Offers Self-Help Tools, Financial Information For Retailers

Share Article's expanded web site helps independent retailers fight Wal-Mart, survive and prosper.

For the first time ever, independent owners can easily learn how to control their toughest issues: inventory, debt, cash and profits

The Retail Owners Institute® has revamped and expanded to help independent retailers fight Wal-Mart, survive and prosper.

About 100,000 independent retailers fail every year, many because they run out of cash. The Retail Owners Institute, a virtual company, plans to stem that tide by providing free, in-depth financial information geared specifically to retail owners.

"For the first time ever, independent owners can easily learn how to control their toughest issues: inventory, debt, cash and profits," says Pat Johnson, co-founder of The Retail Owners Institute. "And, with our performance benchmarks, a retailer can see how they compare in any one of 50 retail segments."

"We want to eradicate retail bankruptcies," adds Dick Outcalt, co-founder. "Many retail owners don't want to hire consultants and instead want to figure it out themselves. Now they can. All it takes is a little desire…and a web-browser!"

Many of the more than 1.2 million independent retailers nationwide open shop because they love the merchandise they sell and the customers who buy it. However, most lack the financial knowledge needed to survive and compete with big box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and others.

The Retail Owners Institute intends to change that. It has expanded and now offers a vast, virtual library - available nowhere else - of in-depth how-to articles, tips, training and technology that independent retailers can tap. For example, at, retailers can find:

  •     200 pages of financial how-to information
  •     40 retail financial management how-to articles, such as How to Calculate Key Financial Ratios, How to Cut Inventory Fast, and Have Cash When You Need It.
  •     A short course on Retail Financial Basics
  •     Glossary of Retail Terms

Key Ratios Calculator

  •     GMROI Calculator (Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment)
  •     50 Retail Segment Pages with key performance metrics/benchmarks

Organizations whose customers include independent retail operations, such as Hallmark Cards, Inc., and Cargill; and associations, such as the Consumer Electronics Association, have recognized the wealth of information The Retail Owners Institute has posted. These companies are helping their independent owners and members become better financial operators by referring them to The Retail Owners Institute site.

Through their consulting practice, Outcalt, a former owner of a small retail chain, and Johnson, a former banker, have been speaking and writing professionally to independent retailers for almost twenty years. But in order to reach and help more retailers, they created The Retail Owners Institute so owners anywhere could access decades of retail knowledge at at any time. And in the last year, more than 250,000 retailers did.

About The Retail Owners Institute®

The Retail Owners Institute®,, is the foremost self-help resource on retail finance online. The ROI® offers a vast library of in-depth how-to articles on retail finances, as well as tips, training, and technology for the 92% of retailers considered "small businesses". Because of its proprietary, keep-it-simple communication techniques, The ROI has been called "a WebMD for retail owners." Each month more than 25,000 unique visitors use the how-to site for retailers, which is based in Seattle.


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Sharon Baker
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