The ROI's Promise: Everyone Can "Get It"!

The ROI prides itself on making the basics of retail financial management readily available to any retailer, anywhere, worldwide, 24/7. To take advantage of this self-help resource, All it takes is a little desire…and a web browser!

People don't go into retailing to be financiers. They love the merchandise they sell, and/or they love the people who buy the merchandise. (Think book stores, sporting goods stores, gift shops, etc.) Others love the "theater", the excitement of retailing. Still others want to be their own boss. But few are attracted to the financial part.

That's why The Retail Owners Institute website has been built!

  • Explains why financial tools are necessary, and how they are critical to the success of their business.
  • Educates on the critical financial factors that control retail success: controlling profits, debt, inventory, and especially cash flow.
  • Provides easy-to-use – but sophisticated – financial calculators and tools that enable projecting and "what if…?" financial modeling.
  • Allows practice in using the financial tools until it is second nature.
  • Provides easy 24/7 access to the tools, data, and on-going education.

Put the fun back into retailing! Turn on your financial headlights!

It's easy to take advantage for yourself, at your own pace, on your own schedule. Click here for more info.

Foremost Self-Help Resource, Retail Owner & Store Survival Issues

Takes the mystery out of the basics of retail finance, inventory control, and cash flow planning.

The Retail Owners Institute's information and resources about the business of stores is simply unmatched!
The ROI enables retailers worldwide to "Turn on your financial headlights!"
The Institute is relevant to retail decision-makers with 1 to 100 stores, especially those who are accounting-averse!

Do-It-Yourself Resources: Fast & Powerful for Busy Retailers

How-To Articles by Retail Experts • Lively Videos • Quick Quizzes • Blog • Quick Reference •

Benchmarks, 55 Retail Segments • Members-Only Articles • Retail-Specific Calculators

Retail Finance BasicsInventory, Profits, Cash Strategic IssuesStore Issues Benchmarks

Unique Online, Executive Calculators for Retailers

Built specifically for real-life retailers making real time decisions

These retailer-friendly, easy-to-use "calculators" enable you to do your own retail financial projections. Find out for yourself, in advance, "What would happen if I...?"

These are online tools, "in the cloud", available on-demand, 24/7. Nothing to download or install; all the formulas are built in.

Available only from The ROI

For retailers making real time decisions. Face the future with confidence. Gain peace of mind!


Have questions? Want answers? Take advantage of these lively and informative webinars, now available on-demand!

Each session includes a fast-paced 40-minute explanatory session led by the Co-Founders of The ROI, and then a 20-minute Q&A session with the attendees. Most TOPICAL TUESDAY Webinars demonstrate one of The ROI's online Executive Calculators for Retailers

ROI Members have unlimited free access. For everyone else, access is nearly free - just $9.95 for each session. This allows 3-Day Online Access.  You may view the webinar as many times as you wish during your 3-Day Online Access window. 

The collection is growing every weekClick here for more info on each one.

Step-by-step. How to project and control Profits, Inventory, and Cash Flow!

Use the Retail STRATA:G eLearning Kits (That's "strategy". Every retailer needs one!)
Take the mystery out of retail financial projecting.  Learn the fundamentals of retail financial decision-making. Learn step-by-step how to use the Executive Calculators specifically for busy retailers.

Answer for yourself: "How much profit?"  "How much debt?"  "How much inventory?"  "How much cash?"  Be your own consultant!

click here for more info

The Retail Owners Institute®The Retail Owners Institute® is a web-based resource at  Now the "foremost self-help resource" on retail finance, The ROI® serves independent retailers worldwide, 24/7.  With its emphasis on the basics of retail finance, inventory management and cash flow control, The ROI is particularly relevant to owners and decision-makers of retail operations with up to 100 stores (especially those who may be accounting-averse!)  The ROI has been called "a WebMD for retail owners." 

By Retailers, for Retailers. 24/7

The ROI's how-to training and resources about the business of stores is simply unmatched. It serves retail business decision-makers from around the world, offering practical approaches for better financial management and control of a retail business. 

  • more than 200 webpages of content exclusively for independent retailers, available 24/7, worldwide
  • more than 50 in-depth articles by retail experts, usefully explaining the why's and how's of retail financial management
  • performance benchmarks for 55 separate retail segments/verticals
  • online Executive Calculators for Retailers: PROFITS Forecaster, BUYING PLAN Forecaster, Key Ratios Calculator, GMROI Calculator, 3-in-1 INTEGRATED Cash Flow Calculator, Multi-Department Open-to-Buy Planner

Is Your Organization Dependent on Independent Retailers?

In addition, The ROI offers special programs for organizations and associations that serve independent retailers. These include:

The content featured at The ROI is the proprietary intellectual property of Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC. It is focused exclusively on retail, especially the financial issues that are unique to retailers.

Why do retailers and store owners come to The ROI site?  They don’t want to fail! 

They are seeking solutions for their toughest retail business issues. They want help with inventory control, cash flow, turnover, creditors, and more.  And, they recognize that The ROI is organized efficiently by retailers, for retailers. 

Timeless, How-To, In-Depth Resource
Over 80% of each month’s Unique Visitors to The ROI are New Visitors. This indicates that the users of The ROI are seeking business solutions for immediately-pressing issues.  And, it also suggests that The ROI is attracting a “renewable resource” of fresh retail decision-makers seeking business solutions.

The ROI website presently is attracting 11,000+ unique visitors per month, generating more than 37,000 page views. site users are also in-depth users, spending time and attention at The ROI.  Remarkably, the average visitor is on The ROI site for 4-1/2 minutes!  The ROI's in-depth information about the business of stores is simply unmatched.

In addition, The ROI News, an electronic newsletter, is received by 4,500 opt-in subscribers each month.
Who Uses The ROI Site?

  • 90% are in retail management
  • 51% are single-store operators; 32% have 2-5 stores; 16% have 11+ stores
  • 8% were start-ups; 32% had “this business” 1 to 5 years; 61% had been in business 6+ years
  • 35% had annual sales volume of $500,000 – $2,500,000; 31% have sales of $2.5 million+
  • 91% have computer at their office, and 84% have high speed internet at the office; 53% have a computer at home, and 57% have high speed internet access at home
  • Respondents represented 22 of the 55 retail segments (verticals)

Content and Tools Specifically for Store Owners
The ROI is "By Retailers, For Retailers." 

  • Benchmark numbers for 55 separate retail segments.  See how your store compares on these key financial ratios
  • Fifty-plus how-to financial management articles by retail experts on the key survival issues for retailers (especially profits, cash, and inventory control)
  • Online Executive Calculators customized for retailers. Available nowhere else.  Key Ratios Calculator; GMROI & Turnover Calculator; OTB Calculator (inventory buying "Open-to-Buy" plans); 3-in-1 Integrated Retail Cash Flow Calculator; P&L (Profit & Loss) Planner
  • "eLearning Kits": Online courses + cause-effect calculators
    Interactive, self-paced how-to courses on projecting and controlling profits, inventory buys, and cash flow. Include explanatory step-by-step process, self-quizzes, and an entertaining case study (The I. M. Surviving(?!) Co.)  
  • "Retail Business Insights" from the Co-Founders of The ROI
  • Glossary of Retail Terms
  • The ROI Guides are full-color, 8-page booklets packed with usable information on specific retail issues.  The Crisis Guide provides a self-diagnosis tool for evaluating your store's business condition, and then specific action steps to turn around your business.  The GMROI Guide teaches the #1 measure of inventory productivity, and takes it to a new level as well.  Download, print out, and distribute at your next staff meeting!

The “Segments Pages”
ROI site visitors also are seeking benchmarks and other data specific to their retail vertical. The ROI site features 50+ separate retail segments, from hardware stores to bookstores, clothing stores, gift shops, wine stores, music stores, furniture stores, etc. One of each four visitors to The ROI site spends time in one or more Retail Segments.
In these Segment Pages, The ROI displays five-year trends of performance metrics for independent retailers, focusing on the six key ratios of particular importance for retailers to monitor. 

The Retail Owners Institute® warns that the relentless effect of “Retail Darwinism” – the survival of only the fittest, and the most adaptable – continues to drive more small, independent retailers out of business. They fail despite having appealing stores, merchandise, employees and customers. In fact, over a third of the retailers that file bankruptcy even have profits!

So why are these small retailers failing? Because they run out of cash. They do not have financial planning sophistication. The Retail Owners Institute ( is on a mission to change that. Web-based, it is the foremost self-help resource for retail business issues. The ROI® is empowering smaller retailers with financial sophistication never before available. Most important, The ROI is available virtually; any retailer worldwide has 24/7 access via the internet.

“Small retailers just endure the financial outcomes of their business decisions,” says Dick Outcalt, Co-Founder of The ROI. “Few independent retailers know HOW to change those outcomes; fewer still realize they CAN affect their own financial future. Unlike their big box or national chain competitors, few know the financial implications of their decisions before they make them. No wonder they fail!”

Thanks to its extensive information and effective explanatory style, The ROI enables small retailers anywhere in the world – for the first time ever – to direct their own financial future.

The ROI is unleashing this new “Retail Populism”, empowering the small retailer with financial knowledge and prowess. The relentless sweep of Retail Darwinism will continue. However, small retailers who use The ROI can become included among those fittest that survive.

Store Manager, Office Supplies

I found a lot of interesting and useful information for a person who runs a business.  Lots of additional knowledge you easily can get.

Owner/President, Outdoor Power Equipment Store

This is extremely helpful and worthwhile.

Retail Consultant

The industy data is extremely important and helpful.  (It also saves me time from having to go to a public library to look it up.)  We use it to identify the benchmarks for the companies we work with.

Camera Store Owner

We finally implemented an inventory control system which was necessitated by a downturn in the photo retailing sector.  This has allowed us to decrease our inventory in a controlled manner.

College Student

It's fantastic!

Service Manager, Motorcycle Dealer

It makes you think.

Sales Training Director, Convenience Stores

Concise and to the point; very good for the folks I work with.

Internal Auditor-Inventory, Tractor Manufacturer

This can give much benefit to our organization.

Owner/President, Apparel & Accessories Store

Well done.  Easy to understand.

Patricia M. Johnson, CMC and Richard F. Outcalt, CMC
Co-Founders, The Retail Owners Institute®

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, the Co-Founders of The ROI®, are recognized experts in strategic retailing.  Working only as a team –
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990. They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail, retail property owners or developers, equity partners, and lending institutions.  In addition:

  • Their how-to articles on retail management have been purchased and published more than 1,100 times by trade publications from more than 40 separate retail niches;
  • They have been retained by associations and organizations to present their concepts at conferences and trade shows, reaching more than 10,000 independent retailers;
  • Outcalt & Johnson have been quoted regarding retail issues in Business Week, Time Magazine, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, as well as local and regional publications;
  • And, on four different occasions, Pat & Dick have been invited by The National Retail Federation to speak at its annual international show and conference in New York City.

Pat Johnson is a graduate of Whitman College. Prior to founding her own strategic planning consulting practice, she was an officer of a national bank, director of a college news service, and co-published a national newsletter for practicing design professionals. She has served as a trustee of an independent K-8 school in Seattle.  Pat is a Certified Management Consultant, the highest accreditation in management consulting, and is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants and the National Retail Federation.

Dick Outcalt is a graduate of Duke University, and earned an MBA in retailing from the University of Pittsburgh. He was an executive for a national department store organization, as well as the owner/operator of three independent specialty stores. He was president of both the Foundation for Private Enterprise Education and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants, and also served as a national board member of IMC. He is a Certified Management Consultant, the highest accreditation in management consulting, and is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants and the National Retail Federation.

For Store Owners, Retail Presidents & CEOs, CFOs, Buyers, Managers, Bookkeepers, students of retailing. 

And, everyone who has the desire to grow their retail financial expertise.

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Copyright 1999–2014 by The Retail Owners Institute® and Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC