PROFILE

Perry Kramer

Managing Partner, Retail Consulting Partners

A retail leader for over 30 years who is currently a managing partner with Retail Consulting Partners and prior to that was a Senior Vice President with Boston Retail Partners. Perry has provided consulting services to many of the nations’ leading retailers including Meijer, Tapestry, Estee Lauder, Federal Express, Rent a Center, Tailored Brands, Finish Line and dozens of others and been published in dozens of media articles and have a strong following in the press.

Prior to acting as a consultant for the last 9 years he was CIO at a digital receipt and retail information company. Prior to that he was the VP of applications for BJ’s Wholesale clubs and held director level positions at multiple other retailers. Additionally, he is a past Chairman of the Board of Director for the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) and a co-author of the first ARTS data model and several other standards.

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  • Posted on: 01/19/2021

    Should store associates deliver online orders?

    What a wonderful way to build a memorable and personalized relationship. That relationship/experience (good and bad) will feed social media and word of mouth 10 times faster than any in-store experience. Done right with store staff scheduling, consumer scheduling, the right talent, and the right insurance, this could be a winning model for many specialty retailers. Get a makeup lesson at home, learn to skateboard, personalized dress fitting, etc. Having a consistent way to schedule and meet expectations with talented people will be key to growing the model.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    I’m not sure about them being number one. But they certainly will be in the top three or four in at home grocery shopping in most markets. The big advantage they have is their investment in the “to home” transportation infrastructure. We see almost every grocery chain struggling to deliver goods to homes and maintain an acceptable margin in what is a retail vertical that already has a very slim margin. Amazon will be able to do this without having to add significant delivery fees.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2021

    Convenience retailers aren’t letting the pandemic get them down

    Yes, the vast majority of convenience stores will come out of the pandemic in a better position than they went in. Much of this is because they put the convenience back in the consumer's mind. Those that have expanded into quality quick serve food products are probably at the top of the winner’s board for several reasons including a mindset around cleanliness, safety and a focus on local product lines. Additionally, since almost all of them were able to stay open during the pandemic they had an opportunity to build and educate an expanded customer base on the depth of their product lines.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    What will drive consumer tech sales in 2021?

    Significant growth will continue for in-home tech to support virtual classrooms, meeting rooms and board rooms. The world jumped into work and educate from home with little time for innovation. As we stabilize and start year two there will be significant innovation in VR, security, software, and networking to transform our experience and productivity in these areas. I agree the staples such as laptops, monitors and PC will see an annualized downturn as last year's purchases work through their three to five year life cycles.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Will meatless burgers moo-ve in on beef’s market share as prices fall?

    Lowering the price will certainly help attract new customers. Lowering the price is a smart move as part of the long game. One of their goals at this point is to continue to introduce the product to new customers and this will help. As part of their strategy to introduce healthier eating consumers do not need to switch 100 percent away from beef to plant-based. Being able to introduce some more healthy meals at a similar price is a sound strategy. Once they have built up a larger consumer base, they can slowly move the prices back up to maintain their target margins.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Do retailers need to jump on the e-gift card bandwagon?

    E-gift cards are a good way to continue to grow a customer base. An e-gift card has the advantage of allowing a retailer to have two consumers visit their omnichannel experience in a single event. They have the ability to capture and market to the contact and loyalty information for the purchaser and for the recipient when they shop. Additionally, the concept of offering promotions to get new customers in a store (virtual or physical), is foundational to a retailer's growth and success. Almost any retailer would be willing to offer 10 percent or 20 percent off of a $50 purchase to get a brand new customer to shop with them. That is what e-gift cards offer. Once they are in the store/on the site it is up to the retailer to win their loyalty.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2020

    How do you grow sales the week after Christmas?

    The seven recommended items above are absolutely key and foundational to success in turning a return experience into a sale, (in the same visit or through continued loyalty in future visits). Additionally I would add a couple of points; Making the consumer feel safe and valued during the return and when considering their next purchase needs to be top of mind for the foreseeable future. Another area that needs to be top of mind is resetting their inventory levels. The good and bad news for most retailers is that most stores appear to be well below their typical inventory levels going into the last few weeks of the holiday season. The good news is that there will be minimal markdowns. The bad news is that consumers not finding goods in the stores becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the consumers move to a brand or more expensive channel that is in stock.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    It’s time for innovation or stagnation

    Adversity and difficult times are often some of the key ingredients in innovation. It is also important to remember that innovation comes in all shapes and sizes from the invention of the internet and barcode technology to simple things like automated door openers. Specific to the last 12 months, the world has learned to shorten and streamline decision cycles which are often one of the largest impediments to innovation. Unless a company is hanging on by its last threads there will never be a better time to invest in and experiment with innovation.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept

    This is a great time to build stronger connections with the consumer. This new concept appears to have the qualities needed to connect with the generations that continue to have an expanding purchasing power. Having spent my childhood shopping in the original two Dick’s locations I have seen a very balanced and successful record of growth in retail footprint and product lines. This appears to be in their sweet spot.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

    Will sports marketing become a victim of the pandemic?

    Individual sports viewership levels may never return to where they were pre-pandemic. All of the points made are contributing to the decline in viewership. However one of the most important is that sports, for a significant percentage of the population, are mostly seen as entertainment and a way to escape the daily grind. The change in timing has created a saturation of events that combined with the increase in societal issues in sports will continue to be directly related to the decline in viewership. There will always be a core fan base that thrives, but the very significant next level down will continue to decrease due to a loss in the overall entertainment value.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Walmart goes to the dogs (and cats, too)

    Walmart is smart to continue to expand into the pet industry. It will round out their ability to continue to allow consumers to consolidate their shopping experiences. Their timing is sound as the pet industry consistently has an upturn when economic times are difficult. Walmart has the infrastructure to manage the individual state requirements as well as the home delivery aspect of the pet industry that has grown significantly in the last five years. Even if they break even in the pet care segment they will be increasing shopping “events” digitally and in person feeding the overall success of Walmart.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2020

    Are CPG brands headed for a very merry Christmas?

    CPG sales will continue to grow for the next several years. Much of the growth will be driven by B2C business. However, the B2B business will also drive tremendous growth over the next few years as consumers return, (in smaller amounts than before), to the work-place and dining. We will see business and public space segments consuming CPG products at a much higher level than pre-pandemic. Increased use of supply chain tools and visibility combined with collaborative relationships will differentiate those that lead from those that ride the wave.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2020

    Are retailers cutting their way to profitability or slowly bleeding to death?

    Retailers proactively closing stores as part of a larger plan to manage inventory differently will win. Many of the retailers who are closing stores to purely control expenses are probably on a long road to a bad place unless they can operate differently. There will be a demand for stores and in-person shopping for a long time. The secret to long term success will be having the right mix of store/experience center/fulfillment center in a single location.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2020

    Should C-suite execs keep their opinions to themselves on store visits?

    C-suite executives should absolutely withhold giving criticism to store level associates during store visits. Any criticism should be provided at the management level including the regional and district level. The C suite executives almost always have no context to the events and culture of an individual store. Without this context criticism may often be counterproductive and occasionally misplaced at the store level.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2020

    Target reopens looted store as a symbol of its pledge to do better for Black communities

    Target is and for the most part has been setting strong examples for the retail community. Looking at the current employee demographics and the future commitments they are putting strong and clear actions behind their words. They are taking the right steps remodeling and reopening the store near its HQ. However it is only one very symbolic store. The difficult part will be to maintain the standards with the rest of the chain. With so many stores it is very easy to let the commitment slip, especially in stores that may not be at the high end of the profitability curve.

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