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For gift and hobby store owners, slow-moving inventory is the enemy of profit. You need to know which items are moving, and which are dragging down sales so you can make better buying decisions and, ultimately, increase profit margins.

Microsoft Retail Management System is designed to help you, the gift and hobby shop retailer, improve business processes which may lead to greater profitability. Briefly, you can:

* Maintain tight control over inventory and expenditures. Set up specialized item matrices for easy look up
* Make strategic decisions based on accurate sales trends and reports

* Create custom sales and inventory reports on what’s selling

* Customize your easy-to-use, point- of sale (POS) displays, keep pace with changing customer demands and provide personalized service to build customer loyalty.

Click here for the Gift/Hobby Shop Retailer Specific Interactive Demo – Get Flash Player

Here’s a checklist of seven, key benefits for gift and hobby store retailers from Microsoft Retail Management System.

1. Improve profitability with efficient inventory tracking

With Microsoft Retail Management System, gift and hobby shop owners can manage their entire inventory-apparel, jewelry, art, magnets, key chains, books, collectibles, toys and more with accuracy. You’ll be equipped to make better buying decisions, too.

* Easily track and manage hard goods, soft goods, and convenience items.
* Support buying, pricing, selling, promotion, and analysis by style.
* Simplify inventory tracking with serialized items and multiple serial numbers.
* Support multiple suppliers for each item.
* Easily produce assembly kits.
* Track inventory with specifics such as weighed, measured, and by bin.
* Manage unlimited inventory items and transactions.
* Put items on backorder for future deliveries from the POS.
* Replenish inventory based on reorder point/restock level or quantity sold.
* Create purchase orders that reflect the matrices you set up.

2. Enhance your customers’ shopping experience

* Capture, show, or hide customer contacts and demographics on the POS screen.
* Instantly access a complete history of purchases, payments, and account information at the POS. * * *Suggestrelevant up-sells, sale items, and volume discounts. Increase repeat business by keeping track of customer birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates.
* Accommodate partial payments and account payments. Grant automatic discounts and differential pricing to special customers.
* Target your mailings directly to customers’ special interests.
* Accept multiple tenders, credit cards, coupons, gift vouchers, and foreign currencies. Reprint electronic receipts to resolve disputes, speed rebates, and verify purchase dates and amounts. Serve others while keeping a stalled transaction “on hold”, and sell even when your network is down.
* Easily track work orders, backorders, layaways, and quotes.

3. Get better control over employee productivity

Jump-start productivity with a solution that’s easy to learn and use, yet lets you maintain tight control over information and inventory to protect data and reduce theft.

* Install and set up Microsoft Retail Management easily, and teach employees basic POS functions in minutes.
* Protect your system with security-enhanced user logons. Lock out or empower any employee’s access to sensitive data.
* Reduce shrinkage when you automate inventory management.
* View and print daily sales reports and journals at the POS terminal.
* Know which associates sell best. Predict what days and hours to staff up or cut back. Keep track of employees and volunteer profiles, too.

4. Use customizable management tools

Manage your store with ease and control. You can set pricing levels and promotions. You can effectively negotiate efficient, cost-effective ordering with suppliers with customizable Microsoft Retail Management System. Also, you can:

* Configure POS screens to display exactly the information your clerks need.
* Easily set up pricing and sales for various items.
* Customize receipts and price labels with logos and promotional messages. Use flexible pricing for markups and discounts. Set up new sales and promotions-fast.
* Streamline buying because now you’ll know with accuracy your ordering levels, best-priced suppliers, and automatic POs.
* Make the solution’s wizards do your work. It takes just minutes to input new items, manage inventory, and perform everyday chores.
* Set security levels for individual sales clerks and cashiers. Data fields can be hidden, view-only, or changeable.

5. Make better buying decisions

Microsoft Retail Management System has more than 100 reports with extensive formatting options so you get the information to make better business decisions for your gift or hobby store.

With accurate and timely information at your fingertips about sales, profitability, inventory, and customers, you’ll know exactly what sold best in every department, category, and season. You’ll be able to decide what to buy or mark down; and track return on investment (ROI) for marketing initiatives.

* Generate sales and inventory reports to help you decide what to buy or mark down.
* Track return on investment (ROI) from ads, mailings, promotions, sales, and discounts.
* Preview, print, or export data in multiple formats.
* Filter, hide, sort, and group data as you like it.
* Add logos and graphics for formal reports.

6. Get benefits of centralized information

Want to send financials to your accounting program? Or sell through an e-commerce storefront? Microsoft Retail Management System can help you achieve this.

Built on the latest Microsoft technologies, this integrated solution keeps information moving smoothly across your entire business and connects easily with other applications, platforms, and peripherals, such as Microsoft Office. The solution:

* Works with the Microsoft Office System, making it easy to create and deliver communications that connect you with your best customers.
* Can be integrated with legacy systems, accounting or financial software, Electronic Draft Capture (EDC), credit card services, and e-commerce storefronts-with the help of a Microsoft partner and third-party solutions. It also can be integrated with all your business channels-in-store, catalog, phone and e-commerce-to provide a superior customer experience. You can ship and track orders online.
* Manages accounts receivable and it trades summary POS data with popular accounting software to eliminate double entry.
* Uses EDC to integrate with leading credit card services to reduce fraud and keyboard errors.
* Smoothly integrates Web sales from multiple sites with the help of a Microsoft partner and a third-party application.
* Uses the POS as a data collector for back-end Electronic Retail Planning (ERP)/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications. You can also work with a Microsoft partner to set up your system to enable PDA and mobile/wireless stations.

7. Grows with your business

Ready to open a new store? You can help protect your investment and keep the same software and systems as your business grows into multiple stores and retail channels with Microsoft Retail Management System. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

* You can add new lanes or stores to your system with minimal disruptions to retail service.
* A common point-of-sale platform that spans single or multi-store locations is offered through Microsoft Retail Management System.
* Add customers and products to your system, and flexible Microsoft SQL Server technologies let you store and manage virtually unlimited amounts of information.
* Invest in your business, not in IT support. Microsoft Retail Management System does not require an expensive IT staff to set up and maintain, and it adapts to meet specific retail needs. As your business changes and grows, your Microsoft Certified Business Solutions Partner can provide support and assistance with customizing, integrating, and scaling your solution.
* Count on Microsoft. Start a long-lasting relationship backed by one of the world’s leading technology providers. Microsoft Business Solutions is a family of connected applications and services for small and mid-sized businesses, with years of experience delivering business applications and services known worldwide for top quality.

Want an affordable software/hardware solution bundle for gift and hobby shop retailers?

An all-in-one software/hardware bundle solution for gift and hobby retailers
To smooth your transition to a computerized solution, Microsoft Retail Management System is now offering an affordable solution: Retail bundles, which are all-in-one software/hardware solutions tailored to gift and hobby shop owner.

Besides Microsoft Retail Management System, version 1.3, you’ll get a hardware package that includes:

* High-end scanner. Gift shops that do much volume often have long lines at the check-out counter. We’ve included an easy-to-use, high-end scanner to help speed up those busy lines, which retailers will love, especially during peak holiday seasons.
* Top-flight printer. Are your customers waiting in frustration as your old printer slowly transmits a printed receipt? The deluxe bundle for gift retailers will help you resolve that issue. It comes with a top-speed printer that quickly stamps out receipts and other documents in seconds.

In addition, you’ll get a retail-hardened, point-of-sale computer, LCD touch screen monitor with MSR, keyboard, cash drawer, line display, and required cable/accessories/mouse.

Already have some of the hardware components? Great. Contact Red River POS about how to incorporate Microsoft Retail Management System.

You and your employees can learn POS processes in minutes, not days so there’s no need to worry about making the transition from traditional cash registers.