Steve has proven ability to drive profitable growth for retail organizations. He is nationally recognized as a senior executive leader with unsurpassed expertise in retail services, vast multi-site location expertise, new product and service implementation, marketing and merchandising, strategic planning, financial oversight, organizational development, operations and driving bottom-line results. Read more...

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Always Hire Top Talent, Even If it Costs You More

I know a potential employee that was recently not considered for a position because the prospective employer would not negotiate his base salary. Employer’s response was, “Money is an issue.” The base salary offered was $100,000 a year. The difference in the base salary they were negotiating over was ten to twenty thousand dollars a year. However, the company was stuck on a certain amount and would not budge. Here are some questions the company should be asking themselves.

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Implementing a New Retail Product: Quick Overview

I was recently asked the following question. What is your approach to researching, developing and implementing a new product about which you have very limited knowledge prior to starting the process?

All new products or services require time and expense to implement, the first step is to ensure that the product is viable. This process entails: 1) developing a clear description of the product or service, 2) determining its competitive advantage by identifying the type of customer that would benefit from the product or service, 3) to ensure compatibility with other products and services, and 4) alignment with the company’s overall mission and strategy.  The next steps would include the following: Financial Projections, Risk Analysis, Licensing Requirements, Legal Opinions and Compliance Considerations.

If you have been through this process I would be interested in your comments of any other steps that you have included.


Selling in a Tough Economy

Customers’ buying behaviors have changed dramatically and will probably not return to the “good old days” of pre-2008. In the last 24 months, the loss of global wealth is over 50 trillion dollars. Retailing has changed forever with the attempt to manage risks by lowering spending, reducing deal size, cutting costs, downsizing staff, and blaming consumers for not shopping as much. At the same time, consumers are suffering from foreclosures, lost jobs, stock market drops, higher prices, and higher taxes. It is a vicious cycle. The downturn in our economy, for the first time in recent recessions, has affected the luxury market. All of these factors are leading to a longer sales cycle and delayed purchase decisions. So how do retailers sell in a slow economy that’s literally killing off many independent retailers and restaurants? I believe, as I mentioned earlier in my blog, that the key to success is a “back to business basics” approach mixed with good old-fashioned creativity. In our world, changes happen fast and you have to react quickly.

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Driving Success in Today's Retail Operations

In today’s tough retail environment as the general economy shifts into recovery mode, consumers are still extremely concerned about spending money wisely. Retail businesses are going to be slow to stir from hibernation. All retail businesses are going to have to be focused on maximizing the keys to success in their environments. How can retail businesses deliver the kind of customer service, quality, and value cost-conscious consumers want while maintaining focus on their financial success? It has been said that the most difficult thing about being successful in business is remembering how simple it really is. At the head of any business that has ever been truly successful on a long-term basis, there has been an executive team who knew that there were a few simple principles upon which that business had to run. In today’s complex world, many have lost or forgotten some of these key principles. Here are a few of the essential principles:

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The Myth of the Bottom Line

The Myth of the Bottom Line

The Retail Owners Institute has published a great article here on profit management and the income statement, strength management and the balance sheet (along with examples of each).