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What are the Different Types of Retail Statistics?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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Retail statistics are different metrics a company will use to measure its strength. While retail companies can use a mix of standard and specialized statistics, the industry often focuses on a few universal metrics. The most common retail statistics include sales revenue growth, gross profit percentage, sales returns and allowances, same store sales, and employee turnover. Each of these can provide internal and external users with insight of the inner workings in the company. The statistics also provide companies with the ability to benchmark against other companies.

Sales growth represents the increase in total revenues sales from one period to the next. Retail companies can compare the current month against the previous month or against the same month in the previous year. The most basic formula is current sales less previous period sales divided by current sales. For example, a retail firm with $100,000 US Dollars (USD) in the current month and $85,000 USD in the same month last year has sales growth of 15 percent. Many retail companies will keep a trend analysis with several months' worth of sales growth retail statistics readily available, which allows them to determine when they can expect increases or decreases in sales.

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Companies will often calculate a gross profit percentage for all products or individual lines. Owners and managers will do this by subtracting the costs of the product from the sales price and dividing the figure by the sales price. The retail statistics method is also similar for calculating the gross profit percentage for the entire month. Total sales less cost of goods sold divided by sales will compute the gross profit percentage for the current period.

Returns and allowances represent goods returned by customers to the retail store. When customers return goods, the figure goes against the company's sales figure for the month. If the company is unable to sell the good at full price to another customer, then the product is essentially worthless and will often result in lost money. Retail statistics using this metric are fairly basic; the company will divide the total returns and allowance for the current period by sales. This provides a percentage of all sales the company expects to be returned by customers.

Employee turnover is another statistic more important to managers than external users. High turnover represents a working environment deemed unfavorable by workers, and will often cost a company money as it will have to place job ads, interview employees, and conduct employment tests for multiple individuals. Training new workers is often much more expensive than retaining current employees. This statistic is important because retail companies do not often have sufficient gross profits to continually replace employees.

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