which means, basically, ordering twice as many books and games as I have been for the slow months.
About the same number of comics and graphic novels, since I keep these up to high levels all year long.
Magic has declined for me, which is perfectly all right. It was the one category that was requiring large investment up front for uncertain returns, and I kind of don't like that process anymore.
It's too much like gambling.
In other words, I've slowly morphed my store where most of my spending was speculative; the next wave of sports cards, or the next hot comic, or the next hot magic wave -- to something that is a little more evergreen; good books and graphic novels, enduring boardgames and other items.
Much less risky business model, if not as exciting...
3 days ago