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: 05/17/2022

    Will Walmart’s career path strategy give it a recruiting advantage?

    Smart, smart, smart! Walmart is really realizing that their business is people. Establishing paths to maximize their human resources before potential employees are hired after they graduate, gives Walmart a firm step ahead of their competition! Add great compensation, benefits and transparent steps to success and you have a winning strategy for Walmart!
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Are smaller retailers getting crushed by the supply chain mess?

    Smaller retailers are at a disadvantage when it comes to logistics and supply chain issues. This can not be fixed by increasing their storage capabilities, because it represents a lower cost to maintain as a part of their overall product cost. Instead, SMB must recognize that increased logistics and supply chain costs are a hurdle that they must overcome through nimble, more efficient, customer service oriented retail positioning, and a balanced inventory approach to better manage their product turns.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Should Zara (and other retailers) be charging for online returns?

    No, no, no -- free returns have been a key part of U.S. retailing since Sam Walton started his first Ben Franklin store. Comparing what other retailers in the UK and Europe are doing is a poor contrast of retailing models with the American consumer and retailing here in the U.S. Online membership models like Amazon, Walmart and even the club stores all manage their model to better handle both free returns and free shipping. Plus, this is what the American consumer has grown up expecting over the last 60 years. All mass retailers have a no questions asked, free return policy, and most have extended it to their online model as well. With the dramatic online growth of retail over the last five years, don't expect this to change any time soon.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2022

    Will consumers go for Robomart and Unilever’s ‘new spin on the ice cream truck’?

    Interesting concept, but the article ignores the key question: Is it profitable? I highly doubt it, unless we are purchasing $10 ice cream bars. This is a novelty concept that cannot compete in a world of rising gas prices, easily accessible QSRs on every corner, and the at home convenience of ice cream in our large freezers at home.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    Are Americans getting ready to hit the brakes on spending?

    No, no, no, no ... Americans are not going to hit the brakes on spending. Maybe by the end of the summer after 2 more interest rate increases. Maybe by the end of fall after 3 more interest rate increases. But we are clearly pushing through a period of "stagflation" like the '70s, and with so many people choosing not to work, we still have to address ridiculously low employment to go with this. Staffing shortages are everywhere, and labor rates are still well-behind where they need to be to attract workers to come back to work. Until this is corrected, Americans clearly are not worried so much about having enough money, or getting another job. This makes inflation, with so many people out of work (by their own choice) a distant second. Employment and labor rates continue to distort the scales first, not inflation. We need to ask the 20+% of people who left their jobs, or who are planning on leaving their jobs what their primary concern is ... and it won't be inflation!
  • Posted on: 04/26/2022

    Are JCPenney’s owners a good fit to take over Kohl’s?

    No. Creating another losing department/megastore in a mall is a proven recipe for disaster. Unless we are looking at a move to start focusing on online development, using the mall locations as omnichannel/warehouse suppliers, this buyout is a recipe for disaster.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2022

    Will unlimited free drinks pay off for Panera?

    This is a great idea that will drive "Go to Store" business for Panera. It is better defined than other low cost attempts at this, because of its price point. Also, since Panera is not a gas station extension, or a drive through type of QSR, it will expand its reach and direction in a stronger way that should appeal to both their core market and new markets.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2022

    Amazon brings Prime power to other websites

    This is just another way for Amazon to expand and flex its fulfillment and logistics programs while appealing to a broader number of retailers. For Amazon, this is one more arrow in their retail quiver which other retailers can use.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2022

    Has Barnes & Noble turned the page?

    Barnes & Noble needs to focus on electronic titles and an omnichannel marketing strategy to compliment this as well. Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla and its business is growing by much more than a few percent. Imitation of Amazon's model, within limits, is the shortest proven path to success in this industry. BKS needs to adapt or perish....
  • Posted on: 04/18/2022

    Carrefour uses blockchain to offer consumers greater supply chain transparency

    No. There is nothing unique behind using blockchain technology to give consumers supply chain transparency that traditional (read data-driven with currency) doesn't already offer. Properly communicating, storing, reporting and sharing this data requires great systems, processes and controls, regardless of whether it is blockchain based (which is generally less secure) or not. Why risk this on a nascent, unproven, insecure, transaction that has yet to prove itself through billions of transactions?
  • Posted on: 03/30/2022

    Walmart appears ready to quit its cigarette habit

    Yes. All of Walmart's larger competitors and many of the drug store, grocery store and other big box stores are already well on their way to dropping cigarettes in their stores. It is just a matter of time before we will see the complete elimination of cigarettes from the majority of retail partners, because the product doesn't make sense or cents...
  • Posted on: 03/29/2022

    Should grocery chains bring transportation in-house?

    Grocers cannot be all things to all customers. The size required to profitably purchase, maintain, and then manage both ways in a logistics transport is difficult. For long-haul grocers, this becomes even more so, when keeping their own truck full on all aspects of the logistics route. This type of in-house transportation control should only be reserved for the few largest grocers.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2022

    Nike heads to the wholesale exits

    The key move is clearly a shift to "direct" channels, where Nike has more control, more profits, and offers a clear marketing package. At the end of the day, this translates into a better online exposure and presence for Nike, which is where retail is moving both now and in the future.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2022

    Will a robot chip away at Chipotle’s labor issues?

    Robots are a part of any restaurant's future because they allow for better, more improved use of our limited human resources. This helps labor issues and improves overall production, the workplace and happiness of the workers.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2022

    Macy’s lets associates express their style

    Macy's odd positioning about associates and their dress are still very restrictive, depending on the department that the associate works in. If Macy's is trying to let associates express their style, why not let them do this regardless of where they work?

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