We are having a pretty good start, sales are up form last year although I still feel like we should be selling more whole bean and gift items. We decided to do a bunch of gift boxes with a bunch of lower priced but not cheap options. I think we are missing sales opportunities.
I think it will be lean generally for all retailers over the next 18 months. Many have started the Holiday Season with sales discounts that normally would be pushed after Christmas. Sales revenue is obviously needed, but it obviously impacts on nett pr. We are budgeting to go only 8% higher for the whole year for our retail sales. Bottom line will be OK. This has been revised down several times since October. Next years budget is bolstered by the fact that we have new retail coming online, organic growth with our existing stores will be flat, 2-3% increase at best I think. Its all about looking for opportunites and remainng solid until those opportunities arise.
I don't sell product, but am an affiliate partner with a number of merchants. I'm seeing activity that is really sporadic compared to last year and the year before. Many sales one day and only a small number the next. I am seeing a definite shift in how much people are spending. I see people buying more low-end coffee makers etc and fewer of the higher end machines. I don't see a decline in the purchase of bags of coffee. But from my perspective it's tough to figure out all the variables that can impact sales...as my experience is as an affiliate and not a merchant.