Michael Terpkosh

President, City Square Partners LLC

A wholesale, retail and supply-chain leader with demonstrated success developing and executing strategic initiatives in category strategy, merchandising, marketing, and consumer insights. Strong record creating innovative programs to meet the challenges of ever-changing industries. Experience consulting with manufacturers and retailers domestic and abroad. Leader of many company-wide initiatives delivering enhanced business efficiencies while creating new sources of company revenue. Managed teams from 12 to 175 associates locate across the United States.

  • Posted on: 10/16/2020

    Will Black Friday be the day customers buy IKEA’s environmental promise?

    In a typical year I would say "bad timing," but given the craziness of this year with the pandemic I say "go for it." Especially since they are doing this outside of the U.S. for now. If it was a U.S. announcement I would be concerned the messaging would get drowned out because of Black Friday. I would expect IKEA to bring the program to the U.S. Maybe an Earth Day announcement this coming year?
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    What’s behind the Amazon/SpartanNash deal?

    Amazon knows e-commerce. Amazon learned grocery retailing by buying Whole Foods. Now Amazon needs to learn the grocery distribution business. The wholesale grocery distribution business is not an easy supply-chain to learn. I have seen other retailers (like Target) decide to get into self-distribution of food and they struggle with learning the business, especially perishables. I have to believe this agreement for Amazon is a partner, learn, build process for them to become a self-distributing grocery retailer.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2020

    Will a new round of panic buying empty grocery store shelves?

    There is definitely a benefit to retailers, and wholesalers, to stock-up on staple items. Many retailers have opened up more shelf space for these items through assortment rationalization over the summer. By telling and showing customers they are ready for the demand, retailers send a positive message to customers. I still see some purchase limits out at retail, but it's too early to impose more of these restrictions.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Is it time to hit the ‘panic button’ as women leave the retail workforce?

    Retailers should absolutely be concerned about losing female employees. I totally agree that gains to eliminate the gender gap in retail will be lost. The industry will also be set back by the loss of talent, knowledge and experience. Great, knowledgable employees are already hard to come by and this won't help. Previously, we on RetailWire have talked about the changing work environment because of technology, the pandemic, etc. In these discussions, most have agreed that workplace flexibilty is critical to maintaining talent. Maintaining female employees will require retailers to double-down on workplace flexibity efforts.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Are Amazon Prime delivery shoppers disrupting Whole Foods’ stores?

    I am absolutely seeing an increase in pick and pack shoppers. It does strain the Whole Foods store format. Whole Foods aisles are already somewhat narrow and this does not help shoppers trying to navigate the stores. I have also noticed fewer cashiers when there are more pick and pack shopper. This causes shoppers to wait longer to check out. In-store experience is definitely suffering.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2020

    Retailers and brands shortchange cross-platform analytics tools

    In any company there needs to be foundational understanding about how data is stored, used and made available for business analytics. In other words, data governance. What has happened in the retail industry is that everyone from merchandising to marketing has built their own path, with their own sets of data and in some cases their own platforms to store and use their data. Cross-platform analytical tools are quickly becoming a requirement for retail organizations to try to bridge the gaps between legacy systems and data sets. This has to be done for the future success of analytics to support the needs of retail.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2020

    Will curbside pickup be Costco’s Achilles heel?

    I agree with Costco that they are not set up to handle store pickup. That's not saying they can't get there, but their parking lots are already overly busy with traffic and customer pickup can only make it worse. I do want to give Costco some credit. They are installing self-checkout lanes and I have seen Instacart employees picking orders for home delivery. Costco is innovating to meet customer needs. They are just not jumping into every possible innovation.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2020

    Will the Travis Scott Meal deal lead to more celebrity collabs?

    QSR chains should do it now and do it fast! It is a great idea to generate excitement with certain consumer demographics and generations creating impulse sales. Especially during this pandemic, consumer excitement is very important to increase engagement and a social media response. QSR chains need to do this fast because ultimately the more celebrity limited-edition collaborations will dilute the buzz.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2020

    Have multiple rounds of price cuts changed Whole Foods’ high price image?

    Whole Foods being perceived as price competitive is definitly a plus in the eyes of the consumer. Price perception has always been one of the key drivers to retail sales and creating cash flow to support expanding a retail chain's footprint. I do wonder about the consumer perception of Whole Foods price discounting requiring an Amazon Prime subscription.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2020

    Digital coupons find redemption in the stay-at-home economy

    The combination of mobile device technology, the pandemic and increases in online shopping have made digital coupons a great option for consumers and retailers. Digital coupons are easier and cheaper to create, plus digital coupons are faster to get to consumers. All of this adds up to a very nimble way to create incremental consumer purchases.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2020

    COVID-19 will redefine the meaning of Christmas creep in 2020

    Earlier holiday deals can be a great thing to allow shoppers to spread out their purchases, helping to avoid large crowds in the stores. It may also help financialy stressed shoppers to lengthen the time they have to make purchases. One call out: Watch out supply-chains! Early, steady purchases could lead to extra product on the shelf come later in December.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2020

    Should marketers keep masks out of commercials?

    Early in this pandemic I stated the marketing industry needed to get in-tune with current events. Stop airing comercials showing big crowds, busy restaurants and other large social gatherings. I absolutely encourage advertisers to get with the program to show people in masks. If a retailer is requiring customers to wear masks, then their advertising should support this message.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2020

    As tech workers go remote, Facebook leases huge NYC offices

    The ability to work remote was already becoming a big thing when trying to recruit new talent to an organization. The pandemic has made it even an bigger, even required, recruiting tool. Companies will need to be strategic about remote work by organization level, department and then down to the position. This is an opportunity for companies to downsize their office space, remodel the office space to make it safer and use the savings to retool their benefits for employees. I don't think the "open floor plan" that has allowed companies to cram more workers into tighter spaces will work anymore. The days of the corporate sweat shop are over.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2020

    Is it time for Walmart to drop its COVID-19 return policy?

    I think Walmart should reconsider, but it really depends on their ability to clean or quarantine items for a period of time in the back room. At REI when you return a piece of clothing, the store has a quarantine area where they hang clothing returns for a few days before returning the item to the sales floor. At some point Walmart will need to figure this out since so many other retailers are now accepting returns.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    Is the future of malls outside?

    Open-air malls are great, when the weather is good. However a mall is a place that can have large groups of people in a limited amount of space. Open air helps but, for most stores, you will need to enter a store to shop. It will be interesting to watch mall traffic with Back to School and the holidays right around the corner.

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