Troutman ABC store exceeding sales expectations
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Sales at the new Troutman ABC store are tracking well ahead of projections outlined in the initial business plan.
ABC Board members learned this week that February sales totaled $89,926.02, with a daily average of $3,746.91. That's a significant increase from January sales, which are traditional slow, of $78,651.15, with a daily average of $3,023.49.
The store finished December with a whopping $143,746.15 in sales, averaging $5,324 per day. December and May are usually the busiest months for liquor sales.
Board Chairman Layton Getsinger said that ABC stores normally experience a 20 percent bump in sales in March from their February numbers, which would put Troutman’s projected sales this month at $96,000. So far this month, the store is tracking to sell between $95,000 and $98,000 worth of inventory.
Getsinger reported that the store is managing to adequately function with revenue from operating income. “We continue to have $24,476.62 remaining on the construction loan and the full $75,000 is available with our line of credit,” he said
The store needs $75,000 in net sales per month to break even, according to Getsinger. Monthly operating costs are running between $13,000 and $15,000, depending on labor costs.
The store’s business plan projected $775,000 in sales the first year. At the current rate, Getsinger said sales will reach that mark in its first seven months. He hopes the store will average $100,000 per month at the end of its first year of operation.
“We are doing really well,” Getsinger said. “I feel really good about things, and I give the credit to Evelyn and to the efforts of the board members. We are holding down labor and operating costs with board volunteers who help.”
INCREASING INVENTORY AND SELECTION
In February, the store began increasing its bi-monthly orders by about $10,000 over previous shipments. “It is time to start growing the inventory in anticipation of warmer weather and increased sales,” said Getsinger.
Orders will likely be further increased in March as the demand continues to grow. Store manager Evelyn Walls said they had received some bottles from other ABC locations to fill customer requests, and she will continue to expand brand offerings to meet customer preferences.
Customers are welcome to ask for products not in stock by informing the cashier of their preferences.
Board member Steve Cash recently installed exterior lights on the “ABC Spirits” lettering to better inform passersby of the store’s presence. The new lights appear to be lifting sales in the evening.
Cash is also going to install “yield” signs at the cut-through behind the store going into the Walgreens parking lot and on the island at the exit onto Goodman Road. The board wants to further improve customer safety and caution drivers to proceed slowly through these often congested areas.
Cash also reported that the needed parking lot repairs, covered under original construction agreements with P.S. West, will be completed in the coming months. “The temperature has to consistently stay above 40 degrees at night before they can lay down asphalt and have it stick,” he said.
The parking lot repairs will be scheduled on a normally slower sales day early in the week so that they will hopefully have a limited impact on customers’ access and store sales.