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Gary White

A retail consultancy group focused on Brands / Trends / Merchandising / Operations • Expert assessment of retail brands • Guidance to management, owners and the investment community • Complete review of merchandising, marketing, in house design, product development, sourcing, buying • Retail real estate reviews of malls, strip centers, life style shopping areas, distribution centers • Brand positioning, competitive review, assortment diagnostics • Product expertise with teen, women, kids, shoes, accessories, jewelry, plus size, beauty • Online, social merchandising, customer connection and guidance • Management staffing review, SGA assessment, operations review, cost/expense assessment • Experienced with Fast Fashion, Department Stores, Specialty, Big Box and general product stores • Opened and managed stores in all 50 states, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan, Korea • A variety of consultation formats: Retained, training, round-table discussions, market reviews, mall walks with management/investment teams, conference calls. Brand specific reviews and/or brand experience
  • Posted on: 09/15/2020

    Could Authentic Brands be the lynchpin in J.C. Penney’s turnaround?

    Most of the comments posted are correct, however the strategy must include product leadership, price leadership, and service leadership. Any retail brand must be great at one and at least good at the other two. Today J.C. Penney is not leading in any of these areas. The position strategy must be clear and, no matter what, the customer has to say holy cow, J.C. Penney is great when it comes to this. No matter what. All the other stuff is helpful but just noise. All of the best brands lead in at least one of these areas and are good at the other two. Pick your position J.C. Penney and stick with it! Sell it to your financial stakeholders and go do it.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2020

    Target touts diversity gains, pledges to hire more Black employees

    I am African-American and a retiree of Target. I joined Target in 1976 as a store manager when Target only operated 50 stores. When I moved on in my career Target had 1,200 stores and I had advanced to executive VP of a $4 billion division. It’s not about how many of any one group, but about how few if you are not representing the community in which you operate. Hire the best, prepare them to help your company grow and everyone wins. Target prepared me to become a CEO of three different companies. And I helped Target grow from a mid-size company to a very large company, enriching all their stakeholders, including me and my family. Think about it.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2017

    Target has a plan to end the Christmas sales madness

    I am a past executive of Target, with 20 years of experiencing; old, new, old, new and old again at Target. From my point of view the idea is correct. They don't need to be the lowest price, just a competitive fair price. Being focused on interesting product (Cat & Jack), in a well maintained space (in-stock and well-presented), will go a very long way to gaining positive comps and greater margins. The only issue is, why wait until November to execute and practice this plan? It takes time for customers to get the rhythm of a specific retailer. We at Target executed this less promotion and more newness approach 15 months out, with soft sales in the beginning and our best and most profitable growth in history for the next seven years. Hang in there, Target. You can do it.
  • Posted on: 03/18/2017

    Will Uniqlo beat Zara with speed and customer focus?

    There is room for both and it's not only speed, but speed with the correct product. Zara has speed with a spirit of in tune fashion. Uniqlo is less fashion oriented and more "preppy," look-alike styled. Preppy nor look-alike style are in the trend cycle at the moment. Fashion first, then the speed.
  • Posted on: 02/21/2017

    Are Boomers being ignored by retailers?

    This question without context can get a retail brand lost. You don't have to focus on Boomers unless your product type is made for this group. Ignore no customer. Learn what they need, but focus forward. J.C. Penney didn't focus forward a few years back and they lost share, panicked and brought in new leadership and lost a third of their revenue trying to change everything at once. Retailers, like any other business, have limited ability to successfully focus on too many things. Service, innovation, value. You have to be good at two of these and great at the third to grow your business and move forward with your customer.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2016

    Should department stores talk less about Millennials and more about ‘heavy spenders’?

    What is a department store? Why is this format needed? What advantages does it supply to the customer that they can't satisfy easier, faster and in a more reasonable way? Department stores have always created a temple to themselves with rituals and habits that are not holding the customers interest and time. A model change is long overdue and the changes made with the customer in minded can't be fake. Good luck. Brand leaders are good at two of -- and the best at one of -- these three things: customer experience, price leadership and innovation.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    Should retail prices in-store be the same as online?

    Different prices online vs. in-store does break trust. As a retail expert I have discussed this issue with customers in-store as they toggle through their smartphone looking for the best price before they go to the checkout. To retail management: This is a lazy way to squeeze margin at the major expense of customer distrust. Be more creative. Cut you cost away from the customer and deliver better-than-expected products and services and you win faster.
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