A small guy needs help too


The recession is playing havoc with the retail industry. The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates that almost 150,000 stores closed their doors in 2018. Many of those were small retailers that tried to do it without any professional help. When large chains, with large staffs like Mervyn’s, Sharper Image, Linen-n-Things, Whitehall Jewelers, ToysRUs, and Orchard Supplies hire professional retail consulting organizations to run their store closing sale, you wonder why so many small retailer thinks they have the experience and knowledge to pull off the most important sale they will ever run.

There are quite a few very good retail consulting companies out there that help the small retailer maximize the results of his Store Closing Sale. But as with any group there are some questionable ones out there.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right professional.

  1. Make sure that the consultant that you hire has experience marketing and managing a Store Closing Sale. Many of the larger consulting companies contract with former retail professionals who have a good retail background, but no experience conducting a Store Closing Sale. This type of sale is different.
  2. Be cautious of anyone that insist that a decision be made today. It’s ok to make a decision if you have done your due diligence and are comfortable with the plan. Do not be pressured into acting hastily.
  3. Who is going to be working with you to run your sale? Many times one guy sells you the program and another guy does the work. Be sure you have the opportunity to speak or visit with the consultant that is going to be working directly with you. That “sales” guy will be long gone after your sale starts.
  4. Can you cancel the agreement if they are not getting the results necessary. If not, don’t hire them.
    How is payment structured? If it is a flat fee, they get paid if they obtain results or not. The best scenario is a base fee (covers expenses) and percent of sales (based on performance). If they aren’t comfortable with that arrangement, they lack confidence in their ability to produce.

    You must be 100% comfortable with the consultant that you work with. You won’t always agree with him, but you must believe he has your best interests at heart.