So, Tracey, a regular commentor here on my blog, emailed me and said that she was enjoying my comments about the process of opening a retail store and wanted to hear more. She asked about inventory and was I ordering it yet. The answer is both easy (yes!) and complicated.
Tomorrow and Friday is demolition day. Then over the next week to 10 days our contractor will build out the changes we need such as a new wall to divide the store from the workshop area, sinks and cabinets in the workshop and a cash counter in the main store plus other mundane stuff. Then the painting begins. John has already spent a few days repairing dings and gouges in preperation for the 17 gallons of paint that we need (we can't have white walls, can we?) When that is done, the new carpeting can be laid and only then can we begin to add display units for the new inventory.
A new point of sale cash register/computer needs to be programmed to account for all the new merchandise and then price tags need to be put on each and every piece. We are planning on carrying about 200 different designs of large sheet decorative paper. Manufacturers require a 25 sheet purchase of each design which adds up to 5000 pieces of paper that need to be priced. And that is just the paper! It will take lots of space to do this funtion and the most efficient is to have the display racks ready and in place for the paper. Plus we need to do the same process for all the other stuff that has to be priced out and displayed. Fortunately for me former employees Aimee and Cari have offered to help me out. Thank you, thank you both! Since we are not yet at the store on a regular basis, we cannot have boxes delivered there yet. Anything I order right now has to be delivered to the house. So, I have not ordered the paper yet. Can you imagine transporting 5000 sheets of paper between our house and the store?
There is another consideration. We are at the retail in-between stage. It is the end of the year and manufacturers do not carry much inventory since they have to pay tax on what they have at the end of the year. I want to open before they begin restocking, so I am buying and ordering things I really want to have in the store right away. I am finding that about 20% of each order I receive is backordered for the above reason.
It is such fun to open the boxes and see all the new stuff that I have ordered as I check the items off against the packing slips to make sure I received everything. I told you it was complicated.
Thank you for all the great comments. I am really excited about seeing so many former customers and meeting new ones.