Frank Riso

Principal, Frank Riso Associates, LLC

Frank Riso has over fifty years serving the retail industry, beginning at store level management.  He started his career at Grand Union Supermarkets, installing Grand Union’s first POS scanning systems. Frank worked for Twin County Grocers, a cooperative wholesaler, as its Director of Retail Services, and for Supermation, an application provider for DSD software, as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing, until joining Symbol Technologies in 1991. Symbol was acquired by Motorola in 2007 which became Motorola Solutions, Inc (MSI) in 2009.  At MSI, Frank was in charge of their retail industry business, the largest part of MSI’s enterprise business.

Frank has served the retail industry as an associate member of National Retail National Association of Convenient Stores and the Food Marketing Institute. He was elected to serve on the Associate Member Council for NRF, and he is a past member of the Board of Directors for the International Retail User Group.  In addition to being a noted speaker and author in the field of retail automation, he is frequently quoted in RIS News, Retailwire, Chain Store Age, Supermarket News, Grocery Headquarters, Progressive Grocer, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  He was also an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the Global Fashion Management graduate program.

Frank holds an engineering degree in Electrical Technology from Westchester, a BS degree in Marketing from Rutgers, and an MS degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation for Retail from NYU Polytechnic University. He has five U.S. Patents regarding the use of portable data devices in retail.

  • Posted on: 11/08/2019

    Will ‘HoliDeals’ put Target over the top for the holidays?

    Target is making a big move by jumping the gun on Black Friday and for the shortened shopping season. I believe many others will follow them in offering similar opportunities. They do have the lead but will they keep it? I think they will continue to be innovative. Since many Christmas shoppers visit the mall, Target's biggest opportunity will be from online sales for two reasons. One being the short season and the second being the lack of time for shoppers to visit stores, again because of the short season. The big challenge is getting shoppers to their stores but that is always the case for retailers!
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    No business should set such a strict rule regarding relationships between co=workers. When single people spend eight to 10 hours a day working together, relationships are likely to occur. However, an executive who takes advantage of a subordinate is not to be tolerated and this should be a policy in all companies. HR professionals can find the right set of regulations to govern OK relationships and those that are not permitted. Open and acknowledged relationships between co-workers should be allowed by policy and I believe HR professionals have dealt with this in many companies and public companies. Mr. Easterbrook violated a company policy and I am sure many McDonald's part-time employees have also violated the strict policy, but they are not the CEO!
  • Posted on: 10/09/2019

    Will part-timers flock to Lidl after grocer offers health insurance for all?

    It is an incentive long overdue in the retail sector as a competitive edge. It will be seen as a recruiting tool that may become standard. Recently it has gotten very difficult to hire in just about every sector of retail. Healthcare could be the one factor to tip the scales. It may only be a temporary benefit if Congress ever does anything on healthcare but until then it is a competitive advantage. I also think they need to weigh the cost of recruiting with the cost of healthcare.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2019

    What if stores innovated like restaurants?

    I do think that successful retailers are innovative. Supermarkets, for example, remodel stores to meet customer demand. Didn't the Nike store add basketball hoops to attract more shoppers? Granted many retailers do little or nothing and they seem to disappear or are acquired. I guess I do not completely agree with the premise that restaurants are more innovative than retailers!
  • Posted on: 08/15/2019

    New site wants to make independent grocery jobs into careers

    While I like the idea of a national job board, I am not sure anyone will relocate to a new state or across the country to take a job in an independent grocery store. Locally it should work out well for the grocer. I do think an independent grocer should have a formal training program for its employees with the promise of advancement if you complete the combined program using the NGA program in conjunction with their local program of working at the store or stores. If someone completes the grocery manager training program, that person is next in line for the position when it opens or when another store is opened. The promise of advancement can be the big retention of employees that retailers are looking for with the example of those who have advanced already!
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Grocers develop their own tech responses to Amazon Go

    The use of checkout-free technology by regional grocers will not only give them an equal footing with Amazon but in many cases a competitive edge over the larger national chains. Consumers do not want to stand in a line and some still even leave a full shopping cart and walk out. Many retailers are attempting to save labor and many more cannot even find people willing to work, so again using the technology is a must and quite honestly it's about time they implement it or fall even more behind!
  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Nike to marry predictive analytics and RFID to optimize inventory performance

    The acquisition of Celect will benefit Nike as the next big step in AI for the shoe retailer. Knowing who your customers are and when they will need product and being proactive in that is what retailing is all about and will be in the near future. This speaks to the individual need as opposed to a general need. RFID is the best way to maintain the inventory picture up to the minute without the need for many hours of labor and therefore meeting the needs of the customer is a proven benefit of RFID. RFID will play a significant role if it doesn't already in fashion retail.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2019

    Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results

    Prime Day is now part of the American shopping psyche! Who does not like a bargain in the middle of the summer months? All retailers need to get on board, since we are ready to shop but shop for bargains. The list of items sold did not include much if any apparel and that is what keeps the department stores out of the picture on Prime Day. They will need to be more aware of the items to put on sale if any at all. As long as Prime Day is only once a year it will continue to be a success.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2019

    Toys ‘R’ Us prepares its American comeback

    For the 2 or 3 generations that grew up with Toys "R" Us, yes, they will return to these stores and once again enjoy shopping in a toys only store. Their biggest challenges continue to be online retail and of course Walmart. If they can compete and keep their stores up to date with the latest inventory, their few stores have a real chance at success. A lot depends on the location of the stores too! The biggest opportunity is to go slow and not open hundreds of stores and create too much debt. So far they appear to be doing it correctly and a consignment strategy may prove to the right one.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    How do consumers define cleanliness in grocery stores?

    The general appearance of the store is the first impression of the store. As mentioned, shiny floors and good lighting are key to the first impression with no clutter at the entrance. Standards have not changed very much but independents do a better job than most chain stores. I think a lot has to do with the cost of labor and trying to meet a payroll goal vs housekeeping. Most grocers fall short in their ability to see the need for clean stores. Since they see the store everyday it always looks the same to them. A once a quarter sparkle day is needed on which an outside supervisor inspects the store. This would help. Maybe having a health supervisor for many of the chains would also help keep stores cleaner.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2019

    Should retail boards include seats for store associates?

    While I think employees do have some representation on their board of directors, I do not see a direct representation having any benefit. By law, the board of directors looks after the interests of all shareholders including those who work for the company. I do not think Walmart would support such a proposal as it moves the company's ownership more toward a state-owned company and that is not what our retail or any industry is all about these days. This may be a very dangerous move and Mr. Sanders appears to be more political than helpful.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    The North Face starts petition to make Earth Day a national holiday

    The real story here is the marketing event opportunity. I am sure there are many other opportunities for national holidays and Earth Day can get in line for one, however making it a shopping holiday or season might be a better idea.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Same-day delivery is as close to brick-and-mortar shopping as you can get and that is the target here. When we go to a store we bring home our purchases for instant gratification. Retailers are seeing more consumers wanting the same result from online shopping. In the pet food/supply industry there is so much competition online that Petco needed to make this move. It is a big step in survival for Petco and will be for all retailers who want to compete with the online retailers so yes, same-day delivery will be increasingly expected by consumers for many but not all retailers going forward.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2019

    Wayfair takes a bigger step into brick and mortar retailing

    I see Wayfair's full service furniture store as the first of not so many stores. Wayfair will need to select its locations very carefully in order to maximize its sales and keep it's brand consistent. Online is the real opportunity for Wayfair. The major challenge in opening up stores would be the lack of inventory and selection compared to the website. This may disappoint shoppers. Sales staff at stores will need to be able to go online for greater selection for the in-store shopper. The stores will bring greater name recognition for Wayfair but online will continue to be the chain's sweet spot.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2019

    Aldi tests smaller, urban concept store

    Since more and more people, especially Millennials, are moving back to city locations, the Aldi Local would work in the U.S. In places like New York City they would take on D'Agostinos and Gristedes as well as the many bodegas. As in most major cities here the c-store and local inner city food stores would not be able to keep up with Aldi Local formats and would be their biggest competitive threat. It would be a good move for them and a terrible thing for most of the current stores that would not be able to adapt.

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