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Paul’s Discount – Clinton, IA
When selling your business, buyers will typically discount your largest asset off of wholesale prices. When conducting a store closing sale you end up discounting your largest asset off of retail prices. We were able to exit our business with much more than we ever could have dreamed of due to the help of Wingate.
The Old Homestead – Lexington, NC
The Wingate Consultant was fabulous! The sale ended better than I ever dreamed! Thank you Wingate!
Sportshaus – Bridgton, ME
The purpose of this letter is to strongly recommend Wingate Sales and their professional staff to any retailer who is considering closing and liquidating their business.
After 40 years of building and operating a successful ski and summer sporting goods operation in a resort town of 4800 residents we decided it was time to retire. After much thought we made the decision that the best way to maximize the value and investment was to have a store closing sale and then sell or lease our location. As a retailer of 40 years I was pretty sure I could run a sale like that but for some reason I thought I should look to engaging an outside firm. In hindsight, I am so glad that we didn’t try it on our own.
Wingate Sales came highly recommended and from our first phone call to the last day of a nine week sale we were nothing but impressed with their staff, their knowledge, and their professionalism. Their plan and system works, period. We could have never achieved the results we attained without our on site consultant, Steve Nuner, his daily advice, his tireless work and his years of knowledge.
The results of our Retirement Store Closing Sale were beyond our most optimistic expectations. Our sales volume was 3.4 times that of the prior years same 9 week period and our maintained margin was exceptional. Yes, we turned all our inventory into cash, and we made a profit doing it thanks to Steve and the Wingate staff. Their plan’s results were well worth their fee
Just as important as the results was the fact that the sale was marketed not as a going out of business sale but as a Retirement, Store Closing Sale which resulted in a very positive feeling for our staff, our customers and for my wife and myself. It was a fun, festive, energized atmosphere that allowed us to retire in a town we have lived it for forty years with grace and dignity.
Probably the best way to recommend Wingate Sales is to state “if we had another store to liquidate, we would hire them in a minute”.
By Phil Libby
Tarpon True Value – Punta Gorda, FL
OBJECTIVE: To liquidate the stock of Tarpon True Value hardware with the maximum amount of return for the owners with the least amount of expense.
As an owner I feel that this objective was met. The liquidation sale eliminated the store’s inventory within a seven week period. We realized a 90% return of the estimated $140,000 of product. I do feel that possibly the sale could have been done in one less week which would have cut the expenses of the liquidator and the store’s labor costs. I am happy to have had a 90% return which I’m not sure we would have gotten if we had shortened the sale.
PROMOTION OF THE SALE: Using our postal addresses obtained by earlier Loyalty programs and Wingate’s promotional letter to kick off the liquidation Sale was overwhelming. This mailing brought in so many customers the first day that our 45 car parking lot was full and customers were parking in adjoining store’s lot. The game, in which we offered many prizes, provided us with nearly 1000 names and email addresses. The liquidator utilized the email addresses to send out Constant Contact email advertising which continued to generate customer sales. Two newspaper advertisements were used in the local Punta Gorda Herald to again continue sales
DISCOUNTING: I originally disagreed with the liquidator about having variable discounts but decided that it would be best to let him make that decision. We discounted various departments and goods. That, I feel, gave the distinct impression to the market that we were very serious in liquidating our stock. Doing discounts of 10% to 50% by department and class, I felt, maximized margins. We had a very large fastening department. I would recommend that any store having a large fastening department not discount fasteners by the each but by the box.
OVERALL: We felt that Wingate did a wonderful job in liquidating our inventory and helping getting of fixtures.and equipment. This is the second time we have liquidated. The first time we sold our property in Illinois to move to Florida to start a new store. Our first experience with a liquidator there was terrible. The consultant was not there half the time and did not communicate with us. In researching I found that it is necessary to have a good liquidator to guide you. Our Wingate consultant was with us the entire time and guided us each step of the way, unlike our first experience. We would, and will, recommend Wingate Sales Solutions for any business considering liquidation.
By William K. Zeithammer
Suburban Hardware – Bryn Mawr, PA
Suburban Hardware has been in business for 70 years. After 50 years in the business I made a difficult decision to close the store. l decided the best way to get the most return on my inventory was to hire a liquidation firm to manage the closing sale. After interviewing several, I decided to go with Wingate Sales Solutions. I was Impressed with their proven formula that has been developed over many years in business. I was skeptical when they said they were confident we could clear out almost all of our inventory. Every promise made by Wingate has been realized. I believe mainly due to the sales consultant that ran the sale. From day one he took control of the sale. After evaluating our situation, he determined what our discounts should be, developed an aggressive advertising campaign and coordinated a successful prize contest to increase traffic during the sale. His enthusiasm for the sale was transferred to our employees. Because of his knowledge, dedication and experience the sale went smoothly. The first three days of the sale far exceeded my expectations. We actually surpassed our sales goal for the closing sale.
I have no reservations about recommending using Wingate Sales Solutions. We have a second store that we plan to close in a year and I have decided to hire them for the store closing sale.
By Charles Waters
Hobbytown USA – Delafield, WI
Earlier this year we made the decision to scale back the franchise investment in our retail stores so that my wife could retire. We have been in business for 18 years at our HobbyTown – Delafield location. Despite our strong history, we were unable to find a qualified buyer. Thus, our attention turned to maximizing our return from a store closing- retirement sale.
I had heard about Wingate, so when I learned about the very positive experience of a fellow franchisee I decided to call. The Consultant walked me through the process and answered all of my questions – no matter the time of day. After some additional due diligence, I felt that an engagement with Wingate was a good idea. While we have been through several business grand openings and re-openings, we have never closed a business. Thus it was natural to be a little uncertain about what Wingate would bring.
On June 12th, consultant James Stewart arrived in our store. Writing this letter at the conclusion of our sale, I cannot express how impressed we are with Jim. The results speak for themselves as we exceeded every challenge goal we set. Here are a few of the ways I would describe the engagement with Jim:
- He knew exactly what to do and how to do it, from preparing the store for the sale, to managing the process on a daily basis, to the psychology of the customer.
- Whenever there was any lull, Jim would help re-face stock, reposition the store, update signs, and even directly help customers. We had to smile as some people thought Jim might be the retiring owner. He has an outstanding work ethic.
- He has a calm confidence. Everything he predicted would happen did happen, often even bigger and better. He knew exactly what to do every day and we quickly learned that we would simply follow his advice.
- The prize giveaway had an unbelievable excitement and following. The competition brought daily repeat customers, and the bonus points Jim set helped move the slower turning merchandise.
- He has a wonderful, wry, sense of humor that reflected both confidence and humility. Jim is a consummate professional and it was wonderful to get to know him. His presence made a chaotic and anxious time calm and predictable. What a relief for us, he was worth every penny.
On the final day of our sale, our store is virtually empty. The opening day had double the sales of our best day ever. The final sales total exceeded the best December sales in our history. The results say it all. Suffice to say, we are very happy with our decision. We would highly recommend Wingate to anyone. Their retail experience is unparalleled, and it was our great pleasure to work with them.
By John W. Zingsheim
Hobbytown USA – Concord, CA
We had planned on handling the liquidation process on our own when at the last moment we discovered Wingate Sales Solutions through the recommendation of another fellow franchisee. As we dug deeper, we discovered that Wingate had helped many fellow Hobbytown locations. And as I did my due diligence, the common theme was everyone was extremely happy with service and results.