General Retail Business Issues/Reliable data


Hello Jim, I seek your guidance for reliable data to complete my business plan. I have scoured the internet extensively and not finding exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm launching a specialty store and e-retail business and the basic theme is "Construction".

I seek data to benchmark and to set goals. As a start-up, I should expect "X" but as the business grows, what are the metrix to base my growth plan when/if executed properly?

Average sales data, foot traffic, unique visitors, conversion rate are just a few examples of data I seek.

Please advise if there is a resource I can steer toward for all the answers. I'll look up the info, I just need a reliable resource.

I attended a workshop through JD associates several years ago where you were the guest speaker. I also purchased your book "Start and Run a Retail Business".

I look forward to your reply.

Thank you,


Dear Russ,
Thanks for buying the book!  Yes, it is amazing that in this connected world statistics about retail performance are hard to come by. The NRF used to produce two books each year, the MOR and the FOR which were respectively the Merchandise Operating Results and the Financial Operating Results and contained much of the data you are looking for. The two books were stopped well over ten years ago and nothing really has replaced them. Now, some industries, the sporting goods, shoe, jewelry and a few others gather the statistics on financial and operating results for their respective industries and sell them to members. The ICSC has data on stores within shopping centers but you have to be a member to access the data.

I wish there was a comprehensive source to point you to but unfortunately there is not!

Jim Dion

General Retail Business Issues

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James E. Dion


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.


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

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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