The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

Indie retail advice: let’s not get sucked in by downcast sales forecasts by big retailers


Some big retailers are predicting flat or declining sales through 2023 and into 2024 in the US and some here in Australia. There are forecast reports of comp (comparable) store sales, we tend to call these same store sales, of 3% to 5%.

The challenge is that journalists and news editors hear this and attach the downward forecast to all retailers.

I know plenty of independent retailers in Australia who are forecasting growth over the same period. Okay, not massive growth, but growth nevertheless.

In my own local retail stores, I am planning for 5% growth and hoping for closer to 10%. But more important than the sales revenue growth number is growth in business GP percentage achieved. Growing that several points is more important than revenue growth.

If you grow business GP% by, say, 3% and overall revenue by 1% the bottom line benefit to the business would be considerably magnified compared to no change in GP% and 1% revenue growth.

Retailers can think of GP% growth being achieved by buying better, which, for sure, is true. Often, there are opportunities for a small increase when pricing items to build in better margin.

The other opportunity here is stock turn. Working inventory to turn faster is a terrific bottom line benefit.

There are many growth opportunities in indie retail channels, many opportunities to achieve good growth in revenue and in gross profit percentage performance.

How do we achieve that?

Look at your current sales data, look for green shoots, indicators of opportunity for you. In a retail newsagency these are typically in cards, magazines and stationery. Sales in these departments can indicate opportunities outside of them, maybe in new areas for the business, better margin areas for the business.

Every retail business has green shoot indicator categories.

I know of many retails where this approach of data lead range review and gross profile percentage growth is successful.


One of the consequences of Covid was that many shoppers tried local retail for the first time in years. We showed that we offered diversity in products and personal service. We can continue to leverage these differences. But we have to show rather than tell.

Big retail looks like big retail. Their displays tend to be blah and their differentiator tends to be price.

In local retail, displays that are more fun, appealing and enticing can work well. back this with shop floor knowledge and genuine personal service and price is a secondary factor. people want to enjoy shopping. They want to walk out of the shop feeling good. That feeling is currency, it pushes pure price to a secondary consideration as value is felt in other ways.

The economy.

Yes, there is pressure in the economy because of rising interest rates. There is still plenty of money around for what people want. Want is a big driver for spending. It’s the emotional purchase where you have good opportunity. Especially as a skilled local retailer who is able to feed into the want.


The reality is that there will be more tough economic news and negative reports about retail. You can choose to watch that and worry, or you can create the retail experience that is an oasis of happiness, a place locals enjoy and are happy to spend. Every day, choices you make in your business determine this.

If you do what you’ve done every day for years, your results will be what you are used to. I think indie retailers can do much better than that. 

By Mark
The POS Software Blog




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