Tom Ryan

Managing Editor, RetailWire

Tom Ryan has more than 15 years experience as a reporter covering the retail trade.

Starting his career as a beat reporter in 1990 for Fairchild Publications, Mr. Ryan authored more than 200 front-page articles over a ten-year period for Women’s Wear Daily and also wrote extensively for the Daily News Record (DNR) and other Fairchild publications (Home Furnishings Network, Footwear News and Sportsstyle). He specialized in financial reporting including earnings results, mergers & acquisitions and funding, but also covered general business trends impacting apparel and footwear companies and the retail industry. He eventually supervised and oversaw editing responsibilities for Fairchild’s financial staff.

After leaving Fairchild in 2000, Mr. Ryan became vice president at Integrated Corporate Relations, an investor relations firm specializing in retail and apparel/footwear companies. Soon thereafter, he joined The CIT Group, an asset-based lending/factoring firm, as communications manager. At CIT, Mr. Ryan developed over 75 direct-mail pieces, wrote speeches for top executives, and orchestrated public relations placement.

In 2004. Mr. Ryan became senior editor at Sporting Goods Business (SGB), the leading monthly trade magazine for the sporting goods industry. At SGB, he also oversaw online newsletters targeting the outdoor sports and elite running markets. Prior to joining Retail Wire, he was editor and head writer for Executive Perspective, a VNU/ACNielsen bi-monthly publication targeting senior level executives in the CPG industry.

Mr. Ryan has also freelanced for several publications, including Ad-Fax (an advertising publication), Apparel Magazine, Crain’s NY, (an investment website) and The New York Post. In addition, he has ghostwritten articles and conducted market research for corporations.

Tom resides in the East Village in New York City with his wife Rhonda of six years and their dog, Trixie.

  • Posted on: 10/21/2022

    Does Lululemon need a teen strategy?

    I wrote the article. Both former CEO Christine Day and founder Chip Wilson in the past have said Lululemon’s target customer is in their early thirties and I wonder if that's changed as they've grown. I don't know if they thought many teens would be able to afford Lululemon. In a New York Times article in 2015, Wilson said his “muse” and target customer in the early days of Lululemon was a 32-year-old professional single woman (named Ocean) who makes $100,000 a year, is “engaged, has her own condo, is traveling, fashionable, has an hour and a half to work out a day.” He felt his muse inspired older and younger generations. He said, “If you’re 20 years old or you’re graduating from university, you can’t wait to be that woman. If you’re 42 years old with a couple children, you wish you had that time back.”
  • Posted on: 05/27/2022

    Can body neutrality messaging replace body positivity?

    As the writer, I could only think of a few brands, maybe Nike and Lululemon, that could embrace the functional aspect of body neutrality and I'm not sure it would be beneficial for them. Most fashion and beauty brands are closely aligned with looks and appearance so I'm not sure what they're messaging would be around body neutrality. At least body positivity is still all about looking (as well as feeling) good.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 15-minute cities truly bring back local retail?

    Hey Paula - I couldn't get this in the article but a recent study from found your hometown of Miami had the greatest potential for meeting the geographic goals of the 15-minute city. The top-ten list also included, in order, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Long Beach, Oakland, and Cincinnati. The link is:
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Are Albertsons and Tesco too late for the retail media party?

    Here's some more info on what's driving retail media spend. According to a survey of U.S. CPG brands commissioned by Merkle last October, the leading reason to work with retail media networks was to gain access to retail’s first-party data, cited by 62 percent against 33 percent in the 2020 survey. Other top reasons for working with retail media included build a stronger relationship with the retailer, cited by 51 percent; better understand the retailer’s shopper, also 51 percent; leverage owned and operated retail inventory, 49 percent; open co-branding opportunities, 37 percent; and deliver more personalized communications, 34 percent.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Will ‘less is more’ or ‘more is better’ online merchandising drive bigger sales?

    No one's touched on whether the concept of "fatigue breaks" makes sense. I think that makes sense for many categories, People love and have grown accustomed to abundant choices, get overwhelmed (despite curation that helps narrow the decision process), take a break and come back to the same site (because they know they know they have great options.) I definitely recently did that with a pair of headphones (yep, back to Amazon a few times). I'm also pretty sure online shoppers have come up with other coping mechanisms after all these years to manage the Paradox of Choice that comes with online shopping.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2020

    Was Walmart responsible for vetting opioid prescriptions?

    In May, two Ohio counties sued CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Giant Eagle as well as Walmart in what was described as the first lawsuits related the opioids to target retail pharmacy chains.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    To furlough or not to furlough?

    Not to give the stores furloughing a full pass but it was an incredibly uncertain time with lots of unknowns at the start of the pandemic. Stores and customers have learned a lot about how to operate with a social-distancing selling floor and even how to make more money outside the store. That will certainly help stores stay open in some capacity should more restrictions arrive and probably reduce the need for furloughs. The extra $600-weekly bonus to the unemployment checks also played a role. I've heard several independents that faced a challenge rehiring staff because they were making better money on unemployment than they could be working the store. We'll have to see if some fiscal stimulus arrives again.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2019

    How Modell’s survived a bankruptcy scare

    Mitchell definitely was helped by his deep connections in the industry; not many retail CEOs have those connections. Even healthy publicly-held retailers seem to change CEOs and other key members of their exec team quite often. He mentioned that he's a friend of Toys "R" Us’s former CEO, David Brandon, and saw him go through a similar situation after a CNBC report revealed they hired a restructuring advisor. The one difference is Brandon had only been in the toy industry for three years while Mitchell has been working in the sporting goods industry his whole life. Mitchell said he was telling his vendor partners he’d “move to Venezuela and live with Maduro” before he’d let his company go under and they likely only believed him because of those long relationships. I guess it's one positive for family-owned businesses in these situations.

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