Kai Clarke

CEO, President- American Retail Consultants

MBA, Globally-based, technical President, CMO, COO, and Amazon expert, successful at leading start-ups, small companies and troubled international business turnarounds, while securing funding sources, building top-producing global sales and marketing teams and creating new products and financial solutions, for international companies with limited resources.

Results-oriented, revenue and profit driven, C-level, global MBA, with a strong financial, logistics, consumer products and change management background. Proven road-warrior skilled in creating and managing new global divisions with a $200 million profit and loss responsibility, including cradle -to-grave manufacturing, international sourcing, forecasting, logistics, CRM expert, category management and retail channel expertise.

MBA with a strong technical aptitude including expertise in consumer/retail product (CPG), Amazon expert and eCommerce operations, architectural lighting, logistics, OEM/ODM , retail sales, marketing and retail channel development. Practiced leader in strategic direction, P&L, management, new business development, growing sales and global sourcing

  • Leading successful restructuring of small company, start-ups and business turn-arounds from $5 million to $200 million
  • Grew top line revenues through rapid new product creation, global OEM/ODM manufacturing, marketing, branding, trade advertising and line extensions
  • Developed global teams to achieve rapid revenue and profit growth in Europe and Asia exceeding 50% operating income maximization
  • Amazon expert with digital and traditional brand equity development and new market penetration in over 37 countries
  • $200 MM+ P&L management.
  • Negotiated Contract and strategic alliances throughout our operations and supply chains saving over 18% annually
  • Repositioned global logistics, operations and strategic account management, to grow business in Asia (40%) and Europe (50%)
  • Extensive travel in Europe and Asia for over 20 years, including living in China over the last 7 years and Europe.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2022

    Will electronic carts help Kroger fulfill curbside pickup orders more quickly?

    This is still too novel of a technology and a customer experience to really define what it means, if anything. A few test stores is one thing, but what about the additional sales that customers are exposed to (like pharmacy purchases or fresh goods/impulse items)? There are still many opportunities that grocery stores were designed to offer that using this type of technology limits.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2022

    Is ‘shrinkflation’ a better option than charging higher prices at retail?

    Shrinkflation is a way for manufacturers to shift perceptions on value and size to the detriment of consumers. Retailers should be very aware of the consequences, since it impacts both the choice and size of choice that their consumers will make, that impacts the availability of products in their store. This of course makes out-of-stocks, higher stocking prices, more waste and obtuse future orders a simple reality that the retailer must bear. Both the retailer and the consumer need to make their objections known on this so that shrinkflation is unaccepted as a standard practice.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2022

    Will robots nail in-store manicures at Target?

    No, in-store robots will not replace manicures at any store location for any extended period of time. As the article mentions, without an employee managing the robot (which only does a partial manicure, and not many of the functions which are key to a true manicure), this is really just a machine that is directed by an employee.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2022

    Meijer thinks smaller (but not small) with its new grocery concept

    Meijer is thinking location, location, location ... but in a different way. Smaller footprint, grocery concept stores will allow Meijer to build more stores, that reach more customers, in different areas, as a larger super store. Having both types of stores in different areas, especially urban areas where a super store just does not make sense, will give Meijer a better reach to their target markets. Combining these will be the key to Meijer's growth, along with a strong online presence.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2022

    Things go from bad to worse at Bed Bath & Beyond

    Stock fire sales, executive deaths, massive store closings ... things are quite clear for BBB. It is time to sell out and close down the business. This is a business whose time has passed and it is worth more than the sum of its parts. I vote to close down and capture what is available in the remaining assets which are left.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2022

    Can Instacart transform from a transactional to an inspirational shopping platform?

    Why does Instacart seek to slow down their purchasing platform for the user rather than provide acceleration and guidance to decrease transactional shopping time? When consumers are in the store, they are confronted by multiple brands, messaging, and on-shelf promotions already. Trying to add to this confusing messaging with their own shopping messaging will only add to more messaging noise in an already crowded space.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2022

    Are feedback requests worth it, even when they’re annoying?

    Post-purchase customer feedback is a poor tool for gauging customer satisfaction, and often only captures a small percentage of customers. The better way to gauge customer satisfaction is to ask for feedback along with a reward (simple and small), which gives the customer a reason to provide feedback. Without this level of incentive, we find that customer feedback may incorrectly capture more upset customers, rather than reflecting a balanced blend of both happy and unhappy customers.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2022

    Salvage stores achieve sales growth by selling ‘unsellable’ goods

    Yes, we will continue to see the increase of popularity in salvage stores. Inflationary times like we are experiencing as a nation, finds that everyone is looking for ways to save more money, and to "make" more money every day. This includes purchasing items that are cosmetically less than perfect for substantial savings, which is what salvage stores are all about. Follow the gross sales, and profits, quarter after quarter, and each of these companies' success during a down market, cannot be ignored.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2022

    Is Kohl’s putting too many of its eggs in Sephora’s basket?

    It is good that Kohl's is challenging its business model with Sephora's store-within-a-store concept. However the main issues facing Kohl's still remain and are clearly represented by the mid-single digit gains that Sephora offers Kohl's after investing in these new concepts. Perhaps the real question which should be addressed should be, what other venues should Kohl's be exploring instead of spending their resources on partnering with Sephora?
  • Posted on: 08/22/2022

    Are inflation bonuses worth it for retailers?

    Yes, inflation has changed the dynamic of those seeking work. Especially the discounts and bonuses, which were not a standard just a year or two ago. We also cannot forget the rapid increase in pay that has accompanied this over the last 24 months. McDonald's and most QSRs were paying minimum wage before COVID-19 and are now paying $15 per hour plus benefits! What is there not to like?
  • Posted on: 08/22/2022

    TikTok turns Costco into a fashion magnet

    Costco is a price, value, retail leader that happens to be a warehouse club. Once we get past the "club" label, we quickly realize that great brands, at great prices, are offered everyday at Costco. Why wouldn't you shop there?
  • Posted on: 08/16/2022

    Have restaurant meals become a better deal than food from grocery stores?

    No. Purchases of foods in restaurants will always be more expensive than purchasing the food at a grocery store and preparing it at home. Restaurant food pricing has to account for all of the costs of maintaining a restaurant, plus labor, and the cost of food on top of this. There is also waste to consider when preparing restaurant food, and all of the preparation to create the correct atmosphere for the restaurant itself. There are clearly too many other cost components that have to be accommodated for when pricing restaurant food.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2022

    What will store-level job cuts mean for Best Buy’s front line and bottom line?

    Cutting workers in response to decreased sales is an absolute necessity for any retailer to survive. We will see much more of this as small retailers have to cope with decreased demand over the holiday season, and immediately after. Retailers have to first worry about the survival of their business, then worry about customer service before worrying about morale. We are in a tragic position with so many open jobs and so few workers willing to work them. This is a unique scenario for the U.S. that we have to address in a direct way for our open market system to continue to survive.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2022

    Does Walmart+ need a video streaming deal to compete with Amazon Prime?

    Yes, yes, yes! Walmart needs to model itself after Amazon Prime to get a true portion of the market. Otherwise, why would anyone want to purchase a Walmart+ membership for just a few dollars less? Amazon gives you free two-day shipping, plus Amazon Prime Video, plus access to all of its electronic devices, Kindle books, etc.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2022

    Should marketing have more control over pricing?

    Product, price, promotion, and place are the cornerstones of traditional marketing. Successfully selling a product cannot be achieved without full control over the selling price of a product. That is the onus of marketing and the requirement that they are expected to fill. How can there be any other way in modern marketing?

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