September 24, 2004, 12:00 AM

Niche retailer Skates on Haight sharpens selling strategy with web POS

Web-based POS systems aren’t just for large retailers. Skates on Haight, with two San Francisco stores and a web site, uses a hosted system to analyze purchasing data to better plan merchandising strategies, says co-owner Michael Schawel.


Skates on Haight, a tiny but growing retailer with two San Francisco stores and a web site,, uses a web-based POS system from Volusion Inc. to provide features more usually associated with larger retailers. The hosted system automatically generates purchase orders to vendors as products are sold, helping Skates keep on top of cutting-edge styles in inline skates and other products, whether they’re sold over the web or in a store, says Michael Schawel, one of the owners.

The Volusion system also enables Schawel and his partners to get real-time reports of POS transactions to see how well particular products are selling at certain price levels. Now, when K2 or RollerBlade suggest that Skates carry particular styles of inline skates, the retailer is in a better position to decide whether or not to order them.

“This year, RollerBlade came out with a new model that was kind of pricey, but we could see that a similar model had sold well before, so we ordered the new model,” Schawel says. “Now we can see what sold today, or the last three days, and what’s hot.”

The cost of the Volusion hosted system is based on the number of a retailer’s products, ranging from $97 per month for up to 100 products to $197 for more than 1,000 products. There is also a $199 start-up fee.



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