The WDR and the NEW Changes for 2020

The WDR and the NEW Changes for 2020

by Tim Quebedeaux

A few years ago, when I was introduced to the Weekly Department Review as a Garden Center General. Manager, I was in awe.  There was so much data that I could use to analyze and improve how we were operating the Centers that I managed. 

Fast forward to today, it is The Group’s goal each year to make a few tweaks or changes to the report to improve its value and relevance. Steve and I take suggestions throughout the year, save them, then in December we analyze which ones would improve the report you receive.  Now that we are a few weeks into the year, I wanted to take a moment to explain how the Weekly Department Review can help your Garden Center as well as the NEW changes to the 2020 report.

There are two very distinct ways to compare your Garden Center to others in the report, Sales and Regional Groups.  In the Sales group pages, there are the 9 sales groups, the New to the WDR group, and the Seasonal group.  The 9 sales groups are arranged by previous year’s reported revenues, lowest to highest.  All seasonal centers are sectioned off in their own group as well as the new centers to the WDR.  As new Garden Centers to the WDR show a proven track record of reporting (66% or greater for the weeks they are open) then the following year they are added to a Sales group and a Regional Group.  The Garden Centers in the Sales group are then grouped into Regions based on similar climate zones, again by Revenue level lowest to highest. 

As the make-up of the reporting group of Garden Centers changes, the Sales and Regional Groups are realigned each year to give you the best comparisons. 

NEW this year is the New York/Ontario region has been merged into the Northeast/Nova Scotia region.  The Current Regions are:  MidAtlantic, Midwest, Mountains West, Northeast/Nova Scotia, Northwest/British Columbia, Ohio, South, and Southeast.

In the Sales and Regional group tabs, you can compare Category Sales and Margins, Average Sale, and Transaction Count measurements as well as many other ratios and values. The sales groups display actual dollars for each category to compare while the Regions have a percent to total sales for each category.  

NEW this year in the Regional groups is a new calculation for the Regional Group average per category.  In the past we have used the average of the percentages.  Beginning this year we will calculate the average by sales dollars, not percent.  A subtle change, but this will give you a more accurate measurement of what is selling by category based on the dollars sold within that region. Thanks to Dennis Fix at Farwest Landscape and Garden for this suggestion.

At the bottom of the sales groups are also areas for describing weather conditions and sales/events that occurred at your garden center.

NEW this year to this section of reporting is that we are asking for the ONE weather icon that affected your sales the most during this week of sales.  In the sales/events cell, we are now asking for the reason(s) sales were up or down for the week – in ten words or less.  It could be anything from a sales event that pushed Revenues to weather events (this year or last) like hurricanes or ice storms.

After the Sales Regional group tabs, are the charts and graphs.  Their purpose is to give you a quick visual on the reported numbers.  The charts are: Weeks Sales to LY, YTD Sales to LY, Avg Sale, Avg Items per Trans, Avg Sale YTD, and Trans Count YTD to LY. 

NEW this year is the Week's Sales to LY and the YTD Sales to LY will now be shown as a Map.  This will give a quick picture (literally) of how each region of the country performed compared to last year, weekly and year to date.  Thank you, Sid for sending Steve and I this suggestion via email last May – We do keep these and review them every year.

The next tab on the report is the Regional Summary.  This page is a Summary of all the Regions side-by-side, as with the individual Regional groups, the values are a percentage of sales for each category, then it has all the same information summed up at the bottom of the report.  This is the big picture page!

Then, there is the Copy & Paste tab.  This is a worksheet page in which you pick and choose which Garden Centers you want to compare by copy and pasting their numbers into the sheet.  Side-by-side makes it much easier to compare than flipping from tab to tab.  There are numerous Garden Centers that use this tab every week to customize their comparisons.

The most important part of the WDR?! The email links. Data and numbers are all good, but if you are not able to understand and then act upon them, what is the point? Within the WDR are email links to all the reporting centers, so when you see something that makes you go – WOW!, or WHAT!!, or even HOW? – you can click on the garden center name and an email comes up ready for you to ask your questions. This is the great part about the WDR and the Group – connecting with other Garden Centers.

The WDR is an evolving product that is here to help you connect and compare what you are doing and how your Center is performing with other Garden Centers across the country. If you see anything that would improve the Weekly Department Review, please do not hesitate to send the suggestion to us. Our efforts to continually improve what we do together is part of our overall Raising the Bar in 2020 Program!

And as always, thank YOU for reporting your numbers.

Got questions or need more information about The Group's the Weekly Department Review (WDR) or Annual P&L Study? Give Tim or Steve a call or email.

Tim Quebedeaux
Cell: 770.355.6249

Steve Bailey
Cell: 618.521.5225


Tim Quebedeaux and Steve Bailey with RetailKPI Consulting are service providers for The Garden Center Group and manages all Group financial sharing programs. The Weekly Department Review (WDR) and The Annual P&L Study are industry exclusives developed by The Garden Center Group and are included in your retainer!

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Steve Bailey, Robert Hendrickson, Sid Raisch, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer! So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of all that The Group has to offer and give them a call or send an email now!

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