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General Retail Business Issues/Questions

SubjectDate AskedExpert
Reliable data2/27/2017James E. Dion
  Q: I seek your guidance for reliable data to complete my business plan. I have scoured the internet ...
  A: Yes, it is amazing that in this connected world statistics about retail performance are hard to come ...
Expanding Online3/11/2016James E. Dion
  Q: We own a men's clothing boutique in our local mall. We have been open around 8 years and every year ...
  A: E-commerce is no longer just an option, it has to be done. You must sell on your website as there ...
How to get started in gift shop retail?12/18/2015James E. Dion
  Q: Sir; Before I begin, I must say how impressed I am with your credentials - and the emphasis on ...
  A: Curt, Thanks for the compliment! You really need to do a few things to make this dream a reality ...
which product sells the most?10/11/2015James E. Dion
  Q: My question is does coffee or women's dress shoes sell more as far as online and in the united ...
  A: Chris, If your question is number of items then Coffee and tea wins if it is dollar volume of sales ...
Question regarding importing and repackaging food in the US?7/5/2015James E. Dion
  Q: I would like to import honey from Turkey in bulk quantities, and then repackage it here in the US. ...
  A: Akrm, You should inquire with the US Department of Agriculture if you are allowed to import honey. ...
Trade Show Wholesaler Process Question2/20/2015James E. Dion
  Q: Our company is an importer of home décor and giftware. We have exhibited at trade shows for 15 ...
  A: Kim, Retailers will take advantage of you as long as you allow it. Simply have a policy of no order ...
one legal...8/15/2014Jeff Bender
  Q: how are you doing. thanks for reading this question. I have one legal question about labelling ...
  A: I apologize for the delay in response. This isn't exactly cut and dry, however I would say unless ...
Re: Markups on Products6/4/2014Stu Jordan
  Q: I'd appreciate your answer to the following: I've been in contact with a company in the Philippines ...
  A: You have not specified the cost of the product, so to answer your question on a more holistic level, ...
Markups on Products6/4/2014James E. Dion
  Q: I'd appreciate your answer to the following: I've been in contact with a company in the Philippines ...
  A: Howard, It is not possible for me to be completely accurate without knowing what the item is. ...
Markups on Products6/4/2014Jeff Bender
  Q: I'd appreciate your answer to the following: I've been in contact with a company in the Philippines ...
  A: Howard, The answer to your question isn't black & white. What you can expect the retailer to mark ...
Retail Margin5/15/2014Jeff Bender
  Q: I have a product that I am looking to sell to specialty / boutique stores and I am wondering about ...
  A: Bob, There is no single answer for the margin any retailer needs to sell a product for in order to ...
Specialty Retail5/15/2014James E. Dion
  Q: I have a product that I am looking to sell to specialty / boutique stores and I am wondering about ...
  A: Bob, It somewhat depends on the type of specialty store you are selling into. For example, a fashion ...
Employee hours5/13/2014Jeff Bender
  Q: I have a question that I've pondered for many years, as I've known numerous people that work in the ...
  A: Seems like it should be fairly simple doesn't it? Problems enter quickly however. Students have ...
retail pricing4/3/2014James E. Dion
  Q: I have a small retail store front that sells wine and beer making supplies. Assuming the customer is ...
  A: Randy, Good question. You correctly identified the problem with raising a price on the shelf to then ...
retail pricing4/3/2014Jeff Bender
  Q: I have a small retail store front that sells wine and beer making supplies. Assuming the customer is ...
  A: Randy, I have found the best use of discounting is in order to drive traffic into the store. If the ...
setting prices from manufacturing body/facial lotionsto wholesale2/27/2014Stu Jordan
  Q: I have a bath and body products line that I have started.I have sold at craft shows and online but ...
  A: Well done on the plan to expand your business! Wholesale pricing and markup is probably the area I ...
Todays' economy vs. 1950's11/17/2013James E. Dion
  Q: This question has been nagging me but nobody has been able to answer it for me. As we all know, all ...
  A: SK, The one thing that your are missing about the 50's is that there were no "low cost" producing ...
Starting a Business10/20/2013James E. Dion
  Q: I am wanting to open my own business, but I am having a hard time making a decision of which I ...
  A: Kristie, I apologize for the delay in answering this question. What type of store you should open ...
product manufacture issue8/14/2013James E. Dion
  Q: I am in the process of launching a new brand within the watch market in the UK. I have identified a ...
  A: Stephen, It is impossible to guess if the other brand will go after you for copyright or brand ...
Wholesale pricing when dealing with a variety of retailers7/2/2013James E. Dion
  Q: Dion, I am in negotiations for establishing a subsidiary for a foreign manufacturer where I would ...
  A: Dan, If it was only that easy! First of all, in the United States, you have to offer the same ...
Conjoint/Discrete Choice Analysis and pricing5/22/2013James E. Dion
  Q: Good Day Dr. Dion, My name is Mark Mancini. My question for you is regarding a study I am ...
  A: Mark, It is not that simple. The attribute that you are measuring in a retail environment has more ...
College Honors Program Fundraising5/19/2013James E. Dion
  Q: I was recently elected as the head of Fundraising for my college's Honors Program for a full ...
  A: What you have to offer these companies is exposure to future customers. Prepare your request by ...
General Retail5/14/2013James E. Dion
  Q: What is the general markup for women's footwear and a restaurant?
  A: Larry, Wow, talk about two different businesses! Women's footwear has between a 50% to 65% markup ...
Initial Approach towards the companies5/11/2013James E. Dion
  Q: We are manufacturing unit dealing in cleaning and processing of various kinds of whole spices, ...
  A: Vishal, If you wish to be successful you will likely need to do all four! Divide your potential ...
Mark up's3/11/2013James E. Dion
  Q: I've read a lot about clothing mark ups and 50 percent seems to be the norm. We have a product we ...
  A: Ken, Good question! First of all, the "standard" margin in fashion clothing today (H&M, Zara, Top ...
Calculating cost when margin is unknown11/21/2012James E. Dion
  Q: What is the formula to use to calculate the cost of an item when the margin is unknown, but MU% and ...
  A: Cathy, In retail the formula for margin and cost is simple. Retail price always equals 100%, so if ...
consumer complaints11/16/2012James E. Dion
  Q: Many years ago a college professor talked about a business law or rule dealing with the ratio ...
  A: It is amazing how college professors extrapolate truisms from almost no data! Just about every ...
Target Margins of Retailers for Bathroom Hardware11/8/2012James E. Dion
  Q: We are a wholesaler of bathroom hardware in Canada (towel bars, robe hooks, towel rings and paper ...
  A: Dawn, the margin a store like Home Depot would want would be around 35 to 40% while a specialty ...
Wholesale to Europe9/19/2012James E. Dion
  Q: My fiancé and I have decided to start a business selling shoes from South America to Europe. Based ...
  A: Isabelle, First of all, a vendor should not markup their cost just because they believe the product ...
manufacturer to retailer markup8/25/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I am planning to start a sterling silver jewelry manufacturing business based on designs that have ...
  A: Jim, You did not mention if you were going to sell direct or use wholesalers and distributors. You ...
Pricing Structures and Profit Margins8/20/2012Stu Jordan
  Q: My company has created an all natural remedy for a very common infant malady. We've been selling on ...
  A: Always exciting to see the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well. With regard to your questions: ...
WHOLESALE PRICING7/24/2012Stu Jordan
  Q: I am a clotihng designer getting ready to sell my first collection. I am trying to get an idea of ...
  A: Well done on taking a leap into business! Without knowing what you believe the MSRP/RRP to be (eg, ...
Product package7/5/2012James E. Dion
  Q: It has the consistency of flour. It's not poisonous, but should be sealed so it won't leak in ...
  A: Michael, You have to use plastic as the customer will expect to be able to use it "right out of the ...
Retail Export Sales7/2/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I am currently selling t-shirts printed in the US through Amazon and would like to sell them outside ...
  A: Duane, There is no EU Amazon site, there is however Amazon UK and you would have to register to ...
Supplier > Retailer relationship5/27/2012Stu Jordan
  Q: I have established a US company which imports and supplies art materials and until now have sold ...
  A: well done on getting a new product ready for market - always an exciting time. Firstly, you may set ...
Export to EU5/23/2012James E. Dion
  Q: We are purchasing US brand label clothing from a US distributor to export to an EU country for ...
  A: Helen, Every brand has its own export policy and partners. The brands that will not allow you to ...
IT consulting in retail space5/14/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I am looking to engage an IT consultant to review my company's 50+ location retail IT system. Who ...
  A: We used to partner with Rena Granofsky who I believed to be one of the best in the country. Rena is ...
Wholesale/retail pricing4/3/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I have recently patented a new product that can be used for odor elimination for athletic equipment ...
  A: Michael, The size of the item does not affect the selling price or margin, the store that you sell ...
New type of tool3/26/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I came across an answer that you posted in experts site (2 that had to do with pricing an item. I ...
  A: Pete, Takes me back! I once worked in a factory building trusses! But that was too many years ago ...
wholesale buy3/7/2012James E. Dion
  Q: I am in a process of opening women clothing online business. Is there any technique to find ...
  A: Anna, There is no special technique, you do need to determine where you are going to source the ...

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General Retail Business Issues

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James E. Dion

Top Expert on this page

Expertise

Most questions about trends in specialty retail, how customers are changing both in the US and Europe. Demographics for all countries as they relate to retail trends and issues. Store Operations, Buying and Merchandising.

Experience

Over 40 years in the retail industry, store level, store manager, buyer, merchandise manager, Vice President.

Education/Credentials
BS Psychology, MS Psychology, PhD(abd) Industrial Psychology Illinois Institute of Technology

Past/Present Clients
Microsoft, Harley-Davidson, Ritz-Carlton, Hummer, Williams-Sonoma, Ace Hardware, Coleman Spas, Aldo, Intel, Dell, Safeway, New Balance, IBM, Kodak, Bata International, Nortel Networks, Honey Baked Ham Co., Man Alive, Highsmith
B.S Chicago State University M.S. Chicago State University PhD (abd) Illinois Institute of Technology

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