Sharp Edge Three Week Run

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, February 21, 2002

"Retail is a difficult venture." I said

"Not if you know where to buy." Responded Cesar Guira from Winnipeg.

Cesar operates a retail outlet in a strip mall in the North end of Winnipeg on McPhillips. He was looking for a place to move some of the goods he has been buying for resale and did some research on the Internet and here is in Tisdale.

His stay here is for three weeks as the building he is using as

a storefront has been sold. But for now he has a large stock of a variety of clothing and other products including some nifty NHL sweaters.

Cesar is a tailor by trade and in his McPhillips store offers free alterations on the spot. He says that service is what makes for successful business no matter what the line of products that a merchant is selling.

This is an interesting retailing strategy and has remarkable promise for rural communities like our own.

Local retailers do their best to provide the products their customers need but variety is difficult to obtain and sends consumers off to the cities looking for something different. This is a rare example of the urban retailer coming out to the rural area to sell his products and stay in business without the oppressive burden of maintaining a high inventory.

The secret to retail, be the market clothing or hardware is to keep the products moving. Inventory is dead weight and often losing value in a very short time frame. Even if the margins are small moving the product is better than hoping one day to sell those items that you as a retailer bought at a good market value. The trick is to balance this flow of products with a reasonable return. K-Mart in the United States was maintaining sales but the margin and volume have pushed the huge chain into bankruptcy protection as it struggles against Walmart, Target and Sears. The same pressures and problems face independent retailers and finding new strategies is a commendable concept.