PROFILE

Ron Margulis

Managing Director, RAM Communications
Ronald Margulis is Managing Director of RAM Communications, a public relations firm based in Cranford, NJ. RAM Communications provides media relations counseling, trade marketing and communications support to clients in the retail, transportation, manufacturing and technology industries. Among the services offered are media relations, information sourcing, speech writing, issue research and analysis, editorial and design analysis, newsletter publishing, presentation and video scripting, marketing brochure and training manual production, focus groups and meeting planning. With more than 1,000 articles published, Margulis is also an accredited journalist. His writings on the food, retail, tobacco, information technology and transportation industries have appeared in Canadian Business, Chicago Tribune, Cigar Magazine, Computerworld, Convenience Store News, Distribution Channels, Executive Technology, FT.com, Food Arts, Forbes, ID, Sales & Marketing, Shipping Digest, Supermarket News, Washington Times and several other newspapers and magazines. As an editor and reporter, he has interviewed more than 50 CEOs of leading global companies and dozens of government officials including four US Cabinet Secretaries, the Governor of the Bank of England and the Treasurer of Australia. Margulis has won numerous awards for his writing, has written more than one dozen industry reports/white papers and is contributing editor of three professional reference books. He has been quoted in several leading newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer and Smart Money, on topics ranging from technology to crisis communications, and has been featured on Bloomberg Radio, Talk Canada, Westwood One and National Public Radio. He has spoken at numerous business and academic conferences, and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Society of America. Margulis graduated with honors from George Washington University, earned an MBA in economics from New York University and studied journalism at University of London. The son and grandson of supermarket operators, he also completed a management training internship and meat cutter’s apprenticeship at Wakefern Food Corp. (Shop-Rite Supermarkets). Margulis is married to Patricia Paul, an artist. They live in New Jersey with their daughter Elena. His recreational activities and hobbies include fencing (President, Westfield Fencing Club), hiking, skiing, reading, cooking and map collecting
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  • Posted on: 03/19/2020

    Does Dick’s Sporting Goods need to hunt for customers?

    Not at all surprised by this. Sales of guns, ammo and hunting/shooting supplies have been moving online to sites like CheaperThanDirt.com for years. I’m a pretty avid shooter (target, trap and skeet) and I can’t remember the last time I bought ammo, clays or targets from a physical store, but it has to be at least four or five years. NJ doesn’t allow online gun purchases except through a Federal Firearms License holder, or I’d buy any new gun that way too.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2020

    Is blockchain the answer to supply chain visibility?

    I was at the Modex show this week in Atlanta, where vendors were showing off the latest and greatest in product handling systems (my report from the conference will be posted next week). In the past few shows, blockchain was a key trend with several sessions devoted to the topic and exhibitors highlighting it in their booths. This year, not so much. While much of the attention in the industry has been grabbed by robots, I suspect the real reason for the temporary demise is the priority companies are placing on productivity improvements and blockchain has limited proof points in this area.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2020

    Has the UPC outlived its usefulness?

    It’s hard for me to believe that any new attempt at a standardized automated ID schema, whether it’s 2D barcodes, digital watermarks or RFID, won’t be leapfrogged by more accurate technology that will scan and track purchases at the shelf. I understand this may be a bit harder in eaches and random weight areas, but Amazon is proving this is more than just possible, it’s probable.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2020

    New York Stock Exchange owner eyed acquiring eBay

    Maybe it made sense when eBay owned PayPal. Maybe.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2020

    Retailers share how they make the most of their trade show visits

    Follow-up is the one key tip that’s missing in this list. Without follow-up, which should come in the form of contacting vendors, sharing knowledge with the team members who didn’t attend and even adding LinkedIn contacts, nothing happens and the trip to the conference was useless.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2020

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl?

    Not a great year for Super Bowl ads by any measure. The Rocket Mortgage and Jeep ads were clever and captured my attention more than the others, while Google’s was better than most at presenting a value proposition for viewers. Still, as my wife said, most were ridiculous and delivered absolutely no incentive to buy the product or service that was being promoted.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    Will Google take ‘going local’ to another level?

    Someone has to bring up the “P” word, so it might as well be me. All the incentives and added convenience of the new Google suite or any other series of apps will not fully address all privacy issues for all people. There will always be more than just a fringe portion of society that will see these kinds of “developments” as a violation of their rights. Google and others should expect some resistance.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2019

    Do independent liquor stores need a rehab?

    Perhaps the bigger threat to ALL wine and liquor stores is marijuana legalization. Media friends in Colorado, where weed has been legal for nearly six years, report the state has seen flat to lower off-premise sales of alcohol. And this during a craft beer/whiskey boom. If I were the owner of an independent wine and liquor store in a state that hasn’t legalized pot yet, I’d be looking into switching to that business.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2019

    Will IoT reinvent the supply chain?

    While some of the more notable business use cases for IoT in the extended retail supply chain are around omnichannel fulfillment, traceability and asset management, there is a clear opportunity for it to help with basic blocking and tackling issues like out-of-stocks and overstocks. By addressing these core inventory challenges and getting early and significant wins for all trading partners, retailers and suppliers can more easily and effectively gain more resources for advanced IoT applications.
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Private label foods need work

    The busiest booths at last week’s Private Label show in Chicago featured fresh products and it wasn’t just because they were sampling their wares. National brands have been moving rapidly into the perimeter and store brands are following closely behind. The key, as covertly suggested in the article, is for retailers to take a risk and try to leapfrog the national brands with new creations that will engage shoppers and have them spend more of their wallet. Trader Joe’s tries and fast fails with a lot of fresh items. Other retailers need to follow suit.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2019

    Is Amazon starting to fall out of favor with American consumers?

    The combination of next-day shipping and entertainment options are just a start for Amazon Prime. I see them adding benefits like discount hotel and travel options, clubs for specific interests and even car repair options in the not too distant future. And when they get the whole healthcare thing figured out, they’ll be looking at the other retailers in the rear view mirror again.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    What will drive food trends for 2020?

    Nothing about CBDs? That’s a huge miss in the list, as are cold-brew coffee and energy drinks. Maybe they were numbers 11-13 on the Whole Foods list, but certainly CBDs and probably all of them should have been higher.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2019

    Have Giant Food and Stop & Shop nailed ‘frictionless’ checkouts?

    It’s hard for me to believe this approach won’t be leapfrogged by more accurate technology that will track purchases at the shelf. I understand this may be a bit harder in fresh areas and with random-weight products, but putting the onus on the customer for checkout seems like a solution that is bound to get only limited buy in.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2019

    Is BOPIS a good fit for Dollar General?

    I have serious doubts whether the target audience for dollar stores is interested in online shopping at all and if they are, Walmart already has their share of wallet and isn’t going to give it up without a fight. It's much better for the deep discounters to do everything they can to get shoppers into the store and keep them there. Spending resources on traditional and digital marketing would give them a better ROI.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2019

    Will consumers go for Kroger’s food hall concept?

    As a foodie, I’ve gone out of my way to visit food halls around the world (much to my wife’s chagrin). Harrods in London, the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and the Great Food Hall in Hong Kong are three of the best and they couldn’t be more different. Harrods is almost exclusively for the rich, with its caviar bar and $1,000+ picnic baskets. The Reading Market is utilitarian, serving great food at a great price. The Great Food Hall is smack in the middle, a mix of everyday Chinese food and luxury foreign delights. This should be a lesson for retailers wanting to set up food halls in current or future real estate. You need to know the consumer and the market. Harrods wouldn’t work in Baltimore and the Reading Market wouldn’t work in Beverly Hills. Interestingly, an American variant of the Great Food Hall (hamburgers or pizza instead of ramen noodles) could work in most urban settings because it will have something for just about everyone and doesn’t require the build-out or the stocking cost of a Harrods-like hall.

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