Web MD For Retailers: Worried About Recession? New, Free RetailOwner.com Tool

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Free Open-to-Buy Calculator Just One New Feature That's Attracting Associations To RetailOwner.com

We've been selling Open-to-Buy software for $199, but we're now making that same thing available for free because it's so important to help retailers, especially now with a recession looming

Associations looking to boost member retention have a new reason to look at The Retail Owners Institute: a free Open-to-Buy calculator was just added to http://www.retailowner.com.

Retailers can access the online OTB Calculator for inventory buying budgets at any time, from anywhere, and from any Net-enabled device, including the iPhone. The OTB Calculator is free, and allows retailers to upload and store their information indefinitely.

The new tool is just one of the features attracting associations to The Retail Owners Institute, which provides self-help financial information for retail store owners. Every association executive knows when a recession hits, membership drops. Offering valuable benefits is critical to member retention. The Craft and Hobby Association launched its partnership with The Retail Owners Institute January 1.

"Through our new partnership, CHA is providing craft retailers with the necessary tools, resources and business know-how to thrive in a competitive market," said Sandra Ghezzi, vice president of marketing, member services and education for the Craft and Hobby Association, which has more than 5,700 members.

Calculating Open-to-Buy plans to manage inventory buying is critical for retailers in all industries as they struggle with excess inventory and grapple with a possible recession in the U.S.

"We've been selling Open-to-Buy software for $199, but we're now making that same thing available for free because it's so important to help retailers, especially now with a recession looming," said Richard Outcalt, co-founder of the ROI. "It's imperative that retailers control inventory and adjust quickly and at any time, without needing a book keeper or accountant to help them."

"Calculating how much inventory you need to buy can mean the difference between strong, positive cash flow and a constant battle to pay the bills," added Patricia Johnson, co-founder of the ROI. "It keeps a retailer profitable when the economy sours. Because merchandise planning can prevent retailers from over buying, the calculation can deliver more cash to the business."

More than 400 retailers from 45 countries discovered the secret of the OTB Calculator in the past three months as The ROI tested the new free service. Some 27,000 unique users visit http://www.retailowner.com every month. That number is expected to jump as more retailers become aware of the free calculator and associations recognize the unique benefits they can offer their members through partnership with The ROI.

For more information, contact The ROI at TheROI@retailowner.com or 800-499-7531, or Sharon Baker at 425-890-9105.

About The ROI

The Retail Owners Institute®, http://www.RetailOwner.com, 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 27,000 unique visitors use the how-to site for retailers, which is based in Seattle.

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Sharon Baker

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