Rick Planos

Consulting Partner, Global Retail Solutions
I have led high performance Operations and Business Development teams in competitive, complex domestic and international retail industries. Drove continuous process improvement in all phases of retail sales, operations, merchandising, personnel management, and financial administration to deliver exceptional levels of profit and customer satisfaction. Experience in turning around underperforming operations to reestablish strong sustainable growth. Managed direct reports to 16, store counts in excess of 110 and total revenue in excess of $560M. I have franchise, international, start up, turnaround, and consulting experience. Previous roles include: District Manager, Regional Manager, Director of Stores and Vice President. Previous companies include: Apple, Warner Bros. and Barnes and Noble.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2021

    Ron Johnson loves stores but says retail is moving to ‘commerce at home’

    As a career retail "stores guy," my money is on Ron Johnson to get it right every time. He is truly one of the most visionary minds out there with an amazing ability to anticipate what the customer wants before they even realize it. I see Enjoy as another great tool in a retail toolbox; it doesn’t have to negate the in-store experience for those who want that. My personal experience with Enjoy was fantastic.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2021

    Is Netflix about to replicate Disney’s product merchandising success?

    If Netflix does this right, it could be a strong revenue stream with very little up front cost. Creating unique product for their niche franchises that are not licensed already could be seen as both cool and collectible. Flooding the market with tons of cheap merchandise that all looks the same won’t do it. Owning it exclusively and not creating the overhead of a big store group to start could drive both the show and the merchandise sales.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2019

    Is the success of Ahrendts’ Apple store more fiction than fact?

    I don’t believe you can compare the three leaders at all as they worked during entirely different eras of retail and technology. I was lucky enough to work for Apple Retail during the latter part of Ron Johnson’s era and I have to say he was one of the smartest, nicest, and most creative leaders the industry has ever seen. My interview with him convinced me to take a store manager role after being a VP, and I was never sorry. Ron had the whole package: visionary, the highest of taste levels, attention to minute detail, and legendary people skills. I never heard a bad word said about him, and he had a great relationship with Steve Jobs despite being an entirely different type of leader. That said, the world of retail, mall traffic, the Asian economy, the laptop, tablet and cell phone businesses are entirely different today than they were in Johnson’s era. Comparing the challenges Ahrendts faced to what Johnson faced in the early days is impossible. Despite those changes, it’s hard to find anyone doing it as well as Apple today in many categories.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2017

    Retail mash-up: What if Macy’s and Disney had a baby?

    Interesting idea, but overly simplistic. Entertainment retail is a concept that started to fade twenty years ago. While Disney does amazing things, as mentioned in other comments below they are not successful (like most these days) in mall-based stores. What they do have is an incredible reputation for legendary service, a great culture, and a passion for the guest. That alone doesn't cut in in regional malls that are looking at year after year of declining traffic, increasing vacancies, and a turned off customer. To win those people back, Disney, Macy's, and most everyone else needs to have all of that PLUS a compelling product, a value offering, and a unique store environment. Customers are smarter than ever, and they have more information at their fingertips. Too many retailers are underestimating that. Apple has the recipe probably better than most.
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