Managerial Accounting.

Hallstead Jewelers
Managerial Accounting

Summary of Hallstead Jewelers
Hallstead Jewelers was established in 1924 in the largest city in the tri-state region. For more than 50 years, Gretchen Reeves and her brother and sister’s grandfather ran and grown the original store to one of the largest jewelry and gift stores in the United States. The stores were broken down into four departments: tabletop gifts (china and flatware), watches, fine jewelry and gems, and artistic gifts. Gretchen’s father took over the business once her grandfather passed away. In 2002, Gretchen’s father passed away and the business was inherited by three of his children (James, Gretchen, and Michaela). Sales began to stagnant in 1999 and profits began to slip as the once popular shopping designation on Lake Avenue and Second Avenue shifted two blocks west to Washington Street. In 2004, Hallstead Jewelers moved two blocks away to an old abandoned toy seller on the corner of Washington Street and Second Avenue. Gretchen and Michaela believed after the move will be finished at the beginning of 2006 and since the move would take most of the 2005 fiscal year that it would be a “lost year”. However, after the renovations they believed things would turn around. They are several macroeconomic events that were currently in effect. Two rivals were growing and taking away market share. Tiffany & Company had grown like Hallstead Jewelers into a well-established global jewelry retail store and Blue Nile had established themselves as the leader in jewelry sales over the Internet. In 2006, net income dropped to a loss of $406 thousand dollars and Michaela and Gretchen decided a change in strategy was in order. Gretchen and Michaela had several questions for the accountant to analyze to help come up with a strategy.

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Questions from Michaela and Gretchen
How has the breakeven point in number of sales tickets (number of customer orders written) and breakeven in sales dollars changed from 2003, to 2004, and to 2006? How has the margin of safety changed? What caused the changes?
One idea that the consultant had was to reduce prices to bring in more customers. If average prices were reduced ten percent (10%), and the number of sales tickets (unit sales) increased to 7,500, would the company’s income be increased? With prices reduced, what would be the new breakeven point in sales tickets and sales dollars?
Another idea that Gretchen had was to eliminate sales commissions. Hallstead’s was the only jewelry store in the city that paid sales commissions, and although both Grandfather and Father had insisted that commissions were one of the reasons for their success, Gretchen had her doubts? How would the elimination of sales commissions affect the breakeven volume?
Michaela felt that a bigger store could benefit from greater advertising and suggested that they increase advertising by $200,000. How would this affect the breakeven point? Would you recommend that the sisters try this?
How much would the average sales ticket have to increase to breakeven if the fixed cost remained the same in 2007 as it was in 2006?
What do you recommend that the managers at Hallstead Jewelers do?

Responses from Accountant
Question #1
The break-even point in the number of sales tickets for 2003, 2004, and 2006 are 4,535, 5,000, and 7,505 respectively. The break-even point in sales dollars for 2003, 2004, and 2006 are $7,287,043, $7,620,696, and $11,655,277 respectively. The margin of safety is the difference between the expected level of sales and break-even sales. Since there is no expectation of sales mentioned in the case report, we will assume a constant level of expected sales. If the expected level of sales remains constant then as break-even sales increase the margin of safety will decrease. As we see in table 1, as fixed costs increased along with the break-even sales point, actually sales did not meet expected and the company reported a loss in 2006. This was caused by an increase in salaries (larger store room), increase in administrative expenses, increase in miscellaneous expenses, increase in depreciation (increase in assets from the larger store), and an increase in rent (new store); which all lead to an increase in fixed costs and an increase in break-even sales. See calculations in Table 1.

Table 1: Break-even Sales Calculations (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711
Less variable costs:
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570
Commissions 429 405 536
Total variable costs 4,755 4,537 6,106
Contribution margin $3,828 $3,565 $4,605
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299
Less fixed costs
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215
Advertising 254 250 257
Administrative expenses 418 425 435
Rent 420 420 840
Depreciation 84 84 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122
Total fixed costs $3,250 $3,353 $5,011
Profit $578 $212 $(406)

2003 2004 2006
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553
Average cost of goods sold $810 $777 $808
Average Commissions $80 $76 $78
Average variable costs $890 $853 $885
Contribution margin $717 $671 $668
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299
Total fixed costs $3,250,000 $3,353,000 $5,011,000
Break-even sales tickets 4,535 5,000 7,505
Break-even sales dollars $7,287,043 $7,620,696 $11,655,277

Question #2
If average prices were reduced by 10% and this caused the number of sales tickets to increase to 7,500, then net income for 2007 would be forecasted at a loss of $1,045,000. See calculations in Table 2. The new break-even point in sales tickets would be 9,475 tickets and the new break-even sales dollars would be $13,314,712.

Table 2: Price Reduction Effect on Net Income and Break-even Point (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006 2007 (Forecast) Difference 2006 to 2007
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711 $10,539 ($172)
Less variable costs:
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570 5,987 $417
Commissions 429 405 536 586 $50
Total variable costs 4,755 4,537 6,106 6,573 $467
Contribution margin $3,828 $3,565 $4,605 $3,966 ($639)
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299 0.3764 -0.0536
Less fixed costs $0
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215 3,215 $0
Advertising 254 250 257 257 $0
Administrative expenses 418 425 435 435 $0
Rent 420 420 840 840 $0
Depreciation 84 84 142 142 $0
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122 122 $0
Total fixed costs $3,250 $3,353 $5,011 $5,011 $0
Profit $578 $212 $(406) $(1,045) $(639)

2003 2004 2006 Average 2007
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897 5,851 7,500
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553 $1,561 $1,405
Average cost of goods sold $810 $777 $808 $798 $798
Average Commissions $80 $76 $78 $78 $78
Average variable costs $890 $853 $885 $876 $876
Contribution margin $717 $671 $668 $685 $529
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299 0 0.3764
Total fixed costs $3,250,000 $3,353,000 $5,011,000 $3,871,333 $5,011,000
Break-even sales tickets 4,535 5,000 7,505 5,680 9,475
Break-even sales dollars $7,287,043 $7,620,696 $11,655,277 $8,854,339 $13,314,712

Break-even Point
Break-even sales tickets old 7,505
Break-even sales dollars old $11,655,277
Break-even sales tickets new 9,475
Break-even sales dollars new $13,314,712
Difference in break-even sales tickets 1,970
Difference in break-even sales dollars $1,659,436

Question #3
If Gretchen eliminated the sales commissions at Hallstead’s Jewelers the net income for 2013 through 2016 would increase and the break-even point for tickets and sales would decrease. Net income would increase in 2013, 2014, and 2016 respectively to $1,007,000, $617,000, and $130,000. Break-even point in sales tickets would decrease in 2013, 2014, and 2016 respectively to 4,078, 4,490, and 6,723. Break-even point in sales dollars would decrease in 2013, 2014, and 2016 respectively to $6,552,688, $6,843,188, and $10,440,109. See Table 3 for calculations.
Table 3: Elimination of Commissions Effect on Net Income and Break-even Point (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711
Less variable costs:
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570
Commissions 0 0 0
Total variable costs 4,326 4,132 5,570
Contribution margin $4,257 $3,970 $5,141
Contribution margin ratio 0.4960 0.4900 0.4800
Less fixed costs
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215
Advertising 254 250 257
Administrative expenses 418 425 435
Rent 420 420 840
Depreciation 84 84 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122
Total fixed costs $3,250 $3,353 $5,011
Profit $1,007 $617 $130

2003 2004 2006
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553
Average cost of goods sold $810 $777 $808
Average Commissions $0 $0 $0
Average variable costs $810 $777 $808
Contribution margin $797 $747 $745
Contribution margin ratio 0.4960 0.4900 0.4800
Total fixed costs $3,250,000 $3,353,000 $5,011,000
Break-even sales tickets 4,078 4,490 6,723
Break-even sales dollars $6,552,688 $6,843,188 $10,440,109

2003 2004 2006
Break-even sales tickets old 4,535 5000 7505
Break-even sales dollars old $7,287,043 $7,620,696 $11,655,277
Break-even sales tickets new 4,078 4,490 6,723
Break-even sales dollars new $6,552,688 $6,843,188 $10,440,109
Difference in break-even sales tickets (457) (510) (782)
Difference in break-even sales dollars -$734,355 -$777,508 -$1,215,168

Question #4
If Michaela increased advertising from $257,000 to $457,000 (increase of $200k), then break-even sales tickets will increase to 7,805 and break-even sales dollars to $11,655,277. I would only recommend increasing advertising by $200,000 if she knows that this will increase sales in items from 6,897 to at least 7,505 or by 8.8% (Break-even sales ticket). See Table 4 for calculations.
Table 4: Increase in Advertising Effect on Break-even Point (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006 2007 (Forecast)
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711 $10,711
Less variable costs:
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570 5,570
Commissions 429 405 536 536
Total variable costs 4,755 4,537 6,106 6,106
Contribution margin $3,828 $3,565 $4,605 $4,605
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299 0.4299
Less fixed costs
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215 3,215
Advertising 254 250 257 457
Administrative expenses 418 425 435 435
Rent 420 420 840 840
Depreciation 84 84 142 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122 122
Total fixed costs $3,250 $3,353 $5,011 $5,211
Profit $578 $212 $(406) $(606)

2003 2004 2006 2007
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897 6,897
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553 $1,553
Average cost of goods sold $810 $777 $808 $808
Average Commissions $80 $76 $78 $78
Average variable costs $890 $853 $885 $885
Contribution margin $717 $671 $668 $668
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299 0.4299
Total fixed costs $3,250,000 $3,353,000 $5,011,000 $5,211,000
Break-even sales tickets 4,535 5,000 7,505 7,805
Break-even sales dollars $7,287,043 $7,620,696 $11,655,277 $12,120,464

Break-even Point
Break-even sales tickets old 7,505
Break-even sales dollars old $11,655,277
Break-even sales tickets new 7,805
Break-even sales dollars new $12,120,464
Difference in break-even sales tickets 300
Difference in break-even sales dollars $465,188

Question #5

If fixed costs and the number of sales tickets remained the same in 2007 as it was in 2006, then the average sales ticket would have to increase from $1,524 to $2,091 to break-even. See Table 5 for calculations.

Table 5: Increase in Average Sales Ticket Effect on Break-even Point
2003 2004 2006 2007 (Forecast)
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711 $11,117
Less variable costs:
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570 5,570
Commissions 429 405 536 536
Total variable costs 4,755 4,537 6,106 6,106
Contribution margin $3,828 $3,565 $4,605 $5,011
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4299 0.4508
Less fixed costs
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215 3,215
Advertising 254 250 257 257
Administrative expenses 418 425 435 435
Rent 420 420 840 840
Depreciation 84 84 142 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122 122
Total fixed costs $3,250 $3,353 $5,011 $5,011
Profit $578 $212 $(406) $-

2003 2004 2006
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 5,316
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $2,091
Average cost of goods sold $810 $777 $1,048
Average Commissions $80 $76 $101
Average variable costs $890 $853 $1,149
Contribution margin $717 $671 $942
Contribution margin ratio 0.4460 0.4400 0.4507
Total fixed costs $3,250,000 $3,353,000 $5,011,000
Break-even sales tickets 4,535 5,000 5,317
Break-even sales dollars $7,287,043 $7,620,696 $11,118,516

Profit=SP(x)-VC(x)-TFC
0=SP(5,316)-$1,149(5,316)-$5,011,000
SP(5,316)=$11,119,084
SP=$2,091.63

Question #6

Exhibit 1: Hallstead Jewelers; Income Statements for Years Ended January 31 (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570
Gross margin $4,257 $3,970 $5,141
Expenses
Selling expense
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215
Commissions 429 405 536
Advertising 254 250 257
Administrative expenses 418 425 435
Rent 420 420 840
Depreciation 84 84 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122
Total expenses $3,679 $3,758 $5,547
Net income $578 $212 $(406)

Exhibit 2: Hallstead Jewelers Operating Statistics
2003 2004 2006
Sales space (square feet) 10,230 10,230 15,280
Sales per square foot $839 $792 $701
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553

Solution Preview
Question #6

What do you recommend that the managers at Hallstead Jewelers do?

Exhibit 1: Hallstead Jewelers; Income Statements for Years Ended January 31 (thousands of dollars)
2003 2004 2006
Sales $8,583 $8,102 $10,711
Cost of goods sold 4,326 4,132 5,570
Gross margin $4,257 $3,970 $5,141
Expenses
Selling expense
Salaries 2,021 2,081 3,215
Commissions 429 405 536
Advertising 254 250 257
Administrative expenses 418 425 435
Rent 420 420 840
Depreciation 84 84 142
Miscellaneous expenses 53 93 122
Total expenses $3,679 $3,758 $5,547
Net income $578 $212 $(406)

Exhibit 2: Hallstead Jewelers Operating Statistics
2003 2004 2006
Sales space (square feet) 10,230 10,230 15,280
Sales per square foot $839 $792 $701
Sales tickets 5,341 5,316 6,897
Average sales ticket $1,607 $1,524 $1,553

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The expert provides recommendations to improve an organization’s bottom line.

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