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: 06/17/2022

    Does Amazon need a great Prime Day now more than ever?

    Prime Day will always be a significant retail promotional event for Amazon since it sets Amazon apart for other retailers. By offering major Amazon products and branded products at discounted prices, Amazon has the ability to categorically manage sales and inventory from their warehouses in a way that other retailers cannot. Best yet, it allows Amazon the chance to sell more Prime memberships, which is key to Amazon's profits for each future quarter.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Are consumers going to take a vacation from buying things?

    No, consumers are not taking a vacation from buying things. This is why we are seeing inflation at record levels. Money is still very available (cheap) and the average consumer has pent-up demand to travel and to purchase things. Interest rates are still too low, and this is why we have record inflation and excessive demand for homes, cars, etc. Until this changes, and the employment burden starts to balance better (it is still too cheap to hire workers), we will have record employment, minimal unemployment, and the average worker salary out-of-sync with our productivity. Going on a vacation does not stop the spending by consumers, since it usually only delays it by a few weeks, if at all. In our more, on-line, economy, location doesn't matter. This means that consumption can still occur anywhere the consumer is.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Will country star Miranda Lambert raise Walmart’s profit margins?

    Although Ms. Lambert is well-known in Country Music circles, her fame is not as high in other genres. In fact, the cost to have her as a spokesperson might be greater than a simple actor or a fictional spokesperson, and is suspect in raising Walmart's profit margins. At the end of the day, Walmart needs to stay focused on the business model that keeps their customers happy and coming back. Including aggressive pricing, eliminating out of stocks, Every Day Low Pricing (ELP), keeping their stores clean, emphasizing a broad distribution of products that their customers are looking for, and leveraging their size to bring other partners in-store to keep their customers in their stores longer (pharmacies, auto repair, garden and outdoor, etc.) Focusing on these and their customer service is key to raising Walmart's profit margins.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2022

    Should Starbucks end its open bathroom policy?

    No, no, no. Coffee, community and chat. The original slogan that Howard Schultz created to support Starbucks should never be forgotten. This is the mainstay of Starbucks's business model, success and approach. Stopping any part of this only questions the reason why Starbucks has fueled it ability to differentiate itself from just a coffee shop. If they need to increase safety in the bathrooms, use a temporary code to access a lockable door, that is good for that hour, before another is created and must be used in the store. Simple, easy and friendly. Codes are given out during each purchase, either virtually or directly on your receipt.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2022

    Is Walmart about to launch a new British invasion?

    Where is the problem that Walmart is trying to solve with this increased focus? The U.S. is awash as a global market and just offering the U.S. consumer exposure to UK retailers doesn't really offer much value. There are hundreds of UK manufacturers who sell their goods here in the U.S. already, and offering the UK retailer another channel to sell their goods here doesn't seem to offer much value to the U.S. consumer or the UK retailer.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2022

    Food prices are going up, up, up. Inflation is tough, tough, tough.

    Food prices are going up from many things, but the real truth is what is the impact of inflation when fuel is not a part of the equation? Eggs are increasing in price because of the bird flu that is causing hundreds of thousands of chickens to be destroyed to eliminate the spread of the infection. This has also increased the price of chicken. Milk pricing is directly linked to the cost of fuel because milk is so heavy and expensive to transport. The same for canned goods. The list goes on and on. None of these products are linked to the war in Ukraine and shouldn't be. America is the largest exporter of oil in the world, and last year sold over 5,000 new oil leases, which increases the total oil leases for drilling to 9,000. These are largely unused because the oil industry cannot get enough workers (they laid off 20% of their workers because of the pandemic), or equipment (they cancelled their future orders in 2020 because of the pandemic) to increase production. This leaves us short on supply which causes pricing to go up ... not the war which would only impact our availability by 7%!
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Should retailers charge for curbside pickup?

    Yes! Free curbside pickup, free freight, free returns have to be a part of any retailer's online offering. That said, basic minimum orders, enhanced subscription (like Prime) fees, and an enriched online retail offering is necessary to cover costs and give better value for those who pay for the enhanced subscription costs.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2022

    Should retail leases include clauses covering future shutdowns?

    No, no, no. Leases are a promise to pay, per contractual terms, that both parties agree reflects the value of the leased property. It cannot and should not be so encompassing that it is meant to cover any and all exceptions. Instead it should be a reasonable contract between both parties. The Covid shutdown was such a unique event that no-one could foretell its coming, nor prepare for it to happen again. Governmental ordered shutdowns are rare events. The landlord and the lessee should not create an even more complex lease that includes this as well as any other rare events (i.e. moose stampedes, bear destruction, etc.) unless it is more common in that area and for that time.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2022

    New members re-up at Costco in record numbers

    This is a great company with a great business model that puts their employees and their customers first. Better products, minimal out of stocks, superior pricing, happy employees, and excellent customer service make for happy customers. That is the secret to a great business and Costco keeps checking all of the boxes every year!
  • Posted on: 05/26/2022

    Will Deliverr help Shopify better compete with Amazon?

    Yes, yes, yes. Broadening Shopify's reach with Deliverr is just a win/win for everyone in the face of the 800 pound Amazon gorilla who is omnipresent. Better competition means better performance, pricing and availability. The only real question is can Shopify use this to improve their profit picture?
  • Posted on: 05/24/2022

    Are ‘neighborhood stores’ what Google fans have been searching for?

    It remains to be seen how important Google stores are to furthering the Google brand and the Google image. How does this compare to more aggressive marketing, and store within a store concepts with key retailers? What about specialty training for key retail employees, without having to employ, train, and manage an entire store sales/technical marketing team in a stand alone location? It seems that partnering with key retailers would be a better option for Google to extend its reach instead of stand-alone neighborhood stores.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2022

    Will smart shopping carts transform the shopping experience at Albertsons?

    Smart shopping carts are a great idea, but are clearly not being embraced by the American retailers or shoppers. From cost to accuracy to implementation, there are many issues that have to be addressed on top of the acceptance by consumers.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2022

    C-store customers want an app to order ahead

    Yes! Perhaps the better question is why wouldn't a c-store want to provide an app to make it easier for their customers to interface with the c-store, and also give the c-store trackable data about customer needs that is current and accurate.
  • 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.

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