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Dan Raftery

President, Raftery Resource Network Inc.

Dan has been a management and research consultant since 1986. He started his first consulting firm, Prime Consulting Group, in 1996 and turned it over to his partner in 2003 when he launched Raftery Resource Network.

R2N is a diverse team of independent professionals from consumer goods production and distribution industries, who solve business problems for clients in any segment of the supply chain. R2N functions as change agent for innovative solutions tailored to the individual client .

Dan has authored over three-dozen reports on a variety of leading-edge subjects for food, drug and housewares industry associations. For individual companies, he and his network team deliver custom assignments for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and service providers to the consumer goods industry. Dan is a regular columnist and featured writer for Advantage magazine.

Dan’s history in the food industry began in the mid-sixties in supermarket retailing. In 1985, Dan moved to Willard Bishop Consulting, Ltd., where he contributed to industry initiatives such as Efficient Consumer Response, Category Management, and Frequency Marketing. At Prime, Dan consulted to several key industry committees including those on invoice accuracy, pallet costs, and unsaleables. He has been the principal consultant on several industry reports in these areas and others, such as the NACDS/American Greetings Research Council and the FMI/GMA Case Pack Optimization Work Group. Dan regularly contributes to industry conferences and facilitates executive share groups and cross-functional action teams inside client organizations.

Dan can be reached by phone at 847-838-1177 or by email at

  • Posted on: 05/31/2018

    Walmart looks to win talent war with new education benefit

    This is a two-stage program, as those retailers who have been doing it for a while know. Stage 1 is all we are hearing about in this release. The results should be an uptick in the number of college students attracted to working at Walmart. Probably a good thing. Stage 2 is retention. Without a.) some form of commitment requirement or b.) a big salary and clear management career path, I think a very small percentage of participants will stay on. Pretty sure b.) is not in the cards.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2018

    Best Buy finds more inventory on hand drives sales

    Best Buy has done many things right since the dawn of online competition, this being basic and smart. Demand planning goes beyond simply minimizing out-of-stocks, but falls short of the need to carry everything between online and in-store. BB's products experts are a real advantage. To offer inventory they can sell, (up-sell, etc.) after advising should work. After all, the only thing that beats next day delivery is buying in the store today.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Kohl’s emphasizes cash in merging of rewards program

    Consolidating the three programs is clearly the right thing to do, but one has to wonder what took so long.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Can MoviePass help revive America’s malls?

    While MoviePass sounds like a cool way to use technology, the theater audience is getting increasingly smaller as in-home options proliferate and improve. Theater chains are investing heavily in amenities to put people in swank recliners. This seems like an example of swimming upstream in Trend River.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Will Amazon or Walmart win the clash of the retail titans?

    Both will survive, thrive and together make life miserable for competitors and suppliers. The days of a proven retail formula are gone. Or maybe - the formula has more variables and fewer constants than in the past. Both of these retailers - and many others - get this.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2018

    Should retailers lower expectations around last-mile delivery?

    This could be a transitional time for home delivery of food products. With Amazon setting the standard on non-perishables, US supermarket operators appear to be testing the waters with various models. I think solutions will be dependent on geography and demographics. Which means that larger operators will likely field variations across their markets. I'm not sure that the last mile needs to be home delivery for all variations. It'll be interesting to watch Kroger's Mariano's pick-up version as it develops. I think the solutions that survive will focus on how best to use personal technology.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2018

    Music stores play the blues as consumers play on(line)

    Guitars may be the most popular instrument, but there are others too, ya know. Music stores that want to survive need to target more people through a broader instrument offering. Online components of a strategy are certainly important, but you can try a new ______ only in a store (or conference, where a lot of this trial has gone). Plus, service is very important at two levels: the knowledgeable sales person is critical to the sale, but the professional repair department will keep a customer returning for a long time. Those are even harder to find, by the way. Education is the third leg. Private lessons, equipment rental, even a sheet music library all fall under education. If the first two legs are solid, this one can be the frosting on the cake. A nice relationship with local schools helps too. Focusing solely on guitars may be the problem.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2018

    Amazon offers special Prime rate for millions of Medicaid recipients

    Six dollars a month doesn't seem like a lot, especially for people on a limited income who can substitute home delivery for one or two monthly trips to a store. Also, those who have been paying for delivery (if there are any), would save two ways. My question is, will suppliers get another point share to cover the cost?
  • Posted on: 03/07/2018

    Retailers finding answers in-house, through partnerships and acquisitions

    I'm not sure where "retention is all the rage" comes from. Did Walgreens Boots Alliance not reduce headcount? Will Albertsons keep all Rite Aid employees? Setting that aside, there is no "best overall solution" here. It all depends on current bench strength and the level of past investments in technology and staff. Any retailer facing this question would be wise to thoroughly explore all three options, do the math and follow the path that leads to quickest, not cheapest, results. Time is running out.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2018

    Will all retailers soon go cashier-less?

    While I'm 100% behind the progress being made in technology at retail and have been waiting patiently for Arthur Anderson's Store of the Future to arrive, I'm skeptical when an advance this large is so glowingly touted by its owner. Just can't shake the memory of similar announcements (remember Webvan? viaLink? ThumbFind?) that did not deliver on the hype. Since $4 million is peanuts these days, it sounds more like a marketing pitch to VCs than a system ready to fly in the real world. If they do launch broadly, I hope they have all the angles figured out so the "system beaters" don't cause too much shrink for the poor retailers involved. (System beaters -- you know who you are.)
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    H-E-B’s reusable bag causes fashion frenzy

    Another great idea from the innovators at H-E-B. I'm curious to see the second limited edition. Regarding the question about other marketing opportunities for reusable shopping bags -- charity golf outings or any fund-raising event where the attendees get a "goody bag." I help put one together every year for a local youth group and know how hard it is to find a donated bag. These things get reused by the event-goers. Longer shelf life than social media.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2018

    Are chargebacks necessary for supply chain collaboration?

    Chargebacks have become part of the financials for both sides of the table, so from that perspective they are difficult to dislodge but certainly not necessary. Because there seems to be a widespread reluctance to raise retail price, these internal margin swaps have become all too important to many retailers' bottom line. Chargebacks are retailers' opioid addiction. Those who use chargebacks to improve operations will see lower levels of this revenue stream, but will also have more efficient supply chains which could mean they live longer than those who don't kick the habit.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2018

    Amazon rolls out Prime Now deliveries from Whole Foods

    Fresh products have long been the toughest nut to crack in the home delivery channel. This is a smart use of the Whole Foods fresh supply chain to solve 90 percent of the problems encountered by others. The remaining 10 percent may be unsolvable (and maybe more than 10 percent). Product quality will not be the issue. Expectations will be the challenge. When a shopper picks from all available heads of lettuce, for example, s/he knows it is the best possible at that place and time. That won't be the case when the box shows up at home. It will be interesting to see how Amazon Now manages this, which I fully expect them to do. What does that mean for the competition? The same thing it has meant in the product categories in which Amazon has become the new 800 pound gorilla -- increasing loss of market share.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2018

    Macy’s launches in-store pop-up concept for brands

    This is great. Combines several forces that should attract shoppers to stores. Kind of like a physical "The Grommet." Two keys to success that I see, beyond the obvious financials: First, the products must be unique, cool and not expensive (but not cheap/discounty stuff, which would kill this concept) and the in-store service and execution must be special too.
  • Posted on: 02/06/2018

    U.K. group has big plans for U.S. after buying Kroger’s c-stores

    EG will have a tough time of it in the U.S., if history provides a good benchmark. Most of the European operators who tried to invade this market failed. Aldi of course is the big exception. Starting with existing stores is a different approach, so it might work. Depends on how much they muck up the stores. On the other side of the deal, chalk this up as one more smart move by Kroger. Repurchase shares and reduce debt? OK, I'll buy that. And I think they'll be buying something too. Soon.
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