The are many retail reports that can be extracted and generated from the vast amount of data that a retail business produces on a daily basis. But more data and analytics is not always beneficial for business owners and managers.
In this article we are going to list 9 retail reports that show the big picture of the business, covering sales, inventory and financials. Of course, managers can always dig deeper by generating other reports, but these are the essential ones that should be tracked on a regular basis.
1. Sales Performance Report
The sales performance report shows two main things:
- Performance against budget
- Performance against last year ( LFL growth/de-growth)
It is usually generated on a daily basis, and shows performance on week to date (WTD), month to date (MTD) and year to date (YTD) basis, segregated by store (location).
This report will give you a snapshot on how the business is performing against targets and also will show which stores are over-performing and which ones are lagging behind.
2. Sales KPIs Report
The most important sales KPIs to track are:
The sales KPIs will show why the business is performing or not performing, and will help you take corrective actions, based on which KPI is below target.
Follow the links above to each KPI for more details on how to calculate and also ideas on how to improve each one.
3. Sales Mix
The sales mix or sales contribution report shows how much each category is contributing to the total sales.
This is useful in analyzing and finding opportunities, and also is one of the main retail reports used as a reference for visual display on the floor and the creation of an optimal store layout and planogram.
4. Stock on Hand Report
The stock on hand or SOH report will show all the products and SKUs the business is carrying, and at which location they are available.
This report will give a snapshot of the current inventory level, the forward stock cover this level provides based on expected sales, and it can be used to see if items are allocated correctly to stores, by filtering specific SKUs and seeing how many are at the warehouse and each store location.
5. Sell Thru Report
The sell through report will help you determine whether or not you need to launch a markdown to push slow sellers and during the markdown event, it will show how this markdown is performing in getting items cleared quickly.
6. Stock Aging Report
The inventory aging report divides the current inventory holding into buckets, based on their “age”. For example: 0 to 3 months old; 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months,… and so on.
This report shows the level of freshness of inventory and how much inventory needs to be cleared and replaced with new purchases. You should always aim to have a high level of inventory in the fresh brackets, and low levels in the aged ones.
7. P&L or Income Statement
The P&L is a one of the most important retail reports and is generated on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. It gives a snapshot on the financial business performance for that particular period.
We explain in details how to read and manage P&L in our free P&L management guide
Although the income statement is very important in showing performance, it does not show the overall business health and the performance out of the given reported period. That’s why, for a full picture it should be combined with the other two financial reports: The balance sheet and cash flow statement.
8. The Balance Sheet
The balance sheet shows the assets and liabilities of the business, and gives a more of a long term view of how the business has been doing over the years.
For example, a P&L report for this financial year can show good profit. However, when you look at the balance sheet, you find out that the business has been accumulating a lot of losses over the past years.
So in this case, before you make an assumption that this is a healthy, profitable business, you might need to examine if the profit generated this year is sustainable and repeatable in the coming years.
We explain it in details and provide a free template to download in our article on The Balance Sheet
9. Cash Flow Statement
The cash flow statement will show the incoming and outgoing movement of cash for a given period. The more the business is efficient in managing its inventory, and generating healthy margins, the better its cash flow position is going to be.
Managing cash flow is very crucial in retail and failing to manage it is one of the common reasons businesses fail (together with inventory management).
It is important to, both, plan the cash flow process in advance, and monitor it month in & month out. This way, you can stay on top of your business, and be sure to pay all the bills on time.
Read our article on cash flow management for retail & ecommerce businesses, and find out ways to optimize your cash flow.
Access our members area, and learn how to create a full financial plan for your business. Download our ready-to-use templates, and practice on simulated data that we provide.
Retailer & Founder of Retail Dogma, Inc.
Rasha has 14 years of retail & ecommerce experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2008, and later worked at H&M, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and Landmark Group. She’s lived in 4 different countries, speaks 3 different languages and holds an MBA in Strategic Management & Marketing.