POS Software and Your Stock Turn Rate

Alan Fisher, President, Retail Business 101

What is the most important statistic your POS Software system can give you for your retail business? The most important statistic in all of retail is the Stock Turn Rate (STR) and you should hear the Hallelujah Chorus in the background when these words are spoken. The STR measures how many times an invested dollar is sold over a year.

To simplify the understanding of this, let’s look at the life of one solitary item in a fictitious golf shop. The buyer selects a supposedly great shirt that costs $25 and she (since most great apparel buyers are female) intends to sell it for $75 (a planned margin of 66.7%). However, that shirt sits untouched in the shop throughout the entire year until someone comes in on Christmas Eve and buys it as a last minute gift for an unloved relative. On the gross margin report, the buyer can pat herself on the back about how it earned that planned $50 and 66.7% profit. Since STR is not a part of her POS Software system reporting, it looks good for profit percentages.

However, a second buyer bought the same shirt for her shop and, after four months, decided that the shirt was a mistake. So she reduced it to $40 and was able to sell (unload) it. However, this shop was able to pocket $15 in profits and reinvest the original $25 into some product that had a higher likelihood of selling at a reasonable profit. So the second product sold at $60, earning another $35 in profits and giving the shop the opportunity to reinvest a third time. At the end of the year, this shop actually looked worse on the gross margin report because it only earned 53.1% in profits. However, there was $85 in profits instead of $50. The second shop had a STR of roughly 3.0 while the first shop had 1.0.

This is the same concept as investing in the stock market. As soon as you realize that your investment is not going to earn the return by the time you need it, you dump it and reinvest in something that can accomplish both the time and the return. Your POS Software and your stock turn rate go hand in hand.