PROFILE

Christopher P. Ramey

President, Affluent Insights & The Home Trust International

Chris Ramey is a high sought-after professional speaker and consultant.  He is the most quoted executive in the luxury segment.  Ramey is also president of The Home Trust International www.thehometrust.com, a technology firm/marketing platform that connects the finest resources for the home with high net worth individuals.  Ramey ensures his clients penetrate the luxury and premium markets.

Ramey is:

  • Former president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and The Luxury Marketing Council Palm Beach. a marketing collaborative and think-tank for luxury brands.
  • Past-president of International Design Guild www.design-guild.com, a ~100 showroom chain of decorative floor coverings and
  • Past-president and founder of Savvi Formalwear www.savviformalwear.com, a ~260 store chain of men’s formalwear and apparel.

He writes the Ramey Retail Report as well as a column for Hearst Publication’s Floor Covering Weekly titled “Strategic Insights.”  Ramey has earned the “Leader – Top 5%” appellation from Gerson-Lehrman Group for his work with private equity firms.

Ramey and his wife are originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they reside in Boca Raton, Florida.  You may reach Chris at cpr@affluentinsights.com or 561.876.8077.

Chris Ramey specializes in helping brands penetrate the luxury and affluent categories. He is a very active consultant and the most quoted independent authority in the luxury segment. Ramey is a member of National Speakers Association, and before COVID was a highly sought-after speaker. He’s president of The Home Trust International www.thehometrust.com and Affluent Insights www.affluentinsights.com. Ramey has earned the “Leadership–Top 5%” appellation from Gerson-Lehrman for his work with private equity firms investing in home furnishings and luxury. Ramey was president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and Palm Beach, former president of International Design Guild, and former president and founder of Savvi Formalwear. Contact Chris at 561.876.8077 or cpr@thehometrust.com.
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  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Is YouTube a shopping powerhouse waiting to happen?

    In short, no. Time is currency. YouTube is like a joke that takes too long to develop; nobody with capacity laughs (or buys) at the end.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    This campaign hurts because I love independent book stores. It is, unfortunately, a deeply flawed campaign. First, it’s the month before an election and I don’t know anybody who isn’t tired of the conflict. It reminds me of Antifa. The tone of the campaign is infantile. And, since many of us order products from Amazon, it’s insulting – or an attempted guilt trip. Sorry AMA, you have to earn your customer’s business. Local stores succeed by serving their customers in ways their competition can’t. Be creative, be a better merchant, or better marketer; please tell us why you exist. Remember USP?
  • Posted on: 10/06/2020

    Neiman Marcus begins its new life outside of bankruptcy

    The issue is being relevant to enough affluent clients who will keep them in business. It’s a small pool and they already have a relationship that apparently wasn’t enough in the past. But fashion is fleeting. They can get their clients back as quickly as they lost them if the merchandising focus and technology are spot-on. Nieman Marcus will succeed because they understand all retailers are technology firms. They’re ahead of the retail curve in digital and I expect that lead to increase.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2020

    Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?

    My experience is, too many executives want data and research only as long as it fits their narrative. They’ll pay for it and then ensure it gets buried. For entrepreneurs, it’s arrogance and impotence. For corporate executives, it usually revolves around job security.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2020

    Did Amazon just end criticisms about its COVID-19 safety record?

    Amazon, like other companies, employs PR departments to find good things to say about their company. If comparative, they call on others to follow suit. There are however times it’s best to keep your data to yourself. We understand that it’s good business to help employees remain healthy. However, in situations like COVID, it’s impossible to manage your employee’s behaviors after they go home. Worse, it’s fate; with a little bad luck, anyone can get the virus – even with a mask and social distancing. I seriously doubt most consumers will understand that ~20,000 COVID cases in one company may be something to brag about.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2020

    Will others follow Mall of America and provide free space for struggling moms and pops?

    Applause to Mall of America or any firm that helps those in need. Here’s the rub: it’s very difficult for local firms to survive when surrounded by professionally merchandised stores in a different part of town. The press won’t be as positive when evictions begin.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    Would Lumber Liquidators floor customers with a new name?

    Changing Lumber Liquidators’ brand is very bad idea. Creating brand awareness in a category where customers may buy your product three times in their lifetime is a Herculean task. Lumber Liquidators has accomplished this feat. Lumber Liquidators successfully competes against Home Depot and Lowes; no small task. They’ve earned a >10% share of the hardwood industry by creating a ubiquitous brand and making the purchase of hardwood floors simple. Furthermore, the flooring market has changed with the rise of Floor & Décor. As Heraclitus wrote (paraphrased) "You can't step in the same river twice." Lumber Liquidators greatest asset is their brand and many millions of happy customers. Changing the Lumber Liquidators’ brand would be a very poor decision.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    What does private equity ownership hold for Victoria’s Secret?

    PE firms do whatever is necessary to extract value from their acquisition. They’ll cut costs and close under performing stores, etc. For starters, Sycamore Partners will do something Victoria’s Secret hasn’t done in several years: require the merchants sell what their customers want to buy.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    Should grocers just say ‘no’ to big CPG brands when it comes to shelf decisions?

    Manufacturers should never have been managing floor assortments. A merchant’s job is to serve their customers rather than their resources. No one should subordinate their primary responsibility. At the most basic level, specialty food retailers should be focused on high quality brands unavailable at competitors so they can make the necessary margin. Marketing the same brands as their larger competitors makes them "un-special." Larger retailers likely require the supply and price points a category captain can provide. More specifically to the question, category captains are only relevant in chain stores where they execute plans from supervisors.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2020

    Will Staples’ new concept Connect with small business owners?

    Convincing customers to visit your store is a challenge. Convincing them to pay and stay is the Holy Grail. The concept isn’t new. But the execution and programs behind it are innovative. It’s a comfortable space priced lower than Regus or most other similar programs. The programs mimic a corporate environment where you have an entire team backing you. Staples Connect should be successful.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2020

    Brandless halts operations. What went wrong?

    Brands matter. Retail research may tell you that price is paramount. And customers may incessantly talk price, but they buy brands.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2020

    Startup turns to the gig economy to bring expert sales advice online

    Thoughtful products are sold and bought differently. What they’re selling is personified expertise --real life influencers. Or as retailers call them: sales professionals. I like the idea a lot. It’s consistent with our philosophy that clients don’t buy what you think you’re selling. The Home Trust created "Leaders in Luxury + Design" because we believe people only buy from people they like. This is what Curated has created, a site of influencers who are likable and seemingly want to serve you first. The format for their videos is brilliant and compelling. Each of the categories is a niche. Is it scalable? Yes, if you accept that this isn’t meant to be a mass play. I'm a big fan.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2020

    How will Jetblack lessons inform Walmart’s conversational commerce efforts?

    Kudos to Walmart for experimenting with JetBlack, among many other initiatives. Most of the $15,000 loss per client is more likely in the set-up of the program rather than the execution. Furthermore, the loss on their financial statement is really an investment in understanding a new marketplace and technology. Successful companies like Walmart are constantly moving/investing their pieces in the puzzle for efficiency and new programs.
  • Posted on: 02/17/2020

    Is it time for retailers to move beyond fulfillment and on to experience?

    Two transactions take place in a retail store; the first is between the consumer’s mind/feelings and the store environment (including experience, product, etc). The question is, how easy and pleasurable is it to buy our product? Any pain point can and will punish profitability by killing the second monetary transaction. Customers take home memories – and hopefully product. Any retailer interested only in the latter is doomed.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    REI’s new #OptOutside message: Save the planet

    Social responsibility is part of REI’s DNA. The risk is having a "work party" and not enough people show-up. Brand loyalty is very different from infringing on their customer’s time.

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