Home > Uncategorized > Snow Days: Great for Kids, Bad for Retail

Snow Days: Great for Kids, Bad for Retail

I just posted this on our store Facebook page. Being a longer item than we normally post, not everybody who sees it will bother to read it. But I felt I needed to because of misconceptions. (We have customers who think that we don’t own any of the inventory; that it’s all consigned from publishers.)

So while some might criticize this approach, we find our customers have a sense of ‘ownership’ in the store — too bad it’s not literal — and we need to be transparent every once in awhile.

Snow Days: Great for Kids, Bad for Retail

We ARE open right now.

Contrary to what many people think, retailers don’t make up snow days a day later. The day is a complete write off.  

With only 19 selling days in February, because of Family Day, the loss of another day means we have only 18 days left. Out of that we are expected to pay rent, utilities and insurance costs that are not adjusted for the short month.

A sympathetic landlord might hold a cheque an extra day, but some things are very time specific, like the $3,960 we have due on Monday at 6:00 PM. That one must be paid in full.  (We have $623 in the bank today.)

That leaves us the option of borrowing from savings (if we have any that month) or asking friends and customers (which we’ve done; you know who you are; thank you!) or borrowing from our MasterCard at 9.90% interest, which is what we usually do and will probably do here. We can be as much as $12,000.00 in debt to them at any one time; fortunately that’s not the case right now.

Having a ministry model which is also a retail model is not my first choice. True, we are self-sufficient most days (because we don’t pay ourselves a salary) and therefore don’t have to ask for donations (some stores are part of non-profits or charities) but at the same time, when the lean months hit, there is no backup.

Searchlight is also unique in that it is a ministry that benefits the broadest Christian community, but the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of one individual family. Again, not my first choice.

So basically, if you can think of anyone in the next 24 hours who would benefit from a good book or a CD or DVD, we really do need some ‘miracle’ sales between now and closing on Saturday and/or cash (not electronic) sales on Monday.

Because you don’t make back a snow day in retail.

  1. February 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Good for you! I am often left in the middle between being honest when I really need people to come in and not wanting to just pressure my regular supporters to come in and buy more because those are usually the ones that answer the call. This year has been slow and last year christmas wasnt as good as it has been so we didnt have our pillow of sales that usually takes us through the early part of the year. I totally feel your pain. hope your miracles come in more abundance and love than you could even hope for.

  2. February 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I’ll start by praying, “Father God provide, for you are the provider… send people into Searchlight and show me what I need that they have… as we are a community of Believers, so let us commune and support one another. Father, for the sake of your Glory, bring in abundance to Searchlight that they can sing your praises and the community can see Your abundance to Your people.”
    And after I return from toting my son to/from his piano lesson I’ll look up your catalog.
    God bless and may He bless you abundantly.

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