Fiscal Year 2021 Recap
We recently wrapped up Eastern National’s fiscal year, the second year of operations during a global pandemic. Typically, we compare our revenue results to prior year or the annual budget. This year, we benchmarked results against both FY 2020 and FY 2019 to measure the financial recovery on our Return to the Summit. We completed this year with $31 million in earned revenue. Each month, store sales steadily increased. Overall, the year ended +95% sales increase over 2020, but down -27% to 2019 sales.
Contributing to the sales increase has been the reopening of stores throughout the year and continued increases in the average spend per transaction. Two-thirds of EN stores were open this year. During the year, visitors spent more than in prior years. The average sale was 24% higher than it was two years ago. This indicates that park visitors may not be going into visitor centers and/or stores as frequently as they were pre-pandemic, but those that do are supporting park stores and spending more. This is an interesting statistic since we know our stores struggled this summer with out of stocks and inventory delays as a result of the global supply chain interruptions that impacted most retailers.
While some stores are trending below 2019 levels, others are performing better than 2019:
- The Outer Banks Group, which includes Cape Hatteras NS, Fort Raleigh NHS, and Wright Brothers NM, collectively had the highest sales of EN stores in FY 2021.
- EN’s online store ShopANP.org, along with our stores at Mammoth Cave NP, Congaree NP, Hot Springs NP, and Acadia NP, saw the highest sales increases.
- New River Gorge NP&P and Indiana Dunes NP, recently redesignated parks, performed exceptionally well in 2021.
- The park store at Arlington House reopened after a 2-year renovation project; EN opened three new stores during the pandemic at Pullman NM, Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, and Pilot Mountain State Park which contributed additional revenue to support our recovery.
One trend that we are proud to report is the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received regarding Eastern National’s customer service and attention to safety. We have received over 900 park visitor responses from 83 different park stores to our cash register receipt surveys this fiscal year.
- 99% of respondents said store cleanliness and safety protocols in the park store Met or Exceeded their expectations.
- 98% of respondents reported their overall experience with the EN Store Associates Met or Exceeded their expectations.
- 70% said the experience was Exceptional.
- 63% said the store was Exceptional.
In 2022, we will continue to focus on excellent customer service and attention to visitor and employee safety in our park stores. We will purchase inventory earlier in the year to reduce out of stocks during peak season. New items will be developed for key anniversary events and other specific initiatives, along with introducing new vendors to maintain a robust product assortment. Some modest price increases will be made to offset the rising costs of raw materials and shipping surcharges from our vendors, along with the increased cost of payroll and benefits. These efforts support Eastern National’s financial stability.