Happy Feet Dr. Lucy Zang, a noted local podiatrist, plans to open a retail shoe store specializing in hard-to-find footwear for people with feet problems such as bunions, flat feet, mallet toes, di
Dr. Lucy Zang, a noted local podiatrist, plans to open a retail shoe store specializing in hard-to-find footwear for people with feet problems such as bunions, flat feet, mallet toes, diabetic feet, and so forth. Because of the wide variety of foot ailments and shoe sizes needed, Dr. Zang estimates that she would have to stock a large inventory of shoes, perhaps as much as $1.5 million (at her cost). She found a 4,000 square foot store in a popular mall that provides adequate retail space and storage for her inventory. Store improvements including carpeting, lighting, shelving, computer terminals, and so forth, require an additional $0.2 million investment. Initial advertising, hiring expenses, legal fees, and working capital are projected to add another $0.1 million of initial investment. To finance this $1.8 million investment, Dr. Zang and her family will invest $0.4 million and the balance of the $1.4 million will be borrowed from a bank.
The mall charges rent of $40 per square foot per year, payable in equal monthly installments, plus 3 percent of her retail sales. So, to rent the 4,000 foot store, the annual rent is $160,000, or $13,333 per month PLUS 3 percent of her sales. Besides the rent, Dr. Zang estimates other monthly expenses for labor, utilities, and so on to be $38,000. These expenses will not vary with the amount of shoe sales. She plans to markup the shoes 100 percent, so a pair of shoes she buys wholesale for $110 will be sold at retail for $220. Based on her research, she expects monthly retail sales to be $150,000, but in any given month total sales can be $80,000 or $220,000 with equal probability.
Dr. Zang talks to her local banker and lays out her business plan; the banker tells her the bank would make a three-year interest-only loan at 10 percent interest, with the principal of $1.4 million due in three years (or it could be refinanced). The high interest rate of 10 percent was caused by the rather large risk of default due to the substantial fixed costs in the business plan. The banker explains that the monthly rent ($13,333), other expenses ($38,000), and interest ($11,667), or $63,000, require the shoe store to generate a fairly large minimum level of sales to pay these expenses.
a. Calculate the amount of sales the Happy Feet store must do each month to breakeven.
b. After calculating the breakeven point in part (a), Dr. Zang still believes that her Happy Feet store can be commercially successful and provide a valuable service to her patients. She goes back to the mall leasing agent and asks if the mall would take a lower fixed monthly rental amount and a larger percentage fee of her sales. The mall leasing agent (who happens to have sore feet and believes the Happy Feet store will drive new customers to his mall) says the mall would accept a rental fee of $1,000 per month plus 12.5 percent of her monthly sales. While Dr. Zang likes the idea of dropping her monthly rent from $13,333 to $1,000, she feels that raising the percentage of sales from 3 percent to 12.5 percent is a bit steep. But she goes back to the bank and presents the revised rental agreement. The banker says the bank would lower the annual interest rate from 10 percent to 9 percent if Dr. Zang accepts the new lease agreement. Both the original lease and the new lease are for three years, and can be renegotiated at the end of the three years. Should Dr. Zang accept the new lease agreement ($1,000 per month plus 12.5 percent) or the original lease terms ($13,333 per month plus 3 percent)? Support your recommendation with both a written analysis and a quantitative analysis backing up your recommendation.(Hint: First, conduct an analysis comparing the two options, using the expected monthly sales of $150,000. Second, conduct an analysis comparing the two options, using the two extreme sales of $80,000 and $220,000.)