Greetings Friends and Colleagues!

About 10 years ago, I bought a couple of physical retail stores. These were in shopping malls with expensive leases. We sold vitamins and supplements. Needless to say, it is an intensely competitive business. My key takeaway lesson?

Inventory is tough!

I have multiple degrees in engineering and business, and worked for top consulting firms. Yet I stumbled into the world of retail completely unprepared. I dealt with margin and pricing pressures, supplier cost issues, expensive rent, and high wages. And the competitive environment was changing quickly for the worse.

Our business was very, very “busy”. Sometimes we were overwhelmed by customers, but usually just overwhelmed by the inventory operation, trying to figure out what to do next. Staff would ask, is that item a good seller? Should we lower the price? Should we order more? Without knowing precisely how fast the items were selling, our decisions were less than scientific.

That bothered me. A lot. I’m a numbers guy. I like quantitative solutions, I like to measure twice and cut once. We were making costly decisions that could have been avoided.

So I built a system to answer the question, “how fast?” And I found that to be immensely useful. When you have accurate metrics of the speed of products, you can make better decisions as to how to replenish that product without overstocking or stocking out. We called our humble “Retail Science”, and we used it to successfully turnaround our stores to profitability.  

I shared my system with other retailers to help transform their businesses. I believe I can also help your retail business, with my “secrets”. (Not really a secret, you can find my answers on this website.)

I look forward to talking to you soon!

Sherwin Shao
Principal Consultant
Toronto Canada