I love doing research on the internet. For someone who started off doing research in the library stacks, the idea that I can do all my research at home in my PJ’s is extremely appealing. Not to mention how easy search engines like Google have made research. But, despite all that I’ve found it tough to find online information related to retail math. Below I’ve shared a few of the blogs and websites I use when preparing for my retail math classes. None of these sites are dedicated solely to retail math, but all contain good retail math related content.
1. NRF Stores – I love this website’s Annual Lists section. Both the lists and the accompanying analysis are valuable for obtaining a better understanding of the retail industry, its past performance, largest players, and what to expect in the future. I share the Top 100 Retailers, Hot 100 Retailers, and Global Powers of Retailing Top 250 during the first week of class to acquaint students with the biggest players in the industry. The lists also allow me to introduce some basic sales concepts early in the semester.
2. C-Store News recently created a Retail Formulas section on their blog. It does a nice job explaining what each formula is, how it is used, and how to calculate it.
3. Retail Perspectives “All Things Retail” – I enjoy Ted Hurlbut’s approach to writing about retail. He regularly discusses ways that retail math concepts can help solve problems retailers face, and often provides real-world examples. Putting that real-world framework around math formulas tends to make them a little less dry and boring. You might also want to check out his article “Measuring Inventory Productivity” at Inc. It’s a great explanation of why you don’t have to have stellar sales to have a good GMROI.
4. RetailSails – This website contains a lot of helpful information and financial analysis. I highly recommend the Financial Capsules found on their StoreIntel page, the industry sales analysis and tracking on the DataCenter page, and their Blog.
5. RetailWire – retailwire is an online board that publishes three thought-provoking retail oriented discussions daily. I find these invaluable for sparking discussions in my classrooms. And, many times there is a retail math angle to their discussions and articles. For example, the discussion titled “Fashion Scalpers Hit Jackpot Reselling Missoni for Target on Ebay” was very relevant to classroom discussions about markup and pricing.
6. Kantar Retail iQ – I appreciate Kantar’s monthly analysis of retail sales, and their comments on various retailer’s financials. (For example, David Marcotte’s analysis of Family Dollar’s performance.)
7. DMS Retail – over the years, DMS Retail has had several good entries on retail math. I particularly like their article on GMROF.
8. Apply Thinking – this blog is fairly new, but the first few articles show a lot of promise. I really like how the author lays out examples using multiple products and then takes the reader through them step-by-step
If you have suggestions for websites and blogs that contain useful retail math information, please share them. I’m sure there are many good ones I’ve missed.