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.

  • Posted on: 10/21/2020

    COVID-19 Essentials is a startup designed to end with the pandemic

    Do you see opportunities for COVID-19-focused retail concepts to be successful in markets across the U.S.? Well for them to be successful, the pandemic will have to last a very long time. So, my answer: I hope not. This pandemic has not only caused over 200,000 deaths, but it has destroyed many people's lives. Suicide rates are up, bankruptcies are up along with depression and an increase in the divorce rate. But a business solely based on the pandemic's needs makes me see this as an ominous reminder of what each of us is dealing with every day during these difficult times. Will it be successful? I'm sure it will make money in the short term, but hopefully, by mid-spring 2021 will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel with COVID-19 and, if so, I can't see this idea and business investment as being that wise.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2020

    Will Lowe’s customers ‘gift’ their homes for the holidays?

    I think this idea is brilliant, and I commend Lowe's for their ingenuity. This year retailers have to think out of the box more than ever, and Lowe's is doing just that. The holidays are going to be very different this year because of COVID-19. Who is afraid to join us for Thanksgiving dinner? Who doesn't want to come over Christmas Day? All of these new, unprecedented are about to occur and they will harm our holiday spirit. Lowe's is wise to offer an opportunity for those afraid to go out to enjoy a lovely holiday while staying at home. I see this as being very successful and, probably very soon, a few other retailers will follow.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Bed Bath & Beyond CEO’s turnaround plan may just work

    Time will tell, but Bed Bath & Beyond has for years suffered from poor store performance due mainly to poor customer service if we look back to pre-pandemic. You could walk into a Bed Bath & Beyond and have a fantastic and positive shopping experience. But then you could visit 10 other stores and they could all be a disaster with no one around to help you look for something you wish to purchase, no one to answer your questions, and long lines at the register when only one cashier is working. Where are all the store associates? They have always had plenty of them. But where are they too often? In the back room. They are mostly doing tasks, and even those on the sales floor are doing a successful job of avoiding the customer. Sadly, it’s not a difficult problem to fix. But rather than address that, Bed Bath & Beyond spend too much time attempting failed concept stores, buying other companies, and experimenting with a failed subscription program in hopes of eliminating their never-ending coupons. Looking at Bed Bath & Beyond today, assuming Mr. Tritton is aware of what is taking place at the store level and can successfully correct it, I see a retailer with a great future. The one benefit they have had for years is that they are the only chain of their kind. So they should be successful!
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Is a new store concept the start of something big(ger) for Aldi?

    Partly due to the pandemic, partly due to the changes in shopping (meaning more online) and partly due to the retail differences with so many businesses experimenting, I see this as another "let's try it and see." It has as much of a chance to be successful as it does to not be. I commend Aldi for taking the risk because, most of the time, until we try, we will never know. Aldi will learn two things: How customers will react and how it will change their operation. If customers are eager and store traffic is good, they'll be off to a good start. However Aldi must still measure store traffic and purchases against operating costs. Only time will tell, but I am pleased to see that Aldi has introduced the concept, and I wish them well.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2020

    Apple removes other brand audio products from its store shelves

    Apple wants and insists on control, and that goes with the products they sell as well. Apple has been branching out in audio for the last few years and their products are quite good. I recently purchased two pairs of the Apple Buds and the large over-the-ear Beats headphones. They’re excellent and as good as anything else I’ve used. So why have competition in their stores? I can see their point. Most Apple customers are loyal to Apple products, so I see this as a profitable business decision. The few customers who purchased non-Apple products in the Apple stores do not make up for the vast number of loyal Apple customers who believe in "ALL" Apple. Sorry folks, I’m one of them -- and I have no complaints.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2020

    Retailers say the new stimulus plan can’t wait until after the election

    I believe that something needs to be done now and should have been done in August. But saying it means nothing. Today both parties remain on opposite sides of most critical issues. Somewhere the American people and the needs of the American people have become forgotten. When you see a newly elected politician who starts with a modest bank account and a few years later is worth millions, we know something is very wrong with the system. We can say we need term limits, but we already have them by voting. Unfortunately, 95 percent of incumbents get reelected. We do not take our elections seriously, and there lies the problem. So whether President Trump demanded action immediately as he did in August, or whether he says the next stimulus plan should be delayed until after the election has very little meaning because it is up to Congress to act. As long as they remain miles apart as they have been, I would not count on much to get done now. I would expect it after the election, and, depending on how the election turns out, most likely next year.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Walmart reimagines its supercenters

    Overall I think the new store design concept is a wise move on the part of Walmart. Consumers will respond enthusiastically; however as with all technology, there will be some issues. Walmart will still find customers needing human assistance to answer a question or to help them with a need. If they can incorporate meeting this need into their new store design and include store associates to assist customers, I am convinced they will have a big win. There is no doubt that today's customers prefer to do more of their shopping in-store alone and enjoy finding what they want and deciding for themselves about the purchase. Walmart is already a self-serve store, but when you find yourself stuck and the technology provided is not giving you the solution, nothing replaces a well-trained and engaging store associate.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Is it time to hit the ‘panic button’ as women leave the retail workforce?

    Maybe it’s me, but I see this as another flawed study. Everything has been up in the air due to the pandemic, but I am convinced that we will eventually return to our “normal” way of life because, at some point, this will be behind us. What is different about COVID-19, unlike other pandemics and scary viruses, is this one received unbelievable media coverage and awareness. I’m not saying that was a bad thing or good. It is a fact. In 1968 we had the Hong Kong flu, which caused 3 million deaths in our country and, more recently, in 2009, we had the Swine Flu that had over 60 million Americans contracting the illness. Neither of those times did we have the media coverage, the press conferences, and the lockdown. However like those other periods, this too will end. I have said that all businesses need to proceed with caution with what they invest in and how they adjust because this will eventually end. So women are leaving retail in droves, and what should retailers do? By this time next year, we will see other problems, most likely how to rebuild our economy and retail businesses from the damage caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. We had no choice doing what we did, and thankfully the lockdown saved many lives, but we will get back to our “normal” way of life.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2020

    COVID-19 may push retailers to use voice assistants instead of touch screens

    Forget the coronavirus, I’ve always had an issue touching the screens in the stores. They're impossible to keep clean and, let’s face it, there are germs everywhere. One benefit of COVID-19 is that it created a lot more awareness. Investing in voice-assisted kiosks is wise, safer and, when perfected, more convenient. I think retailers will be smart to go in that direction. At some point COVID-19 will be behind us, and I caution retailers in what they invest in because when COVID-19 is gone or no longer a significant threat, I would hate to see retailers lose out on money spent during this period but investing in more voice-assisted kiosks will be a huge benefit now and in the future.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2020

    Will lockers help Lowe’s pick up more sales?

    I think this is an excellent idea, and I commend Lowe’s for introducing it. Convenience is a significant desire from every customer. So if I am going to pick the item up at the store, Lowe’s has just made that even easier for me without the hassle of having to wait in another line. Customers are busy people and if they’re willing to go to the store, getting them in and out quickly is a must. With lockers they can easily get their online purchase, and if they do have other shopping to do, having lockers has helped get them into the store. I expect this to be extremely successful for Lowe’s and for many other retailers to follow the same idea soon.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Can IKEA drive a used furniture movement?

    Great idea, and kudos to IKEA for introducing this concept. Why not have an opportunity to buy used furniture? Often people replace furniture because they’re moving or they’ve gotten tired of it. I believe there will be a market for used furniture, and IKEA will be successful. Music stores have been selling used equipment for years with great success. Today we have all kinds of merchandise sold used, so why not furniture. Watch how, in a few years, other furniture stores will follow.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Will Amazon’s new online store disrupt the luxury fashion and beauty business?

    This may be a great idea, but I don't know about long-term success. Luxury isn't just getting the item; it's also getting pampered with unbelievable service. There's only so much one can receive online when it comes to "wowing" the customer. Indeed even the wealthy don't mind a bargain, but I don't know that they'll be quick to make all their expensive purchases through Amazon. For them saving money is fine, but if you take away the glamour and superior treatment they receive in the high-end stores, their shopping experience may not be what they want. Only time will tell. I do believe in the short-term, Amazon will be quite successful with the concept.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Is it okay for retailers to ease up on cleaning their stores?

    I think here we have the issues of consumer concern vs. what is necessary. As we moved from when COVID-19 first started to now, we have learned a lot about how it spreads. In the beginning, there was substantial concern about if the virus could be contracted from touching surfaces, packaged goods, even the mail. That is no longer the case but, unfortunately, many consumers still believe that is the case. Fear is the number one problem with COVID-19. When you look at the actual numbers, we have over a 99.6 percent recovery rate and less than 1 percent of our nation’s population fatality rate. However people do not hear those numbers, and as a result, there is a vital concern they will die from this disease. My suggestion to retailers and foodservice businesses is that they need ALL the business they can get right now. Do not cut corners just yet and instead continue to sanitize what consumers expect or run the risk of losing even more business. This virus hit us quickly, but its damage and the fear it has instilled in many Americans will not go away soon. Take it one day at a time and I believe that it will be pretty much forgotten by the spring of next year. We just need to get there.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Which COVID-19 consumer habits will stick?

    I see many changes post COVID-19 pandemic. For starters we will have lost many businesses, including retailers and restaurants. That may not be as bad as some may think because I believe it will create the need for new companies and, because they are new, most of them will be businesses of the times, meaning with state of the art technology and services. Secondly, when the virus is behind us many consumers will continue the practices they started during the pandemic, such as online grocery shopping and more shopping online if they were not already frequent users of that opportunity. In the beginning, when we finally get to the point that masks are no longer required, I would expect us to see many individuals continuing to wear them for a very long time out of fear that the virus could return or that they could still be infected. COVID-19 has disrupted our usual way of life, and in addition to the daily requirements we must all adhere to, there has been a robust mental effect that will not go away quickly. We have never lived through anything like this, and I hope we never have to again.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2020

    FAA gives permission for Amazon’s drones to take off

    I am not surprised that Amazon received approval for using drones. There is a tremendous amount of money invested in this, and Amazon is not about to waste money on something unless they know it will be worth it. However I don’t expect to see drones used for at least several years. There is no denying this will be a great technology and allow for the fastest delivery possible, but there are many factors to consider where something can go wrong. Accidents can happen such as 1.) mechanical failure and a drone falling from the sky landing on someone’s head, possibly killing them; 2.) a glitch causing two drones to collide and break apart, causing debris to fall to the ground; 3.) packages wrongly being dropped from the air and more. If you look at history, it took decades for the railroad companies to work out their kinks and the same goes for the auto industry. I don’t see this taking decades with technology skills today, but I do see several years before drones will be as common to us as a cellphone.
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