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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
Retail Expert speakers Retail Management training seminars

February 2000
Information to increase profits for retailers, dealers, jobbers and merchants -

In this month's issue of e-ret@iler, we will discuss shoplifting, phone systems, catalog and internet sales.

Shoplifting - According to information released by the Loss Prevention Specialists - Prevention Strategies Group there was a study conducted of 166,000 shoplifting incidents in 1998 and 1999 showing the average theft is now $60.74, up from $58.34 of 1997. The majority of shoplifters are adults, yet juveniles represented a disproportionate percentage of shoplifters. Men were most frequently the shoplifter, while a relatively high percentage of cases involved collusion between employees and customers. The number one location within a business where shoplifting occurs is at the point of sale.

Telephone systems - Want to have an elaborate phone system like one of your bigger competitors. You may want to think twice, or at least consider these consumer concerns:

39% of callers cannot identify the # sign
70% prefer to speak with a live person
29% of callers spend extra time venting their frustrations with the first person they speak with
50% of callers will hang up if given more than four choices
94% of customers will report your new phone system as satisfactory if you mail to them an educational piece explaining the new phone system before you install it
64% will give the same satisfactory rating if you do not mail the educational piece

These two tips can also help:
Hire an accent neutral professional announcer for your recording.
Put the "press one" or "press two" options at the end of the instructional sentence as well as at the beginning.

Catalog and internet sales - If you have avoided getting into the mail order or internet trade because shipping and handling is an expensive hassle, you may want to rethink your position. Businesses that create and utilize a catalog for mail order shopping, or an internet sales catalog, report they not only gain new customers from outside their normal trade area, but they are finding that "shipping and handling charges" are an additional source of profits. 48% of businesses offering their goods and services by mail report they will make a profit from these charges. Another 41% of businesses broke even with shipping and handling charges.

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I know that many of you have enjoyed the posters I offer for free at each of the seminars I speak at. I heard a new one the other day that will probably become a poster for us in the near future.

"If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life."

Get your profits plus,
Tom Shay

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