October 18, 2016

Chico's Won/Lost Record: 2007 - 2015

Remember Chico's data from yesterday? I asked you to assign NFL number of wins/losses to each "season" from 2007 - 2015. How did you do?


In 2007, net sales grew by 4.5%, and pre-tax profit was 5.2%.

In 2008, net sales were -7.7%, and pre-tax profit was -1.2%.

In 2009, net sales were +8.3%, and pre-tax profit was +4.1%.

In 2010, net sales were +11.2%, and pre-tax profit was +6.1%.

In 2011, net sales were +15.3%, and pre-tax profit was +6.4%. 

In 2012, net sales were +17.5%, and pre-tax profit was +7.0%.

In 2013, net sales were +0.2%, and pre-tax profit was +2.5%.

In 2014, net sales were +3.4%, and pre-tax profit was +2.4%.

In 2015, net sales were -1.2%, and pre-tax profit was +0.1%.

Ok, here's where we get a bit geeky - you can check out and go read about eight tips for a successful engagement strategy or some other nonsense if you don't want to spend 18 seconds hearing about the geeky equation.
  • Step 1 = Measure the Net Sales Gain.
  • Step 2 = Measure Pre-Tax Profit Percentage.
  • Step 3 = Calculate Logit = -0.877 + 3.829*(Net Sales Gain) + 10.944*(Pre-Tax Profit Rate).
  • Step 4 = Calculate Winning Percentage = EXP(logit) / (1 + EXP(logit)).
  • Step 5 = Calculate Wins = 16 * Winning Percentage.
  • Step 6 = Calculate Losses = 16 - Wins.
Are you ready for the results? Yes? Good!
  • 2007 Record = 7-9.
  • 2008 Record = 3-13.
  • 2009 Record = 8-8.
  • 2010 Record = 9-7.
  • 2011 Record = 10-6.
  • 2012 Record = 10-6.
  • 2013 Record = 6-10.
  • 2014 Record = 6-10.
  • 2015 Record = 5-11.
Using this framework ...
  • A Championship Caliber Year = 12-4 or better.
  • A Playoff Caliber Year = 10-6 or better.
  • CEO Could Get Fired Year = 6-10 or worse.
You can see The Great Recession in 2008 - it's easy to see, isn't it?

Then the business embarked on a "rebuilding project" - no different than an NFL team. A new CEO was hired in 2009, coming off of a 3-13 "season". The new CEO rebuilt the company ... from 3-13 to 8-8 to 9-7 to a pair of 10-6 seasons in 2011/2012.

And then the wheels came off. In 2015, Chico's announced that a new CEO would be hired, and by late 2015, a new CEO was hired ... as the business finished up a 5-11 "season".

How did the CEO perform (2009 - 2015 ... 7 years).
  • 3 winning seasons in 7 years.
  • 2 playoff appearances.
  • 0 championship level seasons.
  • Overall record = 54-58.
  • Hired after a 3-13 year.
  • Employment term ended during a 5-11 year.
The methodology "works" for an apparel-centric retailer, don't you think? Did we not adequately reflect success at Chico's?

Tell me what is easier to understand?
  • Net Sales Gain = +3.4% and Pre-Tax Profit Rate = +2.4%.
  • A NFL Won/Lost Record = 6-10 (6 wins, 10 losses).
Now, this equation isn't going to work for discount retailers ... but it will work great for most catalog brands, e-commerce brands, and most retail brands.

And if the equation translates geeky numbers into easy-to-understand wins and losses, then the equation should help us understand if a "brand" is truly succeeding or not, right?


P.S. Hillstrom's Rebuild is available on Amazon - click here to purchase.