Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick tips to increase your stores revenues


Retail is hard and sometimes very unreliable.  Here are some quick tips to make sure you maximize all of your opportunities and boost your store revenue.

  1. The cash wrap.
It’s the oldest trick in the book and one followed by almost all stores selling all kinds of merchandise.  How often do you change up your product assortment at the cash wrap?  Try some low price but high value/need items such as fashion tape, or your best selling shape wear line.  Special and unique jewelry also does well such as fun cocktail rings displayed in a way that encourages the customer to try them on and get attached while they are waiting to pay.  Cards such as birthday, thank you and any other occasion that your customers might be purchasing a gift for is a no-brainer.  Just make sure you offer free gift wrapping as well.

  1. Customer notes.
Everybody loves to be recognized.  Train your staff to do this as well as keep notes on their size, their likes and dislikes, special upcoming events, and their favorite brands.  When to new arrivals come in, search your customer database for customers who might like that item.  An excel spreadsheet is a fast and easy way to organize these preferences if your POS doesn’t have this capability.

  1. Team training and rewards.
From time to time, customers may be reacting to how your staff is treating or neglecting certain product.  If you have merchandise that is not selling and you can’t understand why, tell your staff more info about it.  Run a contest with the sales team and reward the highest selling staff member with a special treat.  You’ll be amazed what a little motivation does to that slow moving item on the floor.

  1. Mark down slow moving items.
We all make mistakes from time to time and every once in a while, your customers may not love an item as much as you did.  After you exhaust the avenues of extra training, incentives, and possibly even a swap with the manufacturer depending on time, terms, and relationships, markdowns are needed and important.  Sometimes inventory turn is more profitable and important then just looking at straight margin for the long term health of the store.  Additionally, markdowns are the fastest way to freshen up the store and make everything look new again once the items are gone.

  1. Mind your best sellers, always!
It is so important to understand what customers are reacting to and making sure you have enough of it to fill their demand.  Keep an eye on all your best selling items and make sure to stock them accordingly.  Best sellers are your clearest way to high profits and a good business as they become almost certain cash.  Why wouldn’t you keep them in stock – it’s a no brainer! 

  1. Automate your reorders.
Being able to react quickly to customer needs and wants is really important.  With new mobile technology and extensive internet availability, it is more important now then ever to be able to transact with a customer at the exact moment he or she wishes to purchase.  If you allow them to walk out of the store without an item they want, competition is so fierce that most likely, you’ll loose them forever.  Check out www.thestockflock.com and sign up to find out when our automatic reorder system will be available.  It will change the way you manage your inventory and increase sales in the process. Plus it’s FREE!

To higher revenues!
Kate

Friday, February 24, 2012

The 1871 Hard Hat Tour

The Chicago tech community has gained a lot of noteriety over the last few years.  From Groupon to GrubHub,  Chicago is flexing it's tech muscles most recently with the announcement of 1871 to launch this spring on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.


From 1871's website:

The story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 isn’t really about the fire.
It’s about what happened next:



A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers,
architects and inventors came together to build a new city.
Their innovations – born of passion and practical
ingenuity – shaped not just Chicago, but the modern world.



What started 130 years ago continues to this day.


Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs
are shaping new technologies, disrupting old business models,
and resetting the boundaries of what’s possible.



If that sounds like you, join us.


Come to a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes,
work hard, build your business and, with a little luck,
change the world.



Welcome to 1871.


Last Saturday, I was fortunate to go on a Hard Hat tour with some of the other Chicago Tech startups and the community.


There were a TON of interested folks there to find out more about 1871!

Apparently tall guys go into technology...

The space is HUGE and the map was almost overwhelming!

We were able to hear about cool building details that reminded me of my old office.  Steve is telling us about the old fire door they uncovered during renovation (finally migrated to the front).


So some cool details about 1871 to share:


1.  Announcement came January 18th, 2012
2.  The CEC (Chicagoland Entreprenuerial Center) will be "running" the space when it's up and going
3.  You can apply to be a part of the space here.  Shared desk space is $250/mo and a reserved desk is $400/mo (all mo to mo leasing).  There will also be night and weekend passes for $125 as well as some sort of punch card for interns and part-time staffers.
4.  A big part of the space will focus on education.  First dibs go to residents and if space is available, they will open it up to the community at large.
5.  Here are the fun facts from the tour I caught:
 - 1871 is over 50,000 square feet
 - There will be a coffee shop right in the entry way - sweet!
 - 1871 will have an event space that will house about 250 people
 - 30+ conference and phone rooms
 - 100 reserved desks and about 220 shared desks
 - 3 classrooms
 - Accellerator space that will fit up to 40 people
 - 6 offices for investors and schools
6.  The state of IL and Governor Quinn just came out in support of 1871 pledging a $2.3 million investment to help 1871 foster and launch digital start-ups.
7.  The open date for 1871 is sometime this spring and they are announcing the inaugural companies sometime in the next few weeks.


Pretty cool!  I applied for The Stock Flock, so fingers crossed, this spring, we might get out of my basement and into the Merchandise Mart - how ironic!


Have a great weekend!
Kate


PS if you're interested in learning more about 1871, follow them @1871Chicago "like" their FB page and check out their website

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The evolution of the POS (point of sale).

Back in January, I decided to fly to NYC for a day and walk the expo floor of the National Retail Federation's Big Show.  First off, that was the biggest show I have ever attended in any industry and second, if you are in the business of selling anything, I suggest subscribing to their newsletter if you don't already (and while you're there, check out shop.org).


 I attended the show so I could attain some information about points of sale and more specifically, if the current POS is moving to a more "open" format.  My idea about The Stock Flock is to one day partner with a progressive POS provider and have our database pre-loaded with that POS partner's package.  The exciting point is that yes, all new POS systems are open and many of the old have API's!  Great news, but what does this mean for you?


1.  Shift in the market is towards open, cloud based POS systems.  This is great because the days of having a server run your business is close to being over.  Cloud technology is faster, cheaper, more efficient, and has the ability to be accessed from anywhere (think checking sales on your iPhone while lying on a beach without the headache of calling in).  
2.  Shift towards handheld devices.  These have been around a long time especially in electronic stores such as Best Buy, but did you ever think of arming your staff with a iPhone, iPad or some other handheld credit card swiping machine?  I think these are great for retail events out of the store as well as big sales or special occasions.
3. Integration with cross-channel partners.  Gone are the days of the excuse that I don't want a website because my inventory online won't match what's going on in the store.  The more open POS systems will be able to integrate your inventory into the backend of your website.  


What is the current POS systemt you use in your store?  What are the good things and the items that you wish you could change if given the opportunity?  Let us know!  


For all inventory availability issues, check out our solution and let us know if we could help make your store more profitable!


Cheers!
Kate

Friday, February 17, 2012

7 of my favorite FREE business tools (and why to use them)

Having a business is time intensive and expensive and believe me when I say that IT needs are the furthest thing from my mind when I wake up in the morning.  There are however, some really neat and very FREE tools that have been around for a while that are worth looking into if you haven't already.
1.  The Social Media guru - Hootsuite 
Why:  Social media can turn into social gossip hour if you're not careful.  Run an efficient and meaningful social media campaign with the help of Hootsuite.  Pre-plan and schedule all tweets, facebook posts, and facebook page updates when you have time then set your preferences to text messages when someone responds so you don't miss out on anything.




2.  Your own personal internal server - Dropbox
Why:  Access and share files in one easy to locate place - the cloud!  This is great if you are traveling and need to update something or pull something off the server to use on the road.  The really great part is that if you make a tiny edit to a small part of the file, it will sync in seconds and in multiple places at all times.  Check out the iPhone and iPad apps for Apple lovers.




3.  Your better brain - Evernote
Why: Evernote is a Free app that can help you store and organize notes and keep them in sync with a multitude of devices.  The app lets you tag and store your notes into "notebooks" that mean something to you and you can revisit later. Here are some uses for Evernote (both for business and personal use!):
Recipes - really great to have on your phone when shopping at the grocery store!
Going Paperless - Evernote allows you to scan every important document (receipts, bills, statements, etc) in your account and then arrange them in tags and notebooks so they are always easy to find.  Evernote has a good text recognition feature which makes any sort of writing in your pictures searchable and easy to store.
Inspiration - Come across new ideas, write them down and then forget where you put them?  Evernote is a great way to capture these ideas then access them from any device you have installed Evernote on.
Recording anything even notes to yourself via sound - Record classes, conferences, music, or just notes to yourself while you're driving.  Evernote can record sound!
Lists - If you are like me, you have lists of lists and then you loose one and the rest don't mean as much.  If you put them in Evernote, they are all there for you anywhere you need them!
Web reads and content - I hate bookmarking.  My list is a mile long and I never search because it's a pain to scroll through the tiny text.  With Evernote, you can clip any web page or content directly to Evernote while surfing then categorize as needed.
Email - Evernote allows you to send an email with content and files attached directly to your account to save and tag.
4.  Free email or even better email from your company's name - Gmail and Google apps
Why: The difference between gmail and google apps is pretty basic:  1. gmail is free and google apps are not, 2. gmail is generic @gmail.com and google apps are @yourcompany.com.  For both gmail and google apps, you get the same great benefits which are:
1.  50 times more storage then industry average
2.  Mobile email, calendar and IM access
3.  99.9% uptime reliability guaranteed and it synchs with mobile devices
4.  Information security and compliance


5. Create content for your blog on the fly - delicious!
Why:  Bookmark and automatically publish content to the web via RSS.  If you have a blog, you need delicious!


6.  Create beauty (and interest) with Instagram and Pinterest
Why Instagram:  Instagram is a photo-sharing site that adds photos and text.  Other instagramers can "like' and commnet on images and follow users to view their images in their own feed.  Users can also easily post the images they upload to Instagram on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr if they choose.  I love this for store buying trips to push out pieces or ideas for future seasons to customers!


Why Pinterest:  Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that focuses on images - sort of a mashup bebetween Delicious and Flickr.  It's really visual and would be great for designers trying to get a feel of what people are thinking is in or out when designing a collection.




7.  Email is still king - MailChimp
Why:  MailChimp makes it easy to design exceptional email campaigns, share them on social networks, integrate with web services you already use, manage subscribers, and track your results.  With easy to use templates and great reporting, you'll never wonder what your customers are thinking, because you will know what they are thinking.  Email is still one of the biggest drivers of conversion rates - what are you waiting for (it's free!).


Hope those help to declutter your life!


Cheers!
Kate









Thursday, February 16, 2012

A downward trend - manufacturing apparel in China

My first experience with manufacturing apparel in China came in 2004 when I was a technical designer for Ralph Lauren in NYC.  I was a fresh slate and had no opinion of China when I started other then I knew it was less expensive to manufacture there than it was in the USA.  Over the course of my employment as a technical designer, I developed a very strong anti-China opinion.  From horrible rashes on my arms I received from opening boxes full of our product that came from the factory floor (all production items are "cleaned" unlike the samples we received - I wonder what kind of chemicals that entails) to contracting pink eye multiple times from  working with our samples getting them ready for line opening to having over 500 new messages in my inbox from 10 different people working at the same factory asking me the same question 15 different ways, China's positives for me wore off very quickly.  It now seems that for many, their opinion of China is starting to change as well, although I'm sure that the reason is far from human rights and patriotism.

In 2010, China's estimated per capita income was $7,600 - not a lot by our standards, however this is a huge increase over previous years and is higher then other countries where there is talk of the apparel manufacturing industry migrating to in order for manufacturers to pay lower wages. Recently, Bangladesh (annual income of $1,700) was identified as the potential new apparel sourcing hotspot.  Some estimates are as high as export value around $36-42 billion by 2020 meaning the current market in Bangladesh with double by 2015 and nearly triple in 10 years.  To put it in perspecitve, China exported $111 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the world last year alone.  It's going to take a while for the shift to occur.

I came across the blog simply-american.net when looking into the state of China and the author had some very funny ideas about where to go from China next:

Somalia
Positives:  Very motivated workers since Somalia’s estimated annual per capita income is around $600 a year.  Lots of port facilities.  Good cell phone and Internet services.
Negatives:  Complete lack of a central government.  Your manufacturing site managers will have to learn to get along with the Islamist Al-Shabaab group.  Lots of Pirates.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Positives:  Very very motivated workers since the Democratic Republic of Congo’s estimated annual per capita income is around $300 a year.  Big labor pool as the Democratic Republic of Congo has a population of over 71 million people.  Ability to order your workers around in French if you want since lots of people there speak French.
Negatives:  Well established history of corruption.  Daily production meetings can take a long time since 242 languages are spoken in the country.  Lots of diseases and snakes.
Afghanistan
Positives:  Very motivated workers since Afghanistan’s estimated annual per capita income is around $900 a year.  Everyone has heard of Afghanistan, especially us, the former Soviet Union and the English.  Given long history of exporting opium, exporting clothing should be a snap.
Negatives:  Managing Pashtuns can be tricky.  Very hot climate but no nice beaches.  Finding female workers will not be that easy within the next few years I would guess.
Comoros
Positives:  Motivated workers since Comoros’ estimated annual per capita income is around $1000 a year.  Since the whole country is an island, you might be able to trick your managers into believing that they are actually working in Hawaii.  Good scuba diving for you and your family during your annual production visit.
Negatives:  More than 20 coups in the last 35 years.  Lots of volcanos.  The whole country is an island.


I really liked this tongue and cheek analysis of possible hopeful future production facilities and also agree with the final point of the article.  Instead of dealing with foreign countries, oceans, and corruption, why not just make your apparel in this country?  It might end up being more cost effective, produce less headaches, and even sell more clothing at the end of the day!  People are very aware of where that label states the item is made and the closing argument in many folks minds now a days is Made in the USA!


Happy Sourcing!
Kate


PS - if the cost of holding USA made inventory is what's scaring you, we can help!  Sign up for our newsletter at thestockflock.com!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Founder Institute Graduation


I’ve been lucky in my career so far that I’ve been in the right place at the right time.  When I made my decision to leave my old company Kate Boggiano and start a new one in the technology space, I happened to do so in time to be able to enroll in a tech incubator from silcon valley opening it’s first Chicago chapter.

According to their website (fi.co)

The Founder Institute is a global network of startups and mentors that helps entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies. Through our four month idea-stage incubator program, you can launch your dream company with expert training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs, while not being required to quit your day job. Our unique Bonus Pool also shares equity upside with all participants, creating local, teamwork-based ecosystems where great startups can flourish.
The Founder Institute's goal is to globalize Silicon Valley by launching 1,000 meaningful and enduring technology companies per year in 30 cities worldwide. It was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur, Adeo Ressi, and is operated out of a small warehouse in the heart of Silicon Valley.
I particularly like their infographic!



I found FI to be a very good experience.  Full disclosure, I’ve already been incubated once in my career so going into FI, I had a pretty good idea of expectations and how to manage them.   Coming from a fashion industry background, what I was searching for first and foremost was an introduction into the technology scene and I’d say I definitely managed to achieve that.  To really understand what FI was, I had to sit down and make my list (because that’s what I do!) and I’d like to share it with you.

FI Pros:
  1. Structure, homework, and task management.  When you start a business, your to do list can be extremely overwhelming.  For me, I was winding down one business and it was tricky to shut the door on the one (especially as it continued to generate cash flow) and focus on a second that was in idea phase (i.e. expenses without revenue).  FI forced me to sit down and plan out my second business even if only for 15 hours a week – it was a start that I was having a hard time finding on my own.
  2. Peer mentoring.  Thru FI, I met some really great people.  A few of these were the other Founders in the program and we developed a relationship that one can only develop in a setting like FI.  We are close, there is no b.s., and we genuinely care for each other and what happens to the respective businesses.  That is something very difficult to find in most realms of the universe!
  3. Access to mentors from the technology field in my city.  This was HUGE for me.  Having been entrenched in the fashion industry for the last 5 years, the tech scene seemed a little daunting.  It was great hearing from 3 different mentors in the tech industry every week and being able to talk to them one on one or in the big group – no questions were really off the table.
  4. Leave some founders behind mentality.  Another big draw for me was the idea that if you don’t pull your weight you are out.  After doing this before and seeing the different types of people that entrepreneurship attracts, it has always been clear to me that it isn’t for everybody.  FI understands that too and doesn’t want to waste the time of the serious entrepreneur with that of less serious or conflicted individuals.  Tough love for sure but well worth it when you are gearing up for one of the most difficult battles of your life.
  5. Inaugural year.  So not only is this the 2nd incubator I have participated in, but it is also the 2nd one that I have participated in that I have been a part of the very 1st class.  I love this!  Being part of the inaugural year means a few things: 1. great press cause it’s new, 2. flexibility of the organizers and willingness to listen for suggestions, 3. desire of the program to attach themselves to a successful enterprise and therefore sending press your way as well as help even after the program concludes.
  6. Talking points with competition.   Chicago is small and when there is a new guy in town, everybody wants to know what’s up.  I was able to have conversations with some of the most influential people in town (many that ran the “competitor” accelerators) because they wanted to know what was up with FI. It’s amazing how quickly you can turn their questions into a 1 minute pitch of your company and FI will teach you how!
  7. Learning Powerpoint. Ok, so this one might be a little personal, but prior to joining FI, I had never created anything in PPT.  Slightly embarrassing, maybe? But I did it and because I didn’t know it so well, my presentations were less about my graphic abilities and more about content which is important when presenting your entire plan in just 3 mintues!

FI Cons (and how I overcame them):
  1. 3.5% of my company gone. Right, so in my 1st company, I had a line of credit at the bank.  For this new company, I decided I wasn’t going to go that route again if possible for a few reasons: 1. I didn’t know tech and felt I needed some advisors and a bank doesn’t advertise the biggest wealth of mentors I’d ever found, 2. I wanted more of a partnership this time even if it didn’t involve a cofounder.  The bigger problem was I didn’t know what my options were or how to go about finding these options.  FI really helped me noodle this out from the cofounder question to how to structure a deal.  Had I paid a consultant or gone about it on my own, I don’t think I could have afforded the time or mistakes that would have most likely ensued.
  2. Homework and working groups.  Homework stinks – no matter what stage of your life you are in and working groups oftentimes are just a place for one person to vent or do all the work of the group while other people are goofing off.  At FI, both the homework and working groups were structured to help you and you alone.  The nice thing about that 3.5% is that not only do you give up 3.5% of your company, but the other founders also give up 3.5% of theirs.  If one or multiple companies succeed, then guess what, the founders in your class split 30% of the 3.5% of each other’s companies.  This shared knowledge helps to incentivize the good founders to help you when you need it and it reinforces my pro points #1, 2, and 4.
  3. Public speaking.  No matter how much practice, training, or instruction I get, this will never be a strong point of mine.  At FI, we spent a ton of time on our pitches and presentations.  I was never the best in the class, but I would definitely say I improved and throughout the semester, I’d estimate my heart rate was cut by at least 25% when presenting so that is an improvement. After my first experience at “hotseat” on the very first day, I can honestly say that any negative feedback I receive from investors or anyone for that matter, will be easy to shrug off.  Definitely a tough love perspective.

If you are considering signing up for FI go for it as long as you are:  1. ready to start a business, 2. ready to defend your idea while remaining open to changing your perspective, and 3. have enough time to invest in something you believe in.

Good luck!






Monday, February 13, 2012

Survival of the fittest


Founding, owning, and operating a boutique or clothing company during this economic downturn is not something for the faint of heart for sure.  It’s not just about pretty clothes it’s about business and adapting your strategy based on what works and what doesn’t.  We have indentified two basic categories that lead to success and failure and thought we’d share these with you.


Things you can control
            Expenses:  If you boil the business down, it comes out to be Revenue – Expenses = profit.  Expenses are the fastest easiest way to control that equation and our favorite point to start for everybody is the real estate game.  Negotiate the rents until there is nothing left to negotiate then be ready to leave if that is an option for you if you can’t get the rent where you need it to be.  Some landlords are now even willing to tie your rent to a percentage of your sales.  Anything less then 12% is considered a pretty great deal and under 10% is stellar!  There are other expenses to review from labor costs and conversions to simple things such as getting the best deal on hangtag printing.  The lower the expenses, the greater the profit!
            Promotions/Marketing: In the above equation, promotions and marketing efforts should help increase your revenue.  However, beware of common mistakes that are made in marketing such as forgetting to put a phone number or address on a piece of collateral.  Click here for a great list of three examples of poormarketing
            Training a great staff: A great staff is easier said then done.  We found these great tips to help with some ideas.   
            Vendor relationships:  The importance of finding both a great product and a great vendor can never be overvalued.  The WallStreet Journal had some great points on the importance of the relationship between a vendor and their merchant.
Product mix:  If you are a specialty boutique, product mix is easily the number one differentiator from your competitors.  Once you get the staff and vendor relationships down, your expenses, product mix, and promotions/marketing need to be constantly reviewed and worked on in order to have the best business possible.
           
Things you can’t control:
            Losing customers – Although your marketing and promotions, having a great staff, and having the best mix of product possible greatly improve your chances, there still might be the possibility of loosing a customer along the way.  We like to bring this up because this is a different thought process then usual

How to determine the cost of one lost customer.  We estimate that up to 20% of ales are lost on a weekly basis and that’s just sales!  What if you lost a first time customer’s sale?  Do you know how much that would be worth to you?  Let’s do a little back of the envelope math, shall we?
1.       What is your average sale?  example:  $75
2.       How many times/yr does your average customer buy?  ex:  3
3.       What is the average lifetime of your customers (how many years)?  ex:  3
So now, let’s multiply #1x#2 then take the answer and multiply again by your 3rd response.    Total=$675
Total is pretty high, right?  Well the other thing to consider is that in the age of social media, that one customer is most likely going to tell their friends about their experience. So let’s pretend they tell 5 friends that are actively listening and 3 of them were thinking about shopping in your store but now are not.  The actual total of that 1 lost customer is really $2700 (675x3 + 675).  Pretty important!

This leads us to the secret and deadly player that isn’t mentioned in our simple equation but is eluded to = INVENTORY.  How to you handle Inventory?  It’s all about the inventory turn, having the right product mix, and having access to the inventory that your suppliers have on hand to reduce the amount of lost transactions that occur due to insufficient inventory.  The Stock Flock offers a solution to the last piece of the puzzle and will help you better manage your inventory and capture more customers.
Enjoy!


“There are many ways to succeed, but there’s only way to fail—financial.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old vs. New


In the world of fashion, there are two extremes:  the new and trendy and the old and vintage and anything in the middle is considered horrific, or is it?  Let’s think through a few different possibilities and how to turn the horrific into fabulous again.

Have some end of season merchandise hanging in your store or warehouse?
1. Get rid of it
            Liquidate – Whether it be in your store, selling it to an off price store (Fox’s, TJMaxx etc), or checking with your contacts such as sales reps for info on where they sell of their samples, get rid of it!  One of my favorite business consultants Jane Hamill gets it right when she says to take a loss – some cash is better than no cash!
Retail events – Retail events occur fairly regularly in many cities throughout the country.  These are great places to meet new customers and clear old merchandise without your store or brand in question.  If you choose to build your email list through these events, we suggest adding a list for “clearance or sale” customers so you can market to them appropriately.
Clearance sale- Although the ultimate goal is to have all customers buy your merchandise full price, it’s realistic.  Especially when sizes are involved, stores often times rely on the right person to have the right body type at the right time and this simply doesn’t always happen.  Twice a year for a clearance sale is pretty normal (check out Nordstrom’s twice yearly sale) and a good way to reward some of your best customers with priority notice or pre-shopping benefits.  Remember to notify those customers on your sale or clearance list after your top shoppers have been through!

2.  Buy it
            Closeouts – it’s all about the blended margin.  A great resource for finding high margin goods since you can get it for less are closeout sales.  Look at this for basics and things you know you can sell.  Why not make some of these items private label?  Check out Retail Minded for a great description of the difference between liquidation and closeouts
Vendor sales on old or past seasons – Ask your top selling lines if they have any merchandise from prior seasons or returns from other stores of your top selling merchandise and get it back in the store at a better price. 

If old stuff is so bad, then new stuff must be awesome! Right?!?
           
How many turns do you try for a year?  Most boutiques are looking for 4/year based on the seasonality of their business, but what if you could pull more?  Inventory turn  is the life blood of any product intensive business and the key to success.  All decisions should be made based on how fast it will turn and produce a profit. 

Happy shopping!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fashion Designers and The Stock Flock


We’ve told you what we had in mind for stores, but how about their suppliers?  Check out our short video to learn more!



While we are currently undergoing a private alpha test, please make sure to sign up to learn more about what’s coming soon at www.thestockflock.com.

Thanks for reading!
Kate

Friday, February 3, 2012

TGIF!


Happy Friday!

Since this weekend is a big “manly” holiday I thought we’d put together a fun list of football fun “facts”.  Here goes!

  1. This year according to the National Retail Federation, 5 million football fans out of the 173 million estimate to watch are set to celebrate the game with a new TV!  Talk about great marketing around an event!
  2.  The average person is estimated to spend more then $63 a person on food, d├ęcor, and furniture as well as team apparel.  Congrats for the team apparel manufactures and retailers as total spending is expected to reach an all time high of $11 billion this year!
  3. More then 25% of those who are planning to watch the game are doing so for the commercials  (take a fun super bowl commercial quiz here)
  4. For the 1st time ever, the Super Bowl will be streamed online.
  5. NBC sold out all Super Bowl commercial slots by the end of November with some of the 30 second slots fetching close to $4 million.
  6. The super Bowl halftime show is the most-watched music event of the year


Fun Facts about the 3 cities involved – NY, Boston, and Indianapolis

New York
Boston
Indianapolis
National Average
Population
8,175,133
617,594
820,445
NA
Average commute time to work
38.7 minutes
28.4 minutes
22.2 minutes
25.3 minutes
% of work force taking public transportation
55.70%
32.80%
1.80%
NA
% of residents 5 and older who spoke a language other than English at home
49.20%
35.50%
12.70%
20.60%
Median household income
$48,743
$49,893
$38,502
$50,046
Median home value
$504,500
$369,600
$118,100
$179,900
% of residents 25 and older who had at least a bachelor's degree
33.40%
44.30%
26.70%
28.20%

Enjoy the game and keep you ear out for good marketing ideas and tell us what your favorite ad is!

Cheers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome to The Stock Flock!


The Stock Flock, is developing an online inventory database to help women’s clothing boutique owner’s capture more sales thru instant access and direct purchase of their manufacturer’s inventory in real time at the point of sale.

Started in December 2011 by fashion entrepreneur Kate Mikelsons, The Stock Flock was created to help make efficiencies in the fashion industry that are beneficial both to designers and manufacturers as well as the stores they sell to.

Here’s a little peak into what we do for our Stores.



We look forward to sharing our progress.  Don’t forget to sign up to receive more details (especially if you are a designer or manufacturer) on our splash page http://signup.thestockflock.com/