Owner’s names, store names and locations are not divulged when confidential information is mentioned.
A group of nine sports clothing and equipment stores located in three states employed us to liquidate their stores. The sale started early December and finished the last day of January. The sale was a great success grossing well over $1,000,000 more than needed. The sale could have been even more successful had suppliers not cut them off the previous July. The sale netted 125% return on the cost dollar and we did it without spending one dollar on media advertising. We started the sale with our Pre-Showing. It out-pulls newspaper, radio and television. Opening day sales ran approximately $700,000. Masses of customers signed up to play our game which stimulates customer traffic and induces sales while developing a huge customer email list. Again, not one dollar was spent on media advertising. Our game and the email customer list it developed carried the rest of the sale.
We recently completed a Retirement Store Closing Sale for a $505,000 cost department store in a small town in a very isolated area. Due to our liquidation program, the store’s good reputation and the client’s full cooperation, reported gross sales ran $707,000. Advertising expenses were held to a little over 1%.
We recently helped a nine store outdoor gear and apparel chain close one of their stores. It was located in a large metropolitan area and had a starting inventory of $320,000. A 10,000 piece pre-showing was used to start the sale. First days sales ran just a few dollars short of $80,000. Management then decided to bring in an additional $95,000 of good, wanted merchandise. In the end, gross sales ran 143% of inventory cost. The high return was due to management’s cooperation in following our sale plan, a good clean inventory and Wingate’s expert knowledge of Store Closing Sales.
We just completed the successful liquidation of a very small low volume Play It Again Sports store. The inventory was sold down and short of fast turning profitable selling merchandise. We opened with a small Pre-Showing and sales opening day ran over $3,400. Gross sales ran 102% of inventory cost. Had the inventory not been sold down this could have been a much better sale.
We just started a Store Closing Retirement Sale for a very nice $208,000 cost gift store. A 5,000 piece pre-showing was used to start the sale. After the first day our Consultant emailed “We had over 80 people lined up 15 minutes before we opened. I went out and talked to customers and answered questions until we opened. We had wall to wall customers all day to closing at 6pm. Last customer left at 7:15pm. Customers had to wait up to 1hr and 45 min inline just to get rung up. Not one person put their merchandise back. They all waited. We signed up 313 customers for the game and we had 250 bring in their pre-showing announcements. Sales for the day (Thur.) $41,500. What a great day! Everyone was tired, no one even stopped to eat, customers brought in drinks 3 times during the day! Looking forward to tomorrow…time for bed”. Fridays sales ran over $24,000, Saturday $19,000, Monday $11,700 and Tuesday $11,000. And, the opening ad won’t break to the public until Thursday, a week after the pre-showing started. This sale should not require much in additional advertising expenditures as our game will generate the customer traffic needed and motivate them to buy right to the end.
Last week we started a Store Closing Sale for a $50,000 cost kitchen gourmet gadget and gift store. No major appliances were involved. The store was a low volume store averaging a little less than $200 a day. During store preparation our Consultant asked the owner what she expected to do on opening day. She said she hoped to do $500. We did $13,250!
We just completed the closing of a long established building materials, garden supply and hardware store located in a suburb of Washington, D. C. The owner had sold the free standing location and had to liquidate the inventory, fixtures and equipment as quickly as possible. In a letter to us, the owner commented “Owning and managing our Hardware Store and Lumberyard for over 50 years did not prepare us for all the aspects of the liquidation process. We would not have been able to do this without the help of Wingate.”
A couple of weeks after the above sale started we started another Store Closing Retirement Sale for a hardware store located in an older part of Washington, D. C. The store occupies 2,800 sq. ft. on the ground floor of a corner building that is over 120 years old. The storage basement is larger than the ground floor and stacked full of merchandise accumulated over the years. There is no room to bring up merchandise until something sells. The sales floor is stuffed full of merchandise with tall gondolas, narrow aisles and merchandise hanging from the ceiling. The aisles are so narrow that customers going in opposite directions have to turn sideways and rub back sides to squeeze past. There is no street parking in front of the store and no parking lot. Some customers park on the sidewalk, run in to get what they need and run back hoping they haven’t been ticketed. They have an old style check out counter. It’s a non-POS store. All record keeping is manual. They have never taken an inventory. The store is like a time machine.
The merchandise is tailored to the age of the neighborhood. As an example: they sell old skeleton keys because every generation of locks is represented in the neighborhood; mortise, rim and modern. It all sells — just slowly. There is also an advertising problem. There isn’t any neighborhood advertising media. The Washington Post and electronic media are cost prohibitive. The owner, in 40 years of running the store, has not done much advertising and thinks it’s a waste of dollars. He is giving good cooperation but we have to depend on our high impact window signage, EDDM mailers and our game to generate customer traffic. The game is also developing a personalized customer mailing and email list which we are using, and will continue to use extensively. The sale is doing well, but due to the lack of space, we can’t handle enough customer traffic to do the volume per day that we would normally expect. We’re over a month into the sale and we are still bringing merchandise up from the basement and the gondolas are still full. This is a grind it out sale. It will take longer than most, but we’ll get more out of it than the owner expects.
In April we completed a Retirement/Quitting Business Sale for the owner of three Gold Crown Hallmark Stores. The sale opened on a cold, windy, snowy day in February. Due to severe weather many stores in these strip centers didn’t open that day. Even so, our Pre-Showing had customers waiting in the parking lot for our stores to open. The first day sales exceeded the previous month’s sales. According to the owner, the Wingate Consultants were professional and took all the emotions and negativity out of closing their stores.
In mid-January we completed the closing of a $90,000 cost inventory hobby store. Upon our recommendation the owner purchased another $6,000 in good merchandise. (He should have purchased three times that amount!) Reported gross sales ran $108,450, plus fixture sales of over $9,800.
In February, we completed the liquidation of a small $40,000 cost pet supply store. The owner purchased another $5,000 in merchandise and should have purchased a lot more. Prior to the sale the store was averaging about $1,000 per day. Opening day of our pre-showing sales ran $14,500! Reported gross sales ran $64,700 plus another $6,000 for fixtures. With full cooperation from the owner, along with our liquidation plan and game, advertising expenses were held to ½%.
Our Consultant who started a Store Closing Retirement Sale last Thursday for a shoe store located in the Deep South just called. The first day’s sales ran over $30,000, more than the store had done the previous two months. He had been too busy to call in a report as the first four days sales almost doubled the previous two months volume.
We recently completed the liquidation of a small kitchen store (No major appliances) located in the far west. Starting inventory ran $75,000 at cost. Sales ran $116,807 in just four weeks! Plus, we sold fixtures for over $15,000!
A recent client’s department store was established in the Northeast in 1921 to serve railroad workers. Today it’s in an isolated area on the wrong side of the tracks. The manager resigned before the sale got underway and the owner, an 84 year old retired school teacher, lived about a thousand miles away in Florida. Since she was never in the store during the sale, our Consultant shared his plans with her over the phone. She OK’d everything he recommended and we generated $174,564 during the six week sale. To put this in a clearer perspective, the store only sold $114,000 the previous year. In six weeks, we were able to sell $60,000 more than the store sold the entire previous year.
We recently completed the closing of an outdoor sports, clothing and camping store. Starting inventory was $550,000 at cost. The owners brought in an additional $25,000 in wanted merchandise shortly after the sale started and, near the end of the sale, transferred $5,000 in good merchandise to their other store. We used a ten thousand piece Pre-Showing to start the sale. The first day’s sales ran over $115,000 and the first three day’s sales ran a little over a quarter of a million dollars. On the first day we had a line of customers around the block waiting to get in. The store was so crowded we had to let customers out before new customers could get in. Reported sales ran 138% of inventory cost. These results were obtained because of a good mix of current merchandise, the stores good reputation and management’s full cooperation.
Management of an 8 store farm supply company had moved one of their stores to a new location. Their merchandise team set only current merchandise and core sets in the new store. This left obsolete and shelf worn stock in every department in the old location. They planned to run a clearance sale themselves and were estimating about 100k in sales. Because of conflicting priorities, the CEO decided to outsource the sale. Their Retail Operations Manager had heard about Wingate through his role as Chairman of the PNW Hardware Association. After meeting with our Sales Representative they decided to use our service even though they were skeptical of the importance of our Game. The Game helped our Consultant generate over $200,000 in sales at a higher profit margin than they were expecting!
Another store owner in the area of the above store came to that store to observe our sale. He liked what he saw and signed an agreement with the Consultant to liquidate one of his four stores starting immediately upon the completion of the above sale. His sale started so well that two weeks into it he decided to liquidate his other three stores starting immediately. We brought in three more Consultants to manage these sales. All four sales were highly successful and we had another very satisfied client.
Earlier this year we completed the liquidation of a lumber and hardware store established in 1950. When the owner was ready to retire, he started looking for help to close the store. He talked to his good friend who had closed his hardware store a couple years earlier. The friend told him he used Wingate and could not have been happier with the results and that, “It could not have gone smoother.” The store owner immediately called and asked to have our Representative call on him. He liked what he heard and employed us to assist with his Store Closing Sale. Gross sales ran well over $200,000 above inventory cost plus fixtures and equipment sold for over $180,000. It was an outstanding sale because the store was a well stocked, high volume store and the owner gave our Consultant full cooperation and followed our sale plan to the letter.
In 2000 we held a highly successful Store Closing Sale for a small children’s shoe store. Starting inventory was approximately $100,000 at cost. The opening day sales of our Pre-Showing exceeded $10,000 and the sale was highly successful. The owner was well pleased. He continued to operate his other store in his home town until February 2016 when he decided to retire. Again he employed Wingate Sales to assist with his Retirement Store Closing Sale. This store’s inventory was not quite twice that of the first store but the sales floor was less than half the size. This meant we couldn’t get a lot of the merchandise out of storage rooms onto the sales floor. Even so, at an average discount of 20%, the first day’s sales ran over $35,000 and the first three day’s sales equaled one half of inventory cost.
Not only did the sale get off to a roaring start, it generated three prospective buyers for the store. One with money! Most of our sales generate several prospective buyers but 99.9% of them don’t have the finances or are not qualified. Most prospective buyers are just tire kickers. But, once in a while we are able to help sell the store. Our owner received a good offer and he decided to sell, but after meeting with lawyers and bankers, he found it was going to take two weeks to consummate the sale. By that time our sale would have gutted the inventory and he didn’t want to sell a gutted inventory and create problems for the buyer. Knowing our sale was going to be profitable he sold the store name for $50,000 with position after our sale was completed.
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