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Laurie Owen: Gross Margin Target

Stats to know for your store.




What is it? Gross margin is the portion left of each sales dollar after you pay for merchandise sold, direct labor for craftsmen and repair people, as well as freight in and freight out. When stated in dollars, it’s known as gross profit. For the “high profit” group in our 2004 Jewelers Financial Benchmarking Study, the average gross margin was 51.5%. The rest of the companies only took home 47.2% of each sales dollar. For a $2.5 million dollar company, every 1% more in gross margin means $25,000 straight to the bottom line – assuming, of course, that they keep all other costs in line.

Strategy: The trick? Buy better, price better, lose less merchandise to five-finger discounts, and sell more of before it goes out of style. Simple? Yep. Easy? No. Know your target gross margin, and track it overall and by depart-ment all year long.

This story is from the March 2006 edition of INSTORE.

David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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