PROFILE

Art Suriano

Chief Executive Officer, The TSi Company
Art Suriano is a business development executive with expertise in retail sales consulting, business culture analysis, and process improvements. He is a forward-thinking business intelligence leader who knows what it takes to run a business and make it a success. Suriano has had an extremely successful and multi-faceted career path that has been anything but conventional. Suriano’s career has provided him skills as CEO, VP of Sales & Marketing, Patent Owner, Published Author, Award-Winning Composer/Arranger, and Public Speaker.

Suriano’s talent includes a keen eye for mining, analyzing, compiling, and presenting data that consistently boosts company value. His patented methodology known as LTraining® has put numerous businesses back on track fixing disconnect, improving performance, consistency, sales culture, sales, and customer satisfaction.

In addition, Suriano is the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience...The Path to Victory for Any Business...Any Size...Any Time.” His leadership style is extremely creative, energetic, motivational, customer-focused, collaborative and ambitious.

Suriano began his career accepting work as a freelance composer. Soon he was scoring original compositions for television and radio for such programs as As The World Turns and Another World, and jingles/soundtracks for companies such as Subaru, Ford and more. From his success working for media directly as well as advertising agencies, Suriano soon figured out he could offer clients better and more effective creative campaigns for less than what they were paying. This led to founding his own company, PMI in the late 1980’s, which in time, became a full- service ad agency billing over $5 million annually, with local and regional clients.

From the success of his winning agency formula, a few years later, Suriano was offered an opportunity to offer his talent directly to broadcast companies such as WABC in New York and Kiss 108 in Boston. His assignment was helping underperforming clients get better results. Suriano would write and produce a new ad campaign that included custom commercials, and oftentimes, a custom jingle. It was during this period that his peers and clients coined him, “Mr. Fix It,” as every client he was handed began to see improvements in advertising results within 30 days.

Suriano’s passion for advertising continued, but as deregulation affected broadcast media and how they operated, he felt the need to move on and in 1994, founded the company he has today, The TSi Company. Starting out as an in-store marketing/advertising program for retailers, Suriano created an exciting program known as RadioPlusTM. Simply a better in-store music program, RadioPlusTM provided retailers with in-store commercials, complete with a custom client jingle, stations calls and personalities, making their in-store sound system appear as if it was the company’s own radio station. Soon, The TSi Company was signing local and regional retail clients who liked the idea of the added opportunities to build sales with customers through Suriano’s effective commercials and concepts.

By 1997, Suriano’s creative reputation was growing and clients were asking for his help in what was becoming a strong need: training. He began by creating and producing an in-store “before and after” hour radio program that quickly helped store associates learn about upcoming events, in-store promotions, customer service, and policies and procedures. Starting with Stern’s Department Stores, he was soon asked to expand the product to Macy’s, and other divisions after such as May Company divisions and other retail chains. Next, he turned his attention to part-time employees and created what eventually became his patented training method, LTraining®.

Today, LTraining® has been used by over 4 million trainees and consistently outperforms any other training method, scoring over 90% retention after a single session. LTraining® sessions have been created for every training topic necessary from orientation, POS and systems training, product training, sales training, customer service, and more.

As time progressed and Suriano recognized the strong results his training method was achieving, he realized that in order to get maximum impact for any business, he had to take it one step further. He began to look at the other areas of a business that, regardless of how effective his training was, would prevent a business from reaching its full potential.

Suriano met and spoke with clients and requested the opportunity to perform assessments, asking the right questions from top executives to the field and then comparing answers. Soon he found that every business was experiencing serious disconnect from the vision and objectives of the senior staff and what was actually taking place with lower level employees, especially the employees dealing with the customers. Soon he created his TSi 360TM, which became the footprint for helping clients increase sales, cut costs and improve customer satisfaction. Clients experienced over 15% increases in comparable store sales, saved millions of dollars that were being wasted, and saw increases in conversion of 7% annually. Moreover, clients saw long term growth quarter after quarter due to the improvements in performance and consistency.

Today, Suriano enjoys his role as Chief Executive Officer of The TSi Company which has expanded into a full-service company providing branding/marketing, training, communication skills and technology. He also provides his expertise as a consultant, teaching companies what they need to know to grow their business.

As the author of “The Ultimate Customer Experience”, Suriano follows the principles in his book that help clients achieve their goals. Furthermore, as a public speaker, Suriano has been asked to speak at various functions and events all over the world including the Intercoifure International event held in Australia.

Suriano is an accomplished composer/musician who won numerous awards through the decades for original scores for radio/television and corporate presentations. Today, he is under contract with two record labels in the UK as the songwriter/arranger for Circle of Faith, an up and coming Christian pop band.
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  • Posted on: 08/14/2018

    Aldi shoppers are getting curbside pickup, but do they want it?


    It's okay that Aldi is getting into the game of curbside pickup and home delivery. However, I see the same challenge with all grocers chasing after online shopping and delivery. The more they are successful at finding ways to keep the customers out of the stores the higher the risk will be in a few years when the stores are empty and sales are flat because they will have completely lost out on impulse buying. By then it will be too late. That’s why it is imperative for every new convenience associated with ordering online and delivery to add some benefit that will still drive the customer into the store, even if it is only occasionally. Walmart has done that by having pick-up towers in the store. Concepts like that get customers in the store. We can’t change the minds of what customers want, but if we only focus on the short-term need without the long-term consequences, we will reach the day not too far in the distant future when many grocers may find themselves closing most if not all of their stores, if not going out of business entirely.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2018

    ‘Less is more’ when competing with Amazon

    I couldn’t agree with Chris Petersen more. It’s always about doing what you do and being the best at it. That’s how you succeed. We have seen many retailers fall into the trap of trying to be something to everyone and that’s not feasible. A brand is strong when customers can identify with what the brand represents. A brand is successful when the unique products speak for themselves as must-haves and when the service associated when purchasing the products is unsurpassed during the purchase and after. Retailers who have followed these practices are the ones who have been and will remain successful. Today there are too many copycats. Marketers have gotten away from the basics like taglines and slogans because it’s easier to be nothing that something specific. The retail leaders have sacrificed staffing enough people and training them arguing that is how they can keep prices down without sacrificing the almighty corporate executive bonuses. These practices must change, and retailers need to get back to the basics. Decide whom you want to be, who your best audience is, focus on them, be different and most importantly, be the best!
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Hy-Vee opens fitness-focused grocery store concept

    I see a stronger potential for the Hy-Vee HealthMarket than I do for the partnership with Orangetheory. Eating healthier continues to become more popular and grocery chains like Fresh Thyme and Earth Fare are doing very well as they are building a loyal customer base who shop them exclusively. The healthy food market is growing so having Hy-Vee getting into the game is wise. As for the Orangetheory partnership, that may not be as successful because the competition is enormous with another health club opening every day. So I would look for Hy-vee to make the Orangetheory partnership worthwhile for the customer by offering discounts and special offers. Then there is a stronger chance for success and it is an excellent way to beat the competition.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    J.C. Penney goes after Babies ‘R’ Us customers with new shops

    This strategy is a smart move for J. C. Penney. They have the space to set up great in-store physical departments, and it’s okay to bring back more of the traditional department store concept, that being many departments and categories under one roof. It also ties into their strategy of going after the older female shopper. Parents who are becoming grandparents are known for spending big on their future grandchild. So this all makes sense. What it will come down to is how well J. C. Penney merchandises their baby shop department, staffs their department with knowledgeable associates and how competitive their pricing will be. If they do all three well they will be very successful.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Party City to run pilot with Amazon, ‘the world’s largest and most trafficked mall’

    Partnering with Amazon can be successful, and I see Party City doing well with this arrangement. I agree with the adage "if you can’t beat them join them." If Party City didn’t partner with Amazon, Amazon would find someone else. I don’t see much of a downside here. I like that Party City is only providing 25 percent of their Halloween costumes, so that still gives their customers a more extensive selection in their Party City stores and website. Amazon has been building good partnerships with other retailers, and I see no reason why this can’t be another one.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Walmart.com to offer easier returns for marketplace purchases

    I see Walmart.com’s return policy being successful. Returning items is always a burden for customers especially when there is shipping involved. Having the option of returning an unwanted purchase is excellent for the customer and smart for the retailer. For the customer it’s a great convenience, and for Walmart it’s an intelligent way of getting the customer in the store. Walmart has a tremendous advantage of having 4,700 stores in the U.S., which will make this program a huge success. E-commerce has got to understand that returns will always be high because too often what the customer is expecting is not what they receive. Since customers cannot see and touch the item before purchasing, return rates will stay high.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2018

    Consortium is made-to-order for people who want customized brands

    I see customization of products as having a great future. However, it won’t be for everything or everyone. So those chasing after that business need to be careful. I can easily see the individual who might be an in-between size person like myself signing up immediately for the custom fitting blazer. However, I don’t see the average consumer worried too much about custom shampoos and even perfumes. It takes time to think of these things, and if the reward doesn’t indeed blow you away, you’re more inclined not to do it the next time. There will be those "loyal to everything” customers but how big that market will be and how often they will shop is yet to be determined. My advice for those investing in customization is lots of testing and to move slowly. Otherwise, they may find themselves with a fantastic business that only lasted a short time before going bankrupt.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2018

    Rite Aid and Albertsons call off merger – what’s next?

    The simple truth is that they did not complete the deal because there wasn’t enough money in it for the investors. That’s truly sad. These two companies should be ashamed of how poorly the leadership is running them. Albertsons has done nothing to stand out from the competition. It remains tired with no clear identity and in no way gives customers a good reason for them to be loyal to their brand. Rite Aid isn’t much better, selling off 2,200 stores to Walgreens after a failed attempt at a merger. It’s all about money, lots of money and quick cash and that is killing many businesses today. I don’t see a healthy future for either company unless they invest in new leadership that will focus on building their brand with hard work, determination and, most importantly, time to let the company evolve into something the public will want to shop frequently.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Walmart looks to automate grocery pick-up

    I think Alphabot is excellent and I can see the many benefits it will provide. However, what I like most is that it is not visible to the customer, and the customer still deals with human associates. I’m all in favor of technology that provides services as long as it does not attempt to replace interaction with human beings. The contact between the customer and store associate, when done correctly, is the most influential and most successful part of any in-store purchase. When technology attempts to replace that, the retailer is excited about the money they’ll save but doesn’t realize the lost sales they will incur because it is a turnoff to customers. Alphabot has taken what technology can provide and, behind the scenes, it becomes a great tool to help Walmart provide excellent customer service. I see this as being very successful.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Kroger takes on Visa

    Without knowing what Visa is requesting it’s hard to take sides but it would seem that two wrongs don’t make a right. No Kroger should not be held hostage by Visa, but if Visa’s demands are fair, then Kroger should comply. Eliminating Visa from Kroger will upset many customers and it may cost the company sales. Plus, most customers will blame Kroger before they blame Visa. Perhaps the best compromise is to have customers pay an additional few pennies per charge to cover the cost of using their Visa should they wish to use that card. Giving power and control to the consumer will allow Visa to see if their fees are excessive without penalizing those customers who still want to use their Visa card. Many customers will complain but if customers see that only when using their Visa card they need to pay an additional fee, it may give them a better understanding of what is going on and hopefully both Visa and Kroger will arrive at a reasonable compromise to remove those additional fees.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Publix takes on service dog tag abuse

    I think Publix has taken an excellent first step to guide customers with what is allowed and what is not allowed regarding bringing dogs in their stores. However, beyond posting signs, it will be difficult to enforce their rules. What it does provide is the opportunity for Publix to take action should a customer bring a pet into the store which is being disruptive and causing customers to feel threatened. Now they can ask the customer a few questions about the dog and the customer could be asked to leave. Beyond that, all Publix can do for now is hope the signs deter customers from bringing dogs into the store that are pets and not service dogs needed for disability reasons. I think the disability laws need revisiting and perhaps in cases where animals are providing emotional support, those individual's needs should be added to the list of "service" dogs and the owner's legal rights. A military person who has PTSD should be able to have the same support as a disabled individual. Unfortunately, everything in our government takes years, and there is no telling how and if that will ever happen.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Zara bets on faster deliveries from stores to boost online growth

    Zara has come up with a grand strategy, and it is a good move. Retailers need to continually find ways of using both e-commerce and their stores as one business. After all, it’s one customer who shops both, but in their mind it’s one company. Finding ways of satisfying the customer is always the first step, and here Zara is smartly doing that by expediting orders using their stores rather than distribution centers. Offering opportunities for the customer to pick up in-store is also wise because it can and should lead to additional sales. Retailers need to follow Zara’s lead and continue to find ways of merging their e-commerce and retail stores into one business.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    What can retailers do about consumer’s AI concerns?

    I think the overall issue is how businesses are attempting to use AI and how that impacts the customer. Frankly, I challenge much of the data we are reading today because too much of it comes from the very companies that are producing the technology. I see retailers spending enormous amounts of money on undeveloped technology without knowing that when completed it will be what customers want. I strongly recommend that ALL retailers listen to their customers and not the tech companies. That said, there is tremendous room for technology to provide services and conveniences that should make life more enjoyable for all. However, when looking specifically at retail, remember the best advantage of the shopping experience is the human interaction that takes place between a store level associate and the customer. It is excellent and smart to include wanted technology in the overall shopping experience. However, if a retailer attempts to replace the human interaction opportunities with AI or some other form of technology, I guarantee that retailer will lose. Then that retailer will learn they have given the customer no reason to visit their stores and the customer will either shop online or, most likely, at a different chain.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    Grocers have created a severe problem for themselves and now they are stuck. There is no doubt that in-home delivery is an excellent convenience for customers and all it took was one grocer to offer it, and now all the others are chasing after the concept. The cost is the first problem and no one has figured that out because they’re too focused on just making it work. The second problem is that when customers do not come into the store the grocer loses out on impulse buying and the opportunity for the customer to try new products. Impulse buying is a big part of any retail establishment, especially grocery. Losing out on that is very costly. The solution has got to be a balance and Walmart is on the right track. Find ways to keep delivery costs down and, most importantly, create incentives for the customers to come in still and visit the stores. Without that, I don’t see home delivery helping grocers grow and instead I see them losing business and increasing debt. Years ago, all the retailers fought hard to open Sundays. Finally, they got their wish then a few years later they all realized it did not work for sales and the retailers found themselves doing the same business over seven days they once did over six. Will home delivery turn out to be the same problem?
  • Posted on: 07/30/2018

    Does Five Below make sense for 5th Ave?

    Some will call it progress and others will be upset, but you can’t stop giving into public demand. Whether it is Five Below or some other off-price store as long as there is a space available and the rent is right, an off-price retailer will move in. Many middle-class people don’t shop discount stores, but the majority do, and Five Below will find many upscale customers coming in and checking them out as well. Five Below is a fun store to browse and, yes, they have bargains. As for the upscale consumer, one reason many of them are wealthy is that they know how and not how to spend their money. There’s nothing wrong with a good bargain. I see Five Below doing well, and if a few more discount stores move into the neighborhood, it won’t destroy 5th Ave. Eventually, off-price stores will peak out and we’ll be concerned about the next big thing.

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