Retail Performance Assessment

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Retail Performance Assessment

This is to inform my readers that I am going to be shifting the focus of HI-Blog to issues related to Retail Performance in Washington’s State-legal Cannabis market.

While this will shift the emphasis in HI-Blog away from the “labs” and from the failed integration of Medical Cannabis into the state’s regulated system, I expect to continue writing on those topics in other industry publications.

In no particular order, the topics I expect to cover in HI-Blog’s Retail Performance series will include assessments of:

  • wholesale purchase pricing by retail stores (think “Fair Trade”)
  • inventory management by retail stores (think “efficiency”)
  • how well stores are performing, relative to their potential (think “effectiveness”)
  • gross profit margins by retailer stores (think “ka-ching-before-taxes”)
  • retail pricing patterns in retail stores (think “top-shelf vs malt liquor”)
  • how well stores are serving the needs of Patients (whether registered or not)
  • the degree to which stores (and, by extension, consumer access) are being compromised by onerous rules, regulations and local mind-sets (think “empathy for the retailers”).

As I write these articles, I will be reaching out to interested stores that look like they might benefit from a better understanding of how some of these things relate TO THEIR STORE (or stores).

Any stores out there that would like to be included in my outreach efforts should let me know.  Just write me a note requesting inclusion on my retailer contact list by e-mailing

Please let me know what store(s) you are affiliated with and the e-mail (or other method) that is best for contacting you.

I’d like to thank all of those who have shared their insights regarding the real-world aspects of this market that I otherwise see mainly through the data.  Many farmers have been very forthcoming in ways that have helped me better understand the supply side of the market and how to use the data on their behalf more effectively. A number of retailers have also gone out of their way to help me better understand THEIR worlds and how the realities of this market make their businesses much more challenging than many realize.

I believe that retailers, processors and farmers alike will find benefit in much of the information that I will be posting in this series.

This should be fun.


  1. Great pivot, Jim! I am looking forward to this series.

    • Jim MacRae says:

      Thank-you, Jed. I appreciate your “share” on Facebook, as well. This series is going to be more business/commercial-centric. I suspect there will be some social aspects that fall out — some of which may even suggest areas where the legislature and the beloved regulators of this industry may wish to improve some things in how they constrain it.

  2. Lisa Buchanan says:

    I work for Dockside at their Shoreline location. I’m looking forward to the information you will be sharing.

    • Jim MacRae says:

      I remember you, Lisa. Your store is doing a wonderful job with the educational events, by the way. I truly regretted not coming to the recent one done by Jerry … but felt that there were others that would get more immediate benefit and I did not want to take up one of those precious seats.

      As an aside, both Dockside stores are fairly regularly popping (in a good way) on a number of the retail metrics I’ve been looking at. Yours is a store that is part of an organization that I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. Keep up the good work!

  3. Steven McCombs says:

    Jim, I hope your info might disclose how price sensitive consumers are. Are 5 or 10% of the consumers causing the downward drift in retail prices. The retail consumers I know are not going out and shopping by price. They go to a convenient store and purchase. So where is the pressure for lower prices coming from? Looking forward to your articles.

    • Jim MacRae says:

      My thanks, Steven. I’ll keep an eye out for relevant signals, but folks are free to shop at any stores they wish to, so taking things back to specific “types” of consumers can be a bit imprecise.

      However, most consumers ARE creatures of habit, and not every transaction looks the same as every other. There might be some stuff in the market basket choices of consumers that gets to what you mention.

      You got me thinking about how to tie your perfectly good thought into something that can be measured. Not going to be easy, but this might be do-able.


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