We are in it now! We are post Labor Day season. Hopefully, post “on hold” list from the summer buying season. Post “the whole family is on vacation” mode and post dog days of summer. We are 43 now. What does that mean? Well, it can mean many things.

  • Quarenta Y Tres, that liquor that you needed to carry but never really sold back in the day
  • It can be my age when I started to feel my age
  • It can be President GWB our nations 43rd President
  • It can be our client roster encompassing nearly 150 SKU’s

BUT….. in this case it means 43%.

43% of the yearly sales will be done in the next 110 days, the remaining days in 2017. You have worked hard all year, nights, weekends and holidays and it all boils down to the next 110 days. Suppliers count on this time of year to make the EOY numbers. Retailers NEED this time of year to go “black” from a PL perspective. Distributors need this time of year and will offer deals and incentives to make sure that the brands they represent sell through EOY. As we have discussed before, if the distributor does not sell key items in this critical period, many suppliers will ding them financially so they are hyper focused on selling key accounts and key items.

One little tangent, think about the words KEY items and KEY accounts. That automatically denotes that some retailers and some brands are more important than others, even though we all pay the roughly 30% in commission. That will be a story for another article.

Back at it. 43% of our industry sales will happen in the next 110 days and I am challenging my readers and my clients to share what they are doing to best prepare for EOY. I remember in Chicago, when I was a retailer, we knew the critical nature of the 43%. We feared the weather report as one major killer of our holiday season. My father taught us to watch the weather for clues of the next day’s business. When it snowed we needed to get trucks out early, when it was cold we needed to load the night before. Retail traffic was higher with better forecasts. Anything and every thing could affect the 43%.

My readership is made up of suppliers and retailers with many distributor lurkers. There are only two layers that really are impacted by the 43. Retailers and Suppliers. So with that in mind, what are you all doing about the fact that the year has a hard stop in 110 days. Are you positioned for success? Are you selling as much as you can to everyone you can? Are your stores and restaurants set for optimal cart pull through?

This is the time people! 43 is not the President, the liquor, our roster or my age. It is your lifeline to a profitable 2017 and that is a guarantee.

Brian RosenThree Tier Talk
by Brian Rosen,

Brian Rosen is Former CEO of America’s #1 Retailer, Sam’s Wines in Chicago, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Retail and sought after retailer consultant.

He can be reached at @rosenretail or

More information and articles by Brian Rosen



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