As part of ABA's educational programming at this year's BookExpo America (BEA), ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz will lead a financial seminar, "The 2% Solution," presenting practical solutions that all independent booksellers can use to draw a road map to profitability. The session will be held at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center from 10:00 a.m. - noon on Saturday, June 5.
"The 2% Solution" is a direct outgrowth of the new ABACUS study, noted Domnitz. "When we looked at the profile of those stores constituting the high profitability group in last year's study and compared those results to the profile of stores in the low profitability group, the drivers of success were fairly obvious," he told BTW. "They were cost of goods, compensation, and occupancy expense.
"The average of all 197 companies submitting data to the 2003 study indicated a -1.67 net before tax bottom line. This seminar is designed to show several different ways a bookseller can attack the problem of lack of profitability and move from negative territory to profitability ... for example, from -1.67% to +2% ... hence, the 2% solution."
Domnitz presented a preview of the seminar at the recent ABA Booksellers Forum held at Emmis Books in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a number of booksellers who attended described "The 2% Solution" as one of the highlights of the day.
"'The 2% Solution' was fabulous, for someone like us, a big store, [as well as for] the small store," said Michele Sulka of Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati. "Avin covered all the bases
. I can't wait to see it at BEA."
Domnitz concluded, "This seminar is just one example of how the data contained in the ABACUS study can be used to create a meaningful education program geared to helping booksellers improve their operations in very, very practical ways. The only thing preventing further development along these lines will be a lack of data. The whole program flows from the data, which is nothing more than the community of booksellers helping one another through a pooling of resources."
Booksellers are reminded that the deadline for participation in the 2004 ABACUS study is April 30. For a form to submit data to the 2004 study, to review 2003 results, and more, click here.