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: 07/06/2020

    Walmart debuts virtual summer camp and drive-in movie programs

    Not to pat myself on the back, but I suggested drive-in movies and corralled outdoor seating for local restaurants to a friend who owns several malls experiencing less-than-stellar traffic back in April. He started a movie program at two locations and has outdoor restaurants operating at five of them, and they’re putting up good numbers. Walmart will experience the same with their programs.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2020

    Has the pandemic proven Instacart’s business model?

    As fast as Instacart has grown during the pandemic, other vendors that offer much better deals for retailers have strengthened their capabilities. These competitors are in the form of comprehensive e-commerce platforms and automated micro-fulfillment centers, and have long term advantages for the retailer that Instacart doesn’t offer.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2020

    Is business too busy saving itself to save the environment?

    Quick answers – yes and positive. If nothing else, consumers now understand the critical importance of cleaning things to keep healthy. Their hands, prep surfaces, even doorknobs and mail. They are looking ever more closely at what they’re using to sanitize everything around them. Partly because they have time but also because they see the damage harsh chemicals can do on their hands with constant washing and elsewhere. So there is a desire for products that are better for us. The question, which will be even more important if the economy continues to tank, becomes are those items affordable to everyone? Store brands will likely influence this outcome so I remain positive the trend for more environmentally-friendly products has legs and both retailers and suppliers need to bolster their corporate sustainability programs.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Are store brands set for a big growth spurt?

    Brian Sharoff, the PLMA president quoted in this story, passed away last weekend after a short illness. For almost 40 years he led the association and had a lot to do with the transformation of store brands from low quality copycats of national brands with category shares in the low single digits to the robust and ever-growing sector it is today. He was constantly thinking about how to make the industry better and it showed every November at the trade group’s annual event in Chicago. On a personal note, as a writer he always had a good quote for me. He will be missed.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2020

    Is Amazon about to buy J.C. Penney?

    Big stores just are not the future of apparel and home goods retailing. Amazon would be better served buying the post office.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2020

    Should grocers keep paying their associates like heroes?

    It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and award these great workers money out of other people’s pockets, but we have to remember that even with the dramatic volume increases grocery is still a penny or two per dollar net income business. Supermarket operators are very well aware of the additional profit they’ve earned. They also know the cost for those extra earnings. If they’re transparent with their team members and reward them based on added output, the workers, shoppers and the community will be more than satisfied.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    Should face masks be mandatory for shoppers?

    I'm not a lawyer, but it certainly seems the potential for legal action against retailers who knowingly allow the spread of COVID-19 that results in sickness and deaths is huge. In terms of risk mitigation, it’s a no-brainer.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2020

    Tyson Foods chair says ‘the food supply chain is breaking’

    I talked with two retailers and a wholesaler about this last night and they all said the same thing – there are temporary shortages in a few fresh meat and seafood subcategories, but that’s all they are – temporary. There are systems in place that help re-align and coordinate the fresh supply chain. The mechanisms take a little time – weeks, not months – but ultimately result in getting the right products to the consumer.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2020

    Is America’s food supply chain nearing its breaking point?

    It’s remarkable that the supermarkets, mass merchants and drug stores have as much product in as wide an assortment as they do. Sure, there are out-of-stocks, the produce doesn’t always look the best and some of the service counters are closed, but you can always find a lot of different things to eat. And now the paper supply is coming back so you can buy an extra few months' stock. That second question is really the interesting one, though. We’ll definitely see more automation via micro-fulfillment centers. While e-commerce won’t stay at the levels it’s currently at, it’s not going back to 2 to 3 percent. Both of these trends means stores can and probably should be smaller. Last, there will be slightly more safety stock at upstream nodes (DC and manufacturing) of the supply chain.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2020

    What’s going on inside the heads of consumers right now?

    On one hand there is a mixture of fearfulness, confusion and even anger (vented at our leaders or those who oppose them). On the other, there continues to be hope and admiration for the frontline players. The responsible thing for brands to do is negate as much as possible the first set of feelings with messages that highlight and promote the second set. Bad news begets bad news. Good news may not instantly beget good news, but it does soften the bad news and can act as a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • 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.

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