We have a clear goal for the bookstore: to increase revenues to the point where we can cover our costs with staffing for seven days a week. Roughly that means doubling revenue from when we took it over.

One thing that makes it hard to know how we are going is the volatility in the numbers. These are the revenues per day for all 34 Mondays we have owned the store (this excludes Boxing Day and January 2nd when we were closed). Jumps around rather a lot.

Looking at things over longer time frames helps. Just eyeballing this chart it looks like things have improved recently. It looks like we have had fewer Mondays with less than $100 revenue this side of New Year. And more Mondays that have been at or above the average Monday (shown as the orange line).

The numbers confirm this. The average Monday revenue for the 20 weeks before Christmas (excluding the week of) was $106. The average Monday revenue for the last 13 weeks is $162.

This is the same data for Mondays ordered by revenue.

Our best Monday ever was the week before Christmas with revenues of $394 (closely seconded by Monday this week at $393). The worst Monday was 12 September with revenues of only $23. On average on a Monday we have taken in $136, the orange line (all these revenue figures exclude GST).

Typically the worst day of the week is Thursday (although it is pretty much the same as Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) and the best is Saturday. It is hard for us to have a good week if we have a bad Saturday. The distribution of daily revenue for the last 35 weeks looks like this:


We try to limit the impact of daily volatility on reporting by looking at revenue over longer time frames. Our usual frame is by week. To cover costs with full staffing, we need to take in about $300 a day. Our intermediate target is $210 a day or $1,470 a week.

Here is what revenue looks like by week over time, expressed as the difference from the intermediate target. You can see that we have made our target in only five of the 35 weeks so far (these are shaded orange). Three of those weeks are the two weeks before Christmas and a week in October when one big sale came through.

But maybe there are also the glimmerings of something hopeful, since you can also see that we have been doing better against our target in recent times. As we know from the Monday numbers above, we have done better on this side of New Year. On this chart we have done notably better in the last few weeks.

One culprit might be the new window (which went in in the excellent-for-revenue week of Pride Parade at the end of February). Long may it continue. But time will tell.

One of these lifetimes I will get around to adding weather and staff and collectible book sales to the numbers and compare them with the historical figures for the store that we have. That way we can see if we can start to explain some of the volatility other than just by the season or the day of the week.