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: 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.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2020

    Will wholesaling change L.L.Bean for the better?

    I see it as a positive. It allows L.L.Bean to expand the number of locations it can sell its products far beyond its own stores. As long as they don't over expand into retailing that does not fit their image, it will be a positive. Managing the balance means maintaining pricing across online, catalog and retail stores. If the wholesale relationships are extremely successful, you do have to wonder what will happen to their own stores.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2020

    Should workers accept pay cuts in exchange for working remotely?

    As retailers and corporations have come to grips with the necessity to allow employees to work remotely there has been an "awakening" by many of these companies that their employees are just as productive, if not more productive, working remote. Who knew!? Where I think we need to be careful with compensation metrics is that there are still not enough qualified professionals in this country to fill the needs of business. We must always be mindful of fair, equal pay for a job regardless of the location worked. Many of these "awakened companies" see big opportunities to cut their infrastructure costs by down sizing office spaces, etc. Business executives need to be employee savvy and compensate employees fairly, not use this change in work environment to take advantage of their associates.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2020

    What will retail’s back-to-school season look like this year?

    Based on parent uncertainty about sending kids back to school and school district uncertainty about opening schools this fall, I expect the back-to-school selling season to be down. Plus if a parent is unemployed, their extra $600 a week unemployment money runs out at the end of July. Many retailers will be facing issues with overstock because retailer Back To School orders were placed months ago and already shipped into retail. Retailers will need to be creative to move the product out the door.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Retailers need way more fulfillment space to keep up with booming online sales

    There is lots of empty warehouse space and retail store space out there to lease. There will be a boom in the commercial real estate market for a while. The caution is, what happens when consumers are comfortable shopping again? I believe consumers will return to store shopping and the social aspects of the shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2020

    Macy’s plans for the Christmas rush

    I agree with Mark Ryski's comments with one addition. We have already seen that in some part of the country, as the pandemic surges, beaches and bars are full. If there is no business shut-down and stay in place orders for the holiday season, retailers should be ready for some level of crowd controls.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2020

    Has the pandemic changed shopping behaviors forever?

    Too early to tell. The world is just over six months into this pandemic and any/all survey results and predictions are too premature. I don't disagree there will be consumer behavior changes, but these could take months to years to truly recognize and understand. The retailers' and brands' strategic goals have not changed ... keep your eye on consumer trends, needs and wants. When you recognize an opportunity, act quickly and stay nimble.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2020

    Is now finally the time for Albertsons’ IPO?

    There are definite advantages to Albertsons pursing an IPO now. Financial markets are up, Albertsons' sales are up, online grocery sales are up. Albertsons' improvement in technology and integration of Safeway are also positives. These factors point to Albertsons moving on their IPO now, but time may be short. A major disadvantage is the window to issue the IPO may be short because financial markets can change quickly due to the pandemic. If Albertsons can pull off the IPO now, it can maximize its new source of capital to fuel its strategic plan.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2020

    Target wants to be known as the best place to work in retail

    Target already has a positive reputation as a great place to work. The steps Target is taking will reinforce this image and up the game for other retailers. Everyone raves about Wegmans' excellent associate policies and you feel the positive employee vibe every time you walk into a Wegmans store. Target is well on its way to achieving the same level of associate satisfaction and positive in-store vibe. Looking at this from another angle, the job market will continue to get tighter throughout retail management, including corporate offices. Target is creating a great career path opportunity to advance great associates from the store into the corporate office.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2020

    Do retailers need a chief health officer?

    Absolutely! Many retailers have a manager or director-level individual to handle food safety, work conditions and recall processes. Wrap all these up with maintaining workplace health into an an executive-level role. In fact, Wall Street should be watching for retailers to establish this position. If a retailer does not, it spells future trouble for the retailer and Wall Street should take notice.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    Will the post-COVID-19 world be less global?

    The world will return to global commerce, but with some differences. Companies are evaluating their global supply chains and realizing that having one supplier of an important widget in their production is a bad thing. Companies will start to diversify where they get their widgets and this will spread out suppliers domestically and internationally. Some costs will go up, but diversity of suppliers can also create prosperity. I believe and hope the majority of the world's population awakes to the perspective that we are all global citizens and we are all in this together whether it is commerce, the environment or our health.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    The face mask rule is now simply a suggestion at some H-E-B stores

    It is not time to relax mask-wearing policies or any other COVID-19 policies in the workplace. I understand the U.S. is trying to slowly open-up, but the safety of retail employees and their customers must come first. In the U.S. over the last 24 hours over 1,000 people died of the virus. We have a long way to go.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Are store brands set for a big growth spurt?

    Retailer private labels have done an excellent job positioning themselves with consumers over the last few years. Gone are the days when the "best" private labels were b-grade product in the package. Private labels now offer excellent product quality, unique flavors and position themselves as another major brand on the shelf. During the pandemic, consumers were looking for more traditional products at value pricing and private label fulfilled the need. Private label has also moved into the natural and organic space and the consumers have positively responded to these products. As long as retailers keep their eye on private label quality and meeting consumer trends, it is all upside for private labels into the future.

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