[vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy New Year! Well … Happy New “Fiscal” Year, that is! With another season in the books, it’s time to look back on what Eastern National accomplished throughout the last quarter of fiscal year 2019. Despite some setbacks—the longest federal government shutdown in history, construction delays that affected store operations, and store closures due to Hurricane Dorian—we achieved great results in our park stores.
We managed the Grow Sales Evaluation—a yearlong program review measuring the internal variables that have an impact upon our retail business and planning a road map for the future of our park stores. Through the “Back to Base Camp” training program, we delivered a series of management development and technical skills trainings. We launched a new brand to better tell the story of the America’s National ParksTM stores. We selected Erply as our new retail Point-of-Sale software provider. To document our partnership practices in park stores, we wrote over 100 annual park operating plans. And in the final fiscal quarter, we saw some of the strongest sales results for the year; park stores sales were +10 percent over 2018 and +3 percent over budget.
For the year, Eastern National exceeded 2018 sales by 2.8 percent and had the highest revenue results in our history. Although we fell short of our 2019 budget by $1.3 million, this was the same amount that we were down at the end of February. This means that post-shutdown, Eastern National met the sales goal for the remainder of the year, and the trend continues into early November. Nearly 60 park stores exceeded their budgeted sales goals for the entire year. Congratulations to our staff at Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, Flight 93 National Memorial, Acadia National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Wright Brothers National Memorial, San Juan National Historic Site, and eParks for finishing the year as the top 10 performing store locations.
Expense management, inventory investment, delivering excellent customer service, and enhancing partnerships are the biggest reasons we were able to meet many of our financial goals. Eastern National’s financial health is strong, and we are entering fiscal year 2020 in a good position. To reiterate a point that Kevin Kissling, Eastern National’s president and CEO, recently stated in a partnership update, “The steps we’ve taken to replenish our cash reserves to new, higher levels will ensure we remain a strong, valuable partner for many years to come.”
Thank you to our park store staff who serve as brand ambassadors and help Eastern National to meet our mission and strategic goals every day.