PROFILE

Art Suriano

Chief Executive Officer, The TSi Company

Art Suriano is a business development executive with expertise in retail sales consulting, business culture analysis, and process improvements. He is a forward-thinking business intelligence leader who knows what it takes to run a business and make it a success. Suriano has had an extremely successful and multi-faceted career path that has been anything but conventional. Suriano’s career has provided him skills as CEO, VP of Sales & Marketing, Patent Owner, Published Author, Award-Winning Composer/Arranger, and Public Speaker.

Suriano’s talent includes a keen eye for mining, analyzing, compiling, and presenting data that consistently boosts company value. His patented methodology known as LTraining® has put numerous businesses back on track fixing disconnect, improving performance, consistency, sales culture, sales, and customer satisfaction.

In addition, Suriano is the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience…The Path to Victory for Any Business…Any Size…Any Time.” His leadership style is extremely creative, energetic, motivational, customer-focused, collaborative and ambitious.

Suriano began his career accepting work as a freelance composer. Soon he was scoring original compositions for television and radio for such programs as As The World Turns and Another World, and jingles/soundtracks for companies such as Subaru, Ford and more. From his success working for media directly as well as advertising agencies, Suriano soon figured out he could offer clients better and more effective creative campaigns for less than what they were paying. This led to founding his own company, PMI in the late 1980’s, which in time, became a full- service ad agency billing over $5 million annually, with local and regional clients.

From the success of his winning agency formula, a few years later, Suriano was offered an opportunity to offer his talent directly to broadcast companies such as WABC in New York and Kiss 108 in Boston. His assignment was helping underperforming clients get better results. Suriano would write and produce a new ad campaign that included custom commercials, and oftentimes, a custom jingle. It was during this period that his peers and clients coined him, “Mr. Fix It,” as every client he was handed began to see improvements in advertising results within 30 days.

Suriano’s passion for advertising continued, but as deregulation affected broadcast media and how they operated, he felt the need to move on and in 1994, founded the company he has today, The TSi Company. Starting out as an in-store marketing/advertising program for retailers, Suriano created an exciting program known as RadioPlusTM. Simply a better in-store music program, RadioPlusTM provided retailers with in-store commercials, complete with a custom client jingle, stations calls and personalities, making their in-store sound system appear as if it was the company’s own radio station. Soon, The TSi Company was signing local and regional retail clients who liked the idea of the added opportunities to build sales with customers through Suriano’s effective commercials and concepts.

By 1997, Suriano’s creative reputation was growing and clients were asking for his help in what was becoming a strong need: training. He began by creating and producing an in-store “before and after” hour radio program that quickly helped store associates learn about upcoming events, in-store promotions, customer service, and policies and procedures. Starting with Stern’s Department Stores, he was soon asked to expand the product to Macy’s, and other divisions after such as May Company divisions and other retail chains. Next, he turned his attention to part-time employees and created what eventually became his patented training method, LTraining®.

Today, LTraining® has been used by over 4 million trainees and consistently outperforms any other training method, scoring over 90% retention after a single session. LTraining® sessions have been created for every training topic necessary from orientation, POS and systems training, product training, sales training, customer service, and more.

As time progressed and Suriano recognized the strong results his training method was achieving, he realized that in order to get maximum impact for any business, he had to take it one step further. He began to look at the other areas of a business that, regardless of how effective his training was, would prevent a business from reaching its full potential.

Suriano met and spoke with clients and requested the opportunity to perform assessments, asking the right questions from top executives to the field and then comparing answers. Soon he found that every business was experiencing serious disconnect from the vision and objectives of the senior staff and what was actually taking place with lower level employees, especially the employees dealing with the customers. Soon he created his TSi 360TM, which became the footprint for helping clients increase sales, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction. Clients experienced over 15% increases in comparable store sales, saved millions of dollars that were being wasted, and saw increases in conversion of 7% annually. Moreover, clients saw long term growth quarter after quarter due to the improvements in performance and consistency.

Today, Suriano enjoys his role as Chief Executive Officer of The TSi Company which has expanded into a full-service company providing branding/marketing, training, communication skills and technology. He also provides his expertise as a consultant, teaching companies what they need to know to grow their business.

As the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience”, Suriano follows the principles in his book that help clients achieve their goals. Furthermore, as a public speaker, Suriano has been asked to speak at various functions and events all over the world including the Intercoifure International event held in Australia.

Suriano is an accomplished composer/musician who won numerous awards through the decades for original scores for radio/television and corporate presentations. Today, he is under contract with two record labels in the UK as the songwriter/arranger for Circle of Faith, an up and coming Christian pop band.

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  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Will axing commission fees entice Amazon sellers to move to Google Shopping?

    This is a smart move by Google. Competition is how businesses thrive and survive because it forces them to make the right decisions to keep themselves one step ahead. Amazon has been enormously successful for many years and is way ahead of any competition. Perhaps Google has a shot at competing with Amazon but, if anything, COVID-19 has only helped Amazon jump even further ahead. The good news is that Amazon has been greedy with its third-party sellers, so now with Google eliminating commission many Amazon third-party sellers may jump ship, which will help Google. Also Google needs to find methods that will attract more customers and incentives for them to shop. I believe they will and, in the short term, we’re liable to see some big competitive wars between Google and Amazon.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

    There is no doubt that retailers, as well as all businesses, have it tough. There are two very different groups: those afraid of the virus and those who feel it is politically motivated and overhyped. The problem is that businesses have to do everything they can to protect employees and customers no matter how they, their employees, or their customers feel. Masks are a must; sanitizing regularly is a much and, of course, there are huge costs while at the same time tremendous loss of sales. Now we are waiting for a vaccine. Yet many believe we are already able to cure COVID-19 with Hydroxychloroquine. Once again, conflicting information. So I ask this: when there is a vaccine, will it be well received, or will we then debate whether it’s safe and if we should use it? If that happens, retailers and all businesses will be no better off than they are now. The solution: Wait until after the election. If this is politically motivated, then hopefully it will die off after the election. If it is not, those who thought it was will have to admit that they were wrong, and maybe then we can work together to find the solution and put this horrible virus and what it has done to our country behind us.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2020

    Will a smaller Macy’s be a better Macy’s?

    A smaller Macy’s makes perfect sense in today’s retail world. No complaints about cutting corporate jobs. Over the last several years, these corporate jobs have gotten out of control for many businesses with too many executives and most of them receiving high pay and bonuses. Yet the lower level staff continued to be reduced to cover the costs needed for those at the top. It didn’t make sense then and certainly doesn’t make sense now, so I’m glad that Mr. Gennette is taking the necessary steps. Regardless of COVID-19 the retail world was already changing, with online sales increasing and many stores closing. The retail chain of the future will be smaller stores with most merchandise on display but not for purchase and, thanks to technology, the item will be waiting for us by the time we get home. The one positive benefit of COVID-19 is that it’s forced many retailers to wake up, recognize the need for technology and, as Mr. Gennette is seeing, to plan wisely for the future. These steps Macy’s is taking are a good start, but it’s only the beginning of what the company will need to do to achieve long-term success.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2020

    Will PPE vending kiosks attract travelers?

    We have to start somewhere....
  • Posted on: 06/18/2020

    Will PPE vending kiosks attract travelers?

    I see PPE vending machines as temporarily successful but with a short life span. Many Americans are moving beyond the worries of COVID-19, and each day we continue to receive contradictory information. Many states have returned to almost “normal.” I suspect that months from now most of what we have been facing will be behind us. A year from now, I doubt that we’ll be wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. There may be a vaccine and, even without it, unless something dramatically changes the dynamic of COVID-19 it will slowly become something we’re aware of but no longer with a fear of dying. We have seen less than a 1 percent fatality rate and a 98 percent recovery rate. As long as these numbers continue, we will slowly get back to normal and put this horrible virus and the experience we have had to endure behind us.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2020

    The pandemic has changed retailing, maybe forever

    There is a positive, and that consists of the benefits that have come for retailers due to the pandemic. For starters, online surely has grown immensely and at a much faster rate than before the pandemic. We have to face the fact that many retailers will no longer remain in business and that thousands of stores will close. But the good from all of this is that it will force the surviving retailers to understand the shopping needs of today and prepare them for the future. The old, outdated, and tired retailer can no longer exist in today’s environment. So many of these tired retailers were hanging on by a thread. And now, due to the impact of COVID-19, most of them will be gone forever. We can blame the pandemic but, in reality, it’s those retailers themselves who refused to develop an online presence, and it’s those same retailers who held off on investing in much-needed technology in their stores. Perhaps lower executive pay and smaller bonuses might have provided the necessary capital for them to stay in the game. Of course now it’s too late. The results of the pandemic in the short term are going to make shopping challenging. I see many customers still not feeling safe to go into a store, so they’ll continue shopping online only. But as we rebuild our retail world, I look forward to the next stage of the retail evolution with stores that successfully make both the in-store and online shopping experience "one" and retailers that can truly satisfy their customers with a vast selection, competitive prices, and excellent customer service.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2020

    Who will come to J.C. Penney’s rescue?

    Choosing the right partners to acquire J.C. Penney isn’t a matter of who has the most money but rather who has the best plan. Any buyer can put money into the company in the short-term, but without a robust strategy that can make J.C. Penney a winner again the future will still be bleak. Department stores today are all struggling because none of them have yet successfully reinvented themselves, creating the department store of the future. No one really knows what that is now, which is part of the problem, but we do know that continuing the same old and tired approaches do not work. Department stores cannot survive selling only apparel, jewelry, and housewares merchandise. Years ago, and probably ahead of his time, Ron Johnson had what I always felt was a brilliant concept of stores within the store. Ironically, long after he was gone, J.C. Penney did try that approach and, for a time, had success with Sephora having a store inside the J.C. Penney store. So whichever potential buyer has a different plan, and one that will stand out against all their competitors, gets my vote.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Is the future of retailing going dark?

    I have said before that stores of the future will be smaller and will be for display only, giving the customers a chance to see and try the product before purchase, but most, if not all, purchases will not take place at the store level. We saw the early stages of this before the COVID-19 pandemic. One benefit from the shutdown was allowing stores to take this concept to the next level. I still believe that the future of retail will be fine; however, it will involve smaller stores, much more technology, and the customer accepting what I stated: seeing, touching, and trying the product but not buying the item at the store. This concept will better help control inventory, which will reduce costs. Moreover, with smaller stores, we will need fewer employees, which is another savings. Most importantly, as technology continues to improve, purchases will arrive at the consumer’s home just as quickly as if they brought the item home from the store themselves.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Can outdoor dining save restaurants?

    Outdoor dining is an excellent opportunity, and the many restaurants that provided that service long before COVID-19 have done well with it. However, it is not significant enough to replace the profit of indoor dining; it won't even be close. Providing outdoor dining now is an excellent first step for businesses who are doing their best to survive and is undoubtedly a bump up from take-out only, which is what restaurants have been limited to, but we need to get back to indoor dining as soon as possible. Even when that happens, the number of restaurants that will be closed permanently will be very high, which is most unfortunate.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2020

    Will dollar stores be the biggest post-COVID-19 winners?

    Before the dollar store, it was flea markets and "Five and Dime" stores. People always want to find bargains. The dollar store has evolved into a hugely successful retail industry, one that is recession-proof. There is no doubt that the dollar store will find great success when the lockdowns are removed, and people all over the country can return to stores. Off-price stores will also do exceptionally well for the same reason. The simple reason is that money will be tight for many people and, although everyone likes a bargain now with nearly 40 million people out of work, bargains will be a necessity for many Americans.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2020

    Retail ensnared in nationwide protests

    The whole situation is unfortunate. George Floyd was horribly murdered -- and I don’t even say killed -- I say murdered because the officer, Derek Chauvin, had absolutely no justification for his actions other than his own stupid hatred toward a black person. That said, legal action was pursued almost immediately; the cop has been indicted, and this time it is reasonably sure will be going to jail. What I don’t understand is the reason to riot. I didn’t say protest; I said riot. The cities that people live in, work in, and socialize in are being destroyed. If Mr. Chauvin was not indicted and if the city took the position that he was doing his job, then I would understand emotions running wild, but that is not what happened. What can retailers do? What can any of us do? I hope that things calm down soon and return to normal as we are still waiting for our lives to recover from the pandemic. It just seems that 2020 has been a year like no other where we are tearing our country apart for all the wrong reasons. This is not right, and we will all be paying the price for years to come.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2020

    Who wins/loses if Amazon pushes Prime Day to September?

    This year is challenging with many unknown factors and decisions taking place every day that are affecting business as we knew it. I think Amazon would be wise to push Prime Day to the fall. I’m sure if they had Prime Day now, it would be a huge success, especially because so many consumers are shopping online and at Amazon. The question is, does Amazon need to have it? Their sales have been extraordinary, so what is Prime Day going to do for Amazon that they aren’t already achieving? From a consumer’s point of view Prime Day is excellent, but they’ll shop at Amazon without it. I assume if things are somewhat back to normal by September, Amazon may have more success. It’s a win for Amazon no matter when they offer Prime Day, but it makes sense to run it when the company will get the most bang for their buck. Other retailers may see that as an advantage and offer a counter promotion early, but they’re still not going to succeed in taking much business away from Amazon.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Is Kohl’s a stronger retailer as it reopens stores?

    I commend Kohl's for weathering the storm as well as they have. Every company has been faced with unprecedented business conditions, and unfortunately they are far from over. Kohl's showed good leadership and reacted quickly. Yes they have lost tremendous revenue, and building the company back up will take some time, but I believe they also learned a bit more about themselves and their customers. The fact that they have obtained many new customers online is a definite benefit for them and one they can build on. Years from now, we will look at this period and all businesses, including our government, will assess if we handled it correctly and what we might have done differently. Hopefully not just companies but all of us will learn from this experience to be better prepared the next time we are faced with a global issue of this magnitude.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Was the $3.3 billion Walmart spent on Jet.com worth it?

    The question of whether or not the purchase of Jet.com was worth it on the surface may appear to be a no, but when reading the comments made by Doug McMillon, it may have made sense. It’s not uncommon for a business executive to defend a corporate move no matter what the truth might be, but McMillon made some compelling points that could show that the short-lived investment paid off in the long run. Walmart continues to do well, even during this challenging pandemic period, so I think they know what is best for them. In time, we may learn that others may disagree with the Jet.com purchase, and the money may have been better spent on other investments, but until then, I accept Mr. McMillon’s comments as being a valid argument.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    How can brands support shuttered independent retailers?

    It is nice to see how many businesses are working together to help one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands supporting small independent retailers is another one of those kind gestures, and it makes sense. At some point, this will be behind us. No doubt many small independent retailers will not make it, and that’s unfortunate. However, the ones that can make it through this will do so much easier by having brands supporting them. Longer payment terms were a great start, but seeing the many brands helping small independent retailers by partnering with them with a way to share proceeds is outstanding. It’s not only generous; it’s smart. Anything a brand can do to help the little guy survive will prove to be a big win when this is all over. The independent retailer won’t forget and, most importantly, neither will their customers. Everyone will come out ahead, and I commend all the participating brands attempting to help the small independent retailer get through this.
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