Every June sales tank. As regular as clockwork, fewer people come in to buy magazines and the heady sales highs of April and early May fade into memory. Why is this? If anyone should have the answer, it should be me or someone working for mag nation, but it is still a mystery. Ok, so it is cold, but so are July and August, which are not as bad. And it is not just at one store, but across all stores. June is the worst month of the year.
As I go through my fourth June, at least I know what to expect. I don’t feel so depressed. Yet, even after having lived through the ups and downs of retail, I still get affected by the rollercoaster. We have a great day in the stores and I come home elated and pumped. We have a poor day and my mood slumps.
I remember my uncle and business partner telling me one month in that I would need to get over this and learn to detach myself from the daily ups and downs or I would go insane. He must be a stronger man than I am, as I have never, once, been able to do this. He is right of course (as he is with most things – his most annoying habit) because having your very existence contingent on external factors beyond your control is not healthy. To be in a filthy mood because it is raining on a Saturday when people don’t have to go out shopping and questioning why God couldn’t have made it rain on a Friday when people are out and about irrespective… well, this ain’t normal. Not every week for 3 years anyway.
Worse is when there is no rational explanation and sales go down. At least with the weather I have someone to blame.
Granted, there are the unexplained ups as well, which equal the downs, but a rollercoaster is good fun in small doses. Imagine spending 24 hours a day on a rollercoaster. Where would you go to take a pee and how would you eat your soup – it would keep streaming past your face. I digress…
Funny how I can’t detach myself from our daily sales, yet I am Steady Eddie in relation to the big things. About to run out of money – no probs, we’ll find some more. Major overseas supplier goes under – no worries, we’ll find a replacement. Our trusted financial controller spends months using the company credit card to play online poker – happy to fire his arse and get in someone new. We get named most innovative retailer of the year in 2007 and Best Young Business of the Year in 2008 – no big deal.
Through all the major stresses and external accolades (and these are perhaps some of the milder ones!), we have managed to maintain a level head and a sense of calm. Yet, sales go up by 10% on Thursday and I am skipping home. We have a shocker on Tuesday and I start thinking about a garage sale to sell my kids toys and my wife’s shoes to fund next week’s operations.
The easiest solution to all of this would be for me not to have to change, but for you to change. Yes you, the reader. Everything would be fine, despite me remaining overly sensitive to the daily figures, if they only continued to go up. Imagine that – I would be on a permanent high. And this would be possible if all of you bought even more from us. You might have to coordinate so that not all sales came in on one day, but kept on rising, but it wouldn’t be that hard. So, the likelihood of me bringing up my breakfast is in your hands. Not where I thought this blog post was going to end up when I started it, but we’ll call this creative license.