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Phony Wholesaling Competitors, Example Letters to Retailers,, the Industry, Locating A Business, Set-up,,, Aquatics Biz 2,


Biz discussion, retail... re lack of sophistication in the trade, links check  11/5/10
I have been reading through the pages on your site related to aquarium store business. Bob Fenner writes some very practical advise for initial considerations. FYI, the links under the following web page on your site don't work: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqbizsubwebindex/bizsetupfaqs.htm
<Wow, all of them? Will have to check. Thank you for this>
Where does someone that really wants to start an aquarium business find some more "concrete" and practical financial and operational information on aquarium stores, such as:
1. Who are the 3 largest aquarium products distributors/wholesalers selling exclusively for resale (not running online or other retail outlets of their own)?
<Mmm, whereabouts? Central Garden is undoubtedly the largest... at their various locations in the U.S.... Royal Pet Supplies in New York, maybe number two... Lee Mar in S. Cal. possibly third... they don't have "phony wholesaling", nor etailing>
I found two companies online that both claimed to be "one of the biggest", yet neither one seemed to be interested in answering their phones. As a future potential retailer/customer of theirs...this makes a very negative statement about what I can expect of them in the future.
OR, do most retail stores purchase direct from the manufacturers/vendors?
<This is and has been a growing trend in Europe and the U.S.>
If so, how does one get in touch with them....I couldn't find a trade directory.
<See Pet Business re: their business guide (issue as well) can be found here: http://buyersguide.petbusiness.com/>
2. Where can a person find recommended plan-o-grams for or from successful stores based on linear running shelves or units for non-livestock merchandise?
<Mmm, these you may have to pay for... there are agencies that offer such services in and outside the trade... Are you familiar w/ Streater fixtures?
Do get hold of some current industry 'zines... search the classifieds in back>
Generally these will have recommend stocking levels and turnover recommendations so the individual store can adjust the inventory as needed. But you need a place to start. I don't want to put in an 8' sectional wall unit of flake food if only 2 shelves are sufficient!
3. Where can a person find a recommended inventory list for an aquarium store offering mostly freshwater, but some marine and pond products/livestock (by range of store sq feet would be nice; such as 1,500 - 2,500; 2,500-5,000; etc)?
<Mmm, most likely and free info. such as this can be gotten from/through the big suppliers... W/ a "bag", not a grain of salt>
I know it will vary by location and emphasis or interest..but surely there is a benchmark or foundation.
<Ask your Central rep. re>
4. Where can a person locate explicit financial benchmarking data?
<Nowhere as far as I'm aware. There are some olde SBA data about... again very dated>
In the retail industry I came from, details were available and comparable based on size of operations and/or region of the country giving very specific information about gross sales by category, cost of goods sold by category, personnel and occupancy costs, sales per sq' by category, averages of space (retail, office, receiving/staging, etc), refund information by category, shrinkage, online sales, major expenses categories, comparisons of all the previous to prior years, size of store to market, market requirements, and so forth. I am having trouble finding solid information from which a person could make reasonable assumptions based on their own locale and that they could use for benchmarking. I will tell you, that as much as I love the industry, I am not going to invest $200,000 for a $20,000 salary!
<Mmm, not prudent, but your choice. How to put a response re the information you seek... the "big players"; Petco, PetSmart, et al. don't share such proprietary data, and the small players don't gather such>
5. What is the recommended level of livestock for various sized stores?
For example, it would be silly to have 1,000 tanks of fish in a market of 50,000 people! How is turnover of livestock measured and what are the recommended ratio's?
<Great questions... in that they have no simple, easily-defined responses... Best for one to conduct interviews/visits in real designated geographic/demographic markets... SEE what is being offered, confer w/ the people owning/managing these locations... attempt to discern what their most profitable elements are, what are merely decorous... and which are wasteful, to be avoided>
6. For modern retailing, what systems are recommended for maintaining the livestock?
<Centralized... commercial or custom...>
I know there was a huge controversy a few years ago between centralized continuous flow and individual tank 'closed' systems. What are modern successful stores doing to maintain healthy stock, prevent disease
contamination, yet reduce labor costs?
<More to do w/ selection of better/best suppliers, preventative
dips/baths... careful accounting of origins, troubles... future avoidance>
I tried to ask some of these questions from a larger store back east, but they didn't want to talk to me....I think I scared them. :) But, you need good information to create good plans if you are going to succeed...especially with box store and online competition pressures.
<Mmm, do consider coming out to Aquarama in May... and chatting w/ friends in tow... and/or visiting wholesalers... if you can in LA... I'll plan/join you. Really. Bob Fenner, out in Fiji currently, visiting/diving w/ friends in the trade>
Re: Biz discussion... need for biz and mktg plans... incl. quantitative analysis   11/11/10

Very much appreciated your replies. My wife, a very down to earth, roots run deep, conservative by nature person thinks that venturing into an aquarium store industry at this time is crazy, and that it can't be done without very solid numbers.
<I do agree w/ her stance... Much of the industry is run blindly, sans solid business planning, enumeration. And the times nowadays... harrowing>
She is also concerned about the excessive high cost of inventory vs. invested return...you have to sell a LOT of guppies to pay for a $2,000 per mo lease! Even if you have very high margins, you have to sell so many for any practical return, she is concerned the revenue would be too low "...otherwise..." she said, "...there would be stores like these all over the place...."
Seems this industry is very suspicious of revealing numbers, or, simply not interested and has no vested reason to gather this information.
<As previously stated, the sophisticated players are prudently number oriented, but not willing to share their data>
I talked to one small store owner, and I could see panic in his face...these were questions he never asked himself and had no idea of even how find the answers. I resisted giving him an offer of a financial statement or managerial accounting advise...I don't think he knows about these and I also suspect, now, many store owners don't.
I can assure you the "box" stores do! Maybe a convention needs to have a seminar session on "the business of business" LOL!
<These are proffered at most all industry/retailer shows... not well-attended by and large>
Ah well.
More homework. Unless I can convince my wife that this is something we should do, I doubt that I will see you in LA...but thanks for the offer.
Enjoy Fiji...it is cold and rainy here in Washington!
<Am back in S. Cal... A very nice day today! Cheers, BobF>

Re: Service Gear Sterilization. billing terms 1/30/10
Hi Bob,
Thank you for your response! I will be sure to start with that process and rotate more gear into the service rig. I have also gotten response for the vet to use a Povidone iodine solution to disinfect the gear between services. Do you see any potential problems over the long term (or short term!) with this process?
<Mmm, discoloration of gear, clothes, hands... and tends to make some types of netting brittle over time/exposure>
I certainly will be rinsing well, but am a little concerned about more absorptive gear like algae sponges.
<Oh yes... these too>
Perhaps a spray bottle in the service van with a bleach solution to spray down bucket handles and stepladders in between client visits.
Ah! Wasn't sure if I could mention specific products here. Yes, the Spectrum line is definitely on the menu for all of my clients fish fresh and salt, along with Omega One, Rod's Reef and dry Nori.
<Good products I agree>
Certainly hope that with the sample we are able to stop this problem in its' tracks. It is heart breaking to see perfectly healthy fish waste away for what appears to be no good reason. If there were to be a bacterial relation to this wasting of these tangs, would a Melafix treatment be of any help?
All of these tangs are in reef aquariums with some elaborate aquascaping and it would be rather difficult to remove them. Possible if necessary though.
<Again, prophylactic treatment with Metronidazole and an anthelminthic...
at your shop/facility is the best>
Another question for you off topic if I could. I have been having a lot of difficulty with clients and late payments on accounts.
<Definitely a sign of these bad times>
At the moment very behind to the point that ordering and basic operation of business has been greatly affected. I have put in place a late fee for past due accounts with a 5 day grace period and discontinuation of service 15 days past the grace period.
How do you feel about this approach given the economy?
<In my time we were more lenient...>
Should I just bite the bullet and wait for payment?
<I would... extend terms a bit longer at least... a month... Calling the client at two week intervals on lates>
I have considered that it may be better to be owed the money than to not be making it at all, but at the same time thousands of dollars in unpaid service invoices are piling up and to make matters worse some include product! I am interested in your opinion on this and your experiences.
Again, thank you for your advice.
Michael P. Gillespie
<Thank you for sharing Mike. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Service Gear Sterilization. & Finance  -- 02/02/10
Hello Bob,
<Hey Mike>
Thank you for your advice on that last question. I thought that the plan was fair, but wasn't sure what to look at as a standard.
<Mmm, well... I've been to several (from the Middle English meaning "many") aquaculture facilities, pet-fish and aquatic source protein, research and earnest production, around the world... Some folks use nothing (!), others
have a whole bunch of separate gear, but most use formalin/formaldehyde or a bleach (hypochlorite generally) that they switch out daily and make anew... Some use other materials that I'd just as not mention here for fear of having people make big errors in poisoning their stock... The better approach IMO/E has been to have "separate areas" like AquaTouch out in Phoenix, AZ, where all new/incoming livestock is COMPLETELY isolated from established stocks for two weeks... ALL gear, tanks, even filter media (which is bleached every two weeks and replaced by established)... are distally located from store/for sale, service/for-stocking organisms>
The other legitimate service companies in my area typically require payment at the time of service.
<I would NOT do this... how legitimacy has anything to do w/ this arrangement I don't see... A professional service that is ongoing in nature will have established terms of at least monthly billing.>
My clients are left a receipt at each visit with their totals for service and materials or livestock if applicable for the visit.
<Really? If this works out for you, so be it. Our service companies had a financial division that handled all billing, collection... Monthly statements mailed out, computer generated billing, with the cost for all (inclusive and not... i.e. cost-plus... livestock, food, salt etc.) detailed from the service tech.s Account Folder notes>
On the first of each month the total bills are all put together on a statement and sent out with payment due within 10 days and then the 5 day grace period.
<Oh... I see>
Should I go with totals due 30 days from the 1st of the month?
<Yes; I would change to this last. Five days grace is not enough time IMO>
Michael P. Gillespie
<And you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Service Gear Sterilization. -- 02/02/10
Hi Bob,
<Again hello to you Michael>
I understand. Looks like I may have to consider making some changes to my billing policy. I apologize, by legitimate I was speaking of other licensed service businesses that I know of. There are some "side job" operations that I don't know much about.
<Surely... and I do want to remark that I applaud your apparently open attitude. Being nimble of mind (and foot) is a hallmark of a successful individual, business person and even species>
We do a decent job at maintaining a clean shop with our holding systems and all livestock from fish to snails are quarantined prior to addition to the clients tanks. There are some clients that just can't wait and will add things that they see in stores. I like the idea of the bleach as I am sure that it will be far more effective than the hot water alone. I feel that the service route is the area where there is a lot of room for improvement.
I just want to make sure that I use the most effective method that is safe for the livestock and that wont add a large amount of time to the service visit.
Thanks You,
Michael P. Gillespie
<Ahh, and I would be remiss to not mention the need for at least another "bucket in series" for rinsing nets and specimen containers after sterilization/dipping. BobF>
Re: Service Gear Sterilization. -- 02/02/10

Thank you again for all your help and time with my questions. I am looking forward to Aprils conference! Take care and be well.
Michael P. Gillespie
<Thank you my friend. B>
Aquatic Creations LLC
379 Amherst St. PMB 131.
Nashua, NH 03063

NNN Lease  8/18/09
Mr. Fenner,
Thanks very much for the data section on the sba website!
So far things are looking good at signing a pretty nice contract to open a 1200 sqft store. I will be bringing along the local Petco's fish dept manager to share the work with.
<Ahh! Am hopeful you two have very confluent value systems, goals>
He has maintained the highest salt water sales in all eastern seaboard Petcos for a few years now. Im really very excited to see what he can do with 3000+ gallons of salt water. :)
<Me too!>
I would really prefer not to sign a NNN lease...Are there any allowable parts of my contract that are OK to lack in promise when I have a much better lease? Any suggestions on how to go about not having to pay for Utilities?
<VERY important to get as much "help" as reasonable in negotiating your lease... I cannot emphasize enough how critically important this is at this juncture... DO chat with other tenants at the strip mall, setting... even properties nearby... Re what they pay, what the history of the triple net has been... DO have someone familiar with leases, leasing assist you here... MUCH that is proposed initially, in "boiler plate" agreements IS negotiable. Is the landlord or their agent offering incentives, such as monies for TI's (Tenant Improvements)? Any allowance/free initial rent for your signing? What is covered in the NNN? When's the last time major improvements such as sealing, striping the parking was done? What sort of reserve funds does the property cover? Demand to see records of all.
Believe me, "it's your money" and will be for years into the future. Know where it's going, and limit your costs, exposure>
I will be using all Reeflo dart gold pumps, Aquactinic fixtures on reef tanks rather than halides, EcoTech MP pumps to add flow where needed(or just Koralias), I've already got a 4k Deltec to use on the main reef system...but in theory, with all of the energy efficient and low heat products along with central air, I may not have to worry too much about having to chill the systems.
<Good. Better to "condition" the air space by far>
I've already got some great account set up for the equipment side of things.
For livestock I really only know of FishHeads and pacific island imports.
I plan on doing more frequent smaller orders rather than fewer larger ones.
Do you know of any other livestock dealers that tend to prefer the smaller orders? And the occasional very large orders?
<Much to state here... could you give me some ideas, quality, quantity and organism group-wise of what you think you will use? You have surveyed your closer competitors I take it... Do you live near by one of the major import cities? You list LA sources... if distal sourcing will be your general practice, DO come out, visit the major wholesalers, to establish contacts, ideas of who you will be dealing with. I make occasional forays up north (live most of the year in San Diego)... and can/will help to introduce you if you'd like>
Thanks again,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: NNN Lease  8/18/09
Mr. Fenner,
The landlord wanted $18 a sqft plus $4.5 in CAM plus NNN!
Hahaha pretty comical imo. That's about 325k a year before operational costs! Next!
<Ah yes>
So I've located a few other potential storefronts perhaps not in the most ideal of locations. But id be looking at more like 30k a year vs close to that a month. A few of these listings do not charge CAM, just rent and utilities..not too shabby.
My buddy from Petco was my mentor when I first got into the hobby, so I share his personal goals/values vs the other way around. We are pretty pumped to go forward with this.
<Very good>
"Much to state here... could you give me some ideas, quality, quantity and organism group-wise of what you think you will use? You have surveyed your closer competitors I take it... Do you live near by one of the major import cities? You list LA sources... if distal sourcing will be your general practice, DO come out, visit the major wholesalers, to establish contacts, ideas of who you will be dealing with. I make occasional forays up north (live most of the year in San Diego)... and can/will help to introduce you if you'd like"
<I will be in San Diego from Sept 2-7, so if you have the time, id love to take you for coffee?
<Ahh, am down in Bonaire currently and w/o my "calendar" (analog... sigh)... but I think I'll be in SD during this time>
I live in Manchester, NH. About an hour north of Boston. I had a nice chat with Frank from FishHeadsInc.
<They are fine people in my estimation. Competent and honest>
Which I'm sure I will be quite pleased with, but I know that I will need at least half a dozen good CONSISTANT livestock sources. We will be dealing solely with marine aquatics. As far as WHAT, everything we can responsibly get out hands on. Is pacific aqua farms any good? >
<IMO, yes... not for everything... but their "corals" are excellent>
So I'm in the midst of putting together a killer business plan. I downloaded a mock plan from businessplans.com for an aquarium store. It isn't quite on par with descriptions/numbers etc, but it at the very least a great mold to what I need to create. But I'm still having a great deal of difficulty projecting my monthly/yearly expenses on top of being able to project gross profits. I have still been unsuccessful in digging up any useful balance sheets. Thoughts?
<... Best for you to find out, generate the hard and variable costs yourself. Being given such figures you will not "learn" (take in) their importance, lessons. B>
Thanks again!

Aquarium Storefront Business Plan   8/14/09
Mr. Fenner,
I plan to open up a storefront I the coming months. Thus far I have an investor more or less convinced that I am the right man for the job. But I have a meeting with him in the next few days. I have a lot of important useful information to bring along to the meeting such as Income statement and balance sheets for a local store that did quite well but eventually had to shut down due to management issues.
I was wondering if you knew of where I could get some more information regarding first year results in particular of other aquarium stores throughout the country.
<The SBA is your best source here period. They used to have data/document specific info. per industry... Including retail petfish!>
<... Who else will be working this store with you? Have you read through our Business SubWeb:
Tally ho! BobF>

Question you may be able to help with. Possible new LFS Yes I and a friend are interested in starting a pet store.  Our Main focus of the store will be our Fish department.  We are also going to be focused on "new to pet owners". <Better by far to widen your commercial focus... have something for intermediate, advanced folks/approaches>   We have an excellent layout for a store completed and scaled and built a model.  We are having difficulty coming up with a realistic startup cost to start pitching our idea to a bank for funding. <Some general rules of thumb, guesstimates can be found sprinkled amongst articles and FAQs on the WWM Aquatics Business subweb... I would count on whatever operational costs you have not being able to cover them from anything other than savings/borrowings for a good two years... Utilities, rents, your wages...>   We have talked to numerous people in the business who stated that the idea was very well thought out, and they also said that it was a very franchisable idea and plan. <Wait on the franchising... this is an entirely different biz, animal than owning/operating (even designing, packaging) a retail concept>   Unfortunately none of the owners where willing to help us as i guess they felt threatened by competition.  We don' t feel that we can successfully pitch the idea to a bank with out solid proof as to startup cost.  Any information that you could give would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time. <You do need spreadsheets detailing monthly ongoing fixed and variable costs... along with projections (including seasonality) of product, livestock categories. Do you have Excel or Lotus experience? What data/categories do you already have listed? Make a two year (24 page) spread sheet with what you have on it... and send it along... We'll go "back and forth" a few times I believe you will grasp what is involved. Bob Fenner> Dennis E Roach Jr.. 

ECO follow-up Hello once again Bob, Well we got an "intro" letter together but wanted to holdup a little bit before sending out to some big dogs. We're in the process of adding FLASH to our website to demonstrate the dynamics of molecular structures of water and what exactly our product is able to achieve. It's going to be quite interesting. It should be completed by the end of this week, so I just wanted to let you know, why we haven't forward an intro letter. <Okay> Also, when dealing with say, Dr Foster, Premium Aquatics, Aqua Direct, as distributors: what is a good estimate % discounted price to these outlets. We're in the final stage of presenting our Business Plan and wanted to have an ideal before plotting the core marketing strategy. We're still indecisive with that avenue, but wanted to have a ballpark figure to juggle in our planning. <Understood... typically there is a 40% or so net margin between distributors and wholesalers in our trade, with some keystoning (doubling) margin left for independent retailers... but with more expensive items like your units the markups at retail may be somewhat half of this> We've established a very good rapport with Sam Gamble and things are getting interesting as well with Bob Goemans. <Ah, good> Anyway, once again thanks for any info you can provide. I'm sure we will be linking to WWM as a sponsor as soon as we begin our advertising campaign. <I look forward to your success. Bob Fenner> As always a pleasure, Carl Denzer

Re: ECO follow-up (mark-up structure structure in the pet fish trade) Bob, Just to make sure I understood the % discount.... So on items like ours priced at $65 to $85.... the average would be 20% to 25% discounted to dist/retailers. I didn't realize that our product would be consider in the higher bracket of cost items. <Mmm, yes... as a rough rule, most anything a dollar or two is double-tripled to retail cost... a few dollars to a few tens of dollars, doubled. several tens of dollars, to hundreds, much less scaled mark-up... Look in the stores... what percentage products sell for about your mark? Not one percent...> Thanks much for the info. Its nice to have your insights to prepare us for future dealings. <These are mainly just historical perspectives... I was the person (consultant, buyer) at the mass-merchandiser Petco, who made the original "set" and put together the selection for their entrance into the livestock parts of the trade (1991-1994)... we were very aware of others costs, mark-up structures. Things may have changed by now... For instance, you two will have to cross the Rubicon of what to do with etailers... how is it you will compel them to not "give away" (and ruin to a large extent) your other markets? Should you care? Bob Fenner> Have a wonderful day, Carl

How many of us are there? Hi WWM Crew, <Cheers, mate> Has anyone ever figured out how many home aquarists there are in the U.S. and the break down between fresh and salt water aquarists? <Yowsa... heck ya! Big business... it is known and revaluated all the time. Multimillion dollar industry> Working on a biz plan and this info would be good to know.... <do look up, subscribe perhaps to PIJAC (Pet Joint Advisory Council). They have some free information, more for members (industry participants as you soon will be) exactly for writing business plans!!! Demographics, market shares, percentages, etc.> As always, you guys are the greatest and thanks for all of the help. <also look to subscribe to trade journals (not cheap) like Pet Age, Pet Business and Pet Supplies Marketing... articles, and data of great value... also industry contacts and indices (wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, etc)> Wes <very pleased to hear you are writing a business plan! Anthony Calfo>

Pet shops Bob, I hope my memory isn't failing me and you are the one who has written a series of article for FAMA related to starting a pet shop. <I am one of them, yes> I have a related question for you (if you are the one to be asking). There is a LFS who has a decent store. They seem to have a good business and deal with everything i.e. reptiles, fresh, salt, dogs, cats, rodents, birds, etc. Basically, they have it all. <Admirable. A difficult proposition> I was talking to one of the employees the other day and he said he thought the store grossed about $800K. I've always thought about opening a store (I know, there's a screw loose somewhere). When I was in there today, I jokingly asked the owner if he wanted to sell and he said he would for $1.6M which is what he says he grosses. Both of these figures seem impressive but really don't have a bearing on my questions which has a lot of variable. But basically I was wondering: If buying an established store, how does the gross receipts typically relate to the asking price? <In highly variable ways... There are stores that are profitable that have sold for little more than their stock/inventory and depreciated fixture prices... Others folks ask a fortune for, like in your example> I know that there is no hard answer but my first impressions was that if he is grossing an amount, whether it is $800K or $1.6M, then expecting to get that for it is unrealistic. I know the price all depends on the demand but what is your feeling on what a person could expect to get as a percentage of gross (or net) receipts? Thanks for your time. Kirk Pfeffer <Mmm, the gross and often net are typically employed in some fashion in estimating a sale price for a going business. In the service side of our industry some 3,4 to six times a months "take" is about right for buying actual accounts, routes. For retail stores, I would pay no more than a few months worth of sales...> Kirk R. Pfeffer <Please read over the Business part of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for much more, particularly my re-use of Musashi's "Five Elements of Successful Retail" series. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

hope Hawaii was great (sources of educational seed money) Hello Bob, I hope you had time to rejuvenate your spirit in Hawaii. I think the best time I ever had was while on vacation on Maui. <Great places to become oneself> In the process of putting together my business plan, and thanks for the info from your web site, I was wondering if you know of any grants available to help support public education and coral propagation. <There are a few... Sea Grant takes forever but has a lot of the publics money... NGO's like the Ford and Packard Foundation have sponsored quite a bit of pro-reef work/ers the last few years (the MAC for instance)... Really, you've got to collect catch-words, phrases, put together your organization, goals... and write, make presentations, write, call... write... and write, oh and wait, be patient. Best to go the "self finance" route... if you can (this has been my means)> Also, you mentioned your fish list. Is it setup in a way that lists good fish for a reef tank, or does it just list the fish by species and then you indicate whether or not it is good for a reef tank or not? <Hmm don't know which list you're referring to... the AMDA has one... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Bruce Azzarito hope to be doing business as: Captive Reef Systems

Request for help in making a new LFS I have a quick question, can you lead me in the right direction? I was seeking a small business loan to open up a small decent size tropical fish retail store fresh and marine. strictly fish! that's it. aquariums and deco, filters, sumps, etc... you get the picture right? lol:) if you know of any websites that I can surf for a small business loan would be highly appreciated! thanx again rob!:) <Please take a long look at the Business Index of articles posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com for this and other valuable insights into what the pet-fish trade is about, "Finance", "Location"... Have you worked for others in the field? You should first... Much more that we'll be talking about, I'm sure. Bob Fenner>

Average Profit Bob, What is the average gross profit (expressed as %) of Marine Fish? Of course not counting fish loss or any other factors only that I would be able to buy at reasonable prices and sell in a market with out tons of local pressure. <At retail, most shops employ a "sliding scale" of initial mark-up... For very inexpensive livestock items (like Damsels), 3-400%, which at a few dollars doesn't cover bagging, ringing, maintenance... but is the market. For "medium-priced items" (ten to a few tens of dollars) many folks double/keystone their initial costs... Where expensive live product is involved, often 50% is all that can be charged... Let's say, a large marine Angel costs you two hundred dollars, you may only be able to charge three hundred retail for it... As you can/will see/understand, the vast majority of profits in the trade are made through drygoods sales... with the livestock being a draw (to the public and hopefully a "tie" in cost/return on equity/sales), with many smart independents tying service work in with their outlet sales... or subbing this out in turn> What would you guesstimate as a reasonable goal to set for % of fish brought in that are losses in the store before going out the door? <Hmm, reasonable? In the way of relative % of pieces, ten or twenty... Look over the Loss/Replacement book/system piece I've stored recently on the WWM site for more specifics on developing/implementing your own protocol here... very important to secure good suppliers and deal/make them deal with you, fairly, reasonably and consistently...> Thanks, Sean Warren <Good questions my young friend. You're thinking. Bob Fenner>


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