March 3, 2018

►     Denise C.B. from Groton had this to say about her experience in the store… “Tod was very personal, knowledgeable and spent lots of time with me”.  She stated our sales help was excellent and did not feel we had an area we could improve. Denise said she would definitely recommend us to a friend.  In regards to what we do really well she stated we were “Welcoming”!

►     Advertising, promotions, and sales all change on Sunday, March 4th. Patty O’Furniture Sale.  This month’s color is Dark Pink in patio furniture and Ivory every where else.

►     Our key product this week is Patio Furniture.  The best prices of the year; especially for special orders.  Order now to get this furniture for Memorial Day!

►     A special welcome to Cheryl Snyder, who is joining us as our Office Manager.  She has very big shoes to fill, but Anne- Marie and I agree that she has the brains and talent to come close!

►     The New Hampshire Home Show is at The Radisson Hotel/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.  Friday to Sunday March 2-4.  It’s a good place to quickly shop competitors; Crocker Sales, EZ Test Pool Supplies, Gibralter Pools, and possibly others.  Empire Pools and Blue Dolphin often show there.  We have shown there from time to time also.  Friday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 3:30pm, there are seminars on “The roll of a Pergoda and an Arbor in an Outdoor Living Space”  If you go, take your parking receipt and entry receipt for a refund from us.

►      2017 Sales, were up 5.6% from 2016 and 5.7% from 2015.  Our best success was in patio furniture (up 11%) and Billiards (up 30.5%).  It strikes me that Billiards gets no respect today. It is our fourth highest volume department, and it is only 20% smaller than hot tubs.

Unfortunately, our gross profits were down, even though sales were up.  That means that we did not charge enough for what we sold.  Perhaps too many “deals”?  A bigger impact was increased costs everywhere; particularly payroll.  That has resulted in a drop in net profits from last year; though it is still high compared to most other years.

This years profit sharing is expected to be about 13.11% of your income for 2017; if you qualify for profit sharing (read your operations manual, or ask me).

As usual, we don’t actually have the money to pay for it right now.  In fact, I had to start borrowing to cover winter payrolls on January 2.  We ended 2017 with$155,144 more inventory than we did in 2015.  That means $155,144 less money in the bank than we had two years ago.

So we need to get our inventory down in order to have the money to fund profit sharing; because the IRS won’t let me put patio furniture into your retirement accounts.  So it will probably be mid-June before we can make the deposit.  We’ll let you know when we’ve made the transfer.

►     The new Grill Program is not yet complete, but it is starting Sunday, March 4th  anyway.  Some signs need more proofing.  We are missing information such as dimensions with assembly times.

Note that all Napoleon warranties have changed.  They actually make more sense now, as cheaper grills have shorter warranties than more expensive grills. Interestingly, their concept is similar to Sharkline warranties.

►     March first was the beginning of a new quarter for Quarterly Reviews and Quarterly Bonuses.  That means that the office will resume tracking register and sales order mistakes, lateness, and fire drills – which can have positive or negative impact.

►     Laughter The Best Medicine: Holiday travels not living up to expectations?  Borrow one of these complaints collected by travel agents:

  • We could not enjoy the tour, as our guide was too ugly. You can’t be expected to admire a beautiful view when you’re staring at a face like his.
  • You said the town was next to a volcano, but we went, and there was no lava. I’m pretty sure it was just a mountain.