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: 04/18/2019

    Will America’s love for paper coupons ever die?

    Truth be known that we like hanging on to our roots despite the benefits of technological conveniences. Paper is something you can hold, touch and take your time to read. It’s no different from handing a check to someone for $500 and yet realizing that giving them $100 in cash feels better despite it being less valuable. However, we are gradually moving away from cash and paper. It took time for e-books to catch on, and they have yet there are those who still prefer holding a book and reading it. Time will eventually change the old habits as we embrace the new. Moreover, technology will continue to improve with more 3-D opportunities providing similar experiences to that of paper products. I think 50 years from now children will be reading about the time when people used to use cash and paper coupons. We’re not ready to say goodbye to our old habits but eventually, we will.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2019

    Will former exec’s Godiva café plans spell trouble for Starbucks?

    I like the concept, and I believe that Godiva cafés could have a real shot in becoming a recognized brand. Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have been running their business the same way for so long. It’s no wonder they have both lost their edge. So something innovative like Godiva cafés has a chance of being highly successful. Add to that the experience that Annie Young-Scrivner brings to the table and Godiva cafés have an even better opportunity for success. There’s no doubt Ms. Young-Scrivner will know what strategies to avoid, what attempts that were unsuccessful at Starbucks and why, and most likely brings with her tons of data and information acquired from Starbucks that she can now put to use. Assuming the first few Godiva cafés are successful and I think they will be, I can see this in a few years turning into a popular and successful business.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2019

    Will livestream shopping take off in the U.S.?

    I see livestream shopping as a novel idea, but I don’t see it becoming the next big thing. First, we don’t have the attention span in this country to be watching anything too long other than Netflix. Our society has become inundated with so many ways to find the items we want and how to buy them, and I see the average livestream participant losing interest quickly. Our culture prefers instant gratification so I see livestream shopping being more of a short-term fad that will catch on for some but not enough of an audience to make a huge impact.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2019

    Apple owns the checkout at Decathlon’s sporting goods store

    I love the Mobile Pay concept and have always been impressed with it especially when first experiencing it in the Apple Store. However, we have to look at practicality here, and I’m not sure that the small convenience store is where the system is going to work best. C-stores tend not to be staffed with many associates and purchases tend to be a single item or only a few items. Having a convenient register station seems to work fine in these types of stores, so I do not see a tremendous benefit with mobile pay. First, I’m concerned with how many associates will be available to assist customers. One reason why the mobile pay system works so well in the Apple store is that you never have to look for an associate, they’re everywhere. However, I don’t know how well the system would work if that were not the case. I love new technology and see the many conveniences, but I think we have to also look at when it is practical, and I’m not sure if in this case, Mobile pay is the best benefit. Quick Chek has self-checkouts in their store that leave customers furious because too many times that’s the only option. So we must be careful with the technology we’re choosing to use and make sure it’s what the customer wants and not just what the retailer wants.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2019

    Hubert Joly: New Best Buy CEO has the right stuff to lead chain to new heights

    Time will tell, but I would expect there to be very little change at first at Best Buy because they have developed a winning formula. However, the consumer electronics/appliances industry tends to change quickly as technology offers new concepts and features. How the public responds and what desire they have will force Best Buy to stay one step ahead, along with the never-ending competition that will continue to increase market share. So how Best Buy remains successful will eventually be determined by the strategy and concepts implemented by Corrie Barry. Chairman Hugh Joly can offer suggestions and ideas but if the company wants a CEO who is a leader, ultimately it will be Barry who will be the driving force getting the credit when things are right and taking the hit when they’re not. Only time will tell how things work out.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2019

    Why is Five Below a step above?

    There’s that old phrase "when you’re hot, your hot and when you’re not, you’re not” that applies here. Five Below is doing everything right. The company has captured the audience and has found its niche, and they are maintaining the buzz and excitement about their business. There is no telling how long it will last, but for the moment there are no signs of the attraction fading off. Five Below is continuing to open stores at a competitive rate and, hopefully, they’ll be careful not to open too many because that could begin to hurt them. However, for now, Five Below is enjoying all the benefits of a business, that has outsmarted its competitors with a winning formula bringing them tremendous success that doesn’t show any signs of ending soon.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Why consumers are breaking bonds with their favorite brands

    Today we have become accustomed to looking for information on just about every item we buy before we make the purchase. Competition is intense, and companies have tried everything they can to win over the customer. Unfortunately, some have misled customers not to mention the fast-talking salesperson who stretched the truth or just flat out lied. So yes, the internet allows us the opportunity to judge for ourselves before buying the item. Knowing that, it’s incredible to see how many manufacturers and retailers don’t use that to their advantage. Companies should be doing everything they can; not scamming the customer with false testimonials, but obtaining positive product reviews from genuine and satisfied customers. The internet is an excellent tool for social media and when used correctly can be a huge success.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Should retail rivals see Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and raise it $1?

    There is no doubt that Amazon led by Jeff Bezos has been an enormous success. Of course, how many remember the years when Amazon did nothing but lose money, and we’re talking significant dollars? However, Bezos was successful in encouraging the investors to continue putting in more money and years later, yes, they have turned it around. But let’s face it, Bezos is an egomaniac. How could he not be? Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and remains the richest man in the world even after forking over 30 billion dollars to his ex. He is in the news every day getting praise for his accomplishments. So yes, there is an ego. However, one thing Bezos said I agree with -- "one day Amazon will go out of business.” It’s impossible to see that now and even think of how and when that could happen. However, just as so many other giants have eventually failed, Bezos is probably right, and if so, it could very well be his ego that gets them there — touting the $15 an hour wage ... it’s just another way of letting everyone know how great Jeff Bezos is or at least what he wants everyone to remember. As Walmart pointed out, Amazon doesn’t pay any taxes to the IRS and after realizing an $11 billion dollar profit that is a considerable saving. It’s legal because of the loopholes but is it fair? Of course, Amazon has money that other companies don’t have with that type of saving.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Will more consumers listen now that Macy’s has a new STORY to tell?

    I commend Macy’s for the attempt and see STORY as something unique and attention-getting. However, unless Macy’s can afford to put a STORY department in every store, I do not see it making much difference. Furthermore, the bigger issue with Macy’s is the continued problem of shopping in a big store where there is practically no assistance. Ever try to pay for something in a Macy’s? Which register is open is your first question followed by does anyone work here? Macy’s has been scratching their head on how to build their brand when the first answer that is so simple to see is investing in staff and doing everything imaginable to wow your customers. It’s okay to invest in new ideas like STORY and in-store technology but department stores of any decade saw success primarily from the people that worked there and interacted with the customers. A large store like Macy’s where customers can roam and see no one, counters closed, registers unopened, full departments with no associate present does not provide an excellent customer experience. The best STORY designs and the best technology will not change that.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Amazon Go doesn’t want to leave cash on the table

    I wonder how much customer polling Amazon did before deciding to go cashless. I don’t see stores not accepting cash as just discrimination against those less fortunate people who don’t have credit cards; I also see it as a major inconvenience to everyone. If I want to only buy a pack of mints for $2.49, do I really want to use my credit card or debit card? Using cash for small items is still more convenient. Eventually, we will be cashless worldwide but only after a time when the technology is perfected, and we will merely use a thumbprint or a retina scan. We are not there yet, and all these other methods or payment: using the app, credit card, debit card and so on take time, and when you want to pay cash, you should be able to. I see more states banning cashless stores and all those stores that were going in that direction to rethink their strategy. Amazon Go will have to concede and put in a POS register; however, I would expect it to be a self-checkout register that will also require the user to have the Amazon Go app.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will retailers see more rewards from multi-banner loyalty programs?

    I not only think that multi-banner loyalty programs are smart; I feel these companies should have been doing this a long time ago. Competition creates the need to try anything imaginable to build traffic and establish customer loyalty. Offering incentives between a company’s multiple brands is wise and make customers happy. People usually know the brands a business owns, and it’s silly to penalize them for attempting to keep everything separate when in reality there is a greater chance for a customer to shop the multi-brands thereby giving the company more business. Van Heusen has been doing multi-brand promotions for a long time because they work, and their customers use the opportunities. I would expect more multi-brand retailers to incorporate this concept.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    In theory, it sounds great. The idea of robots taking over the mundane tasks freeing up associates to assist customers is excellent. In Walmart’s case, I believe they will do precisely that, however, will they be tempted to lay off some staff looking to save money in the future? The robots do come at a cost, and they’ll require ongoing maintenance. So only time will tell. Regarding other retailers, when they start placing robots in their stores, I firmly believe many of them will make the mistake of thinning out staff even further to save money.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2019

    Will Rent the Runway become all the fashion for kids?

    Renting clothes sounds like a great idea but also has many steps involved not to mention a hefty price tag, so I’m on the fence with this. The concept is doing “okay” but has not emerged as the next best thing I have to have. It requires time to figure out what you want, wait for the clothes to arrive, and send the clothes back. Once the novelty wears off, I can see customers losing interest. Now adding kids creates more burden and expense, so I don’t see this as a long-term success. Also, as the technology for "custom made clothes while you wait" is perfected, consumers will opt for this service because they will no longer have to deal with the size and fit compromise. I see "custom made clothes while you wait" becoming a huge success within the next ten to twenty years and it will change the entire apparel industry.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2019

    Retailers and brands become best of frenemies with Amazon

    There’s the adage, “If you can’t beat them join them.” Even though the internet is far from new, we are still dealing with uncharted waters in many areas when it comes to clearly understanding what is going to work online or in-store. So I think more retailers realize they need to explore all options and see what works for them. There has been a reluctance to trust Amazon and for a good reason, because they are the powerhouse with tremendous control but at the same time many retailers have found success partnering with them. I would expect other online-retailer partnerships like Target to emerge in this new era of how to market goods and learning more about how consumers respond. Many feel that in the future there will be no stores. I doubt that very much, but I do see the continuing opportunities for the online shopping experience and in-store shopping experience to become more aligned and the consumer using either as they wish with when and how they want to. So retailers selling products on Amazon or other e-commerce sites is just another step toward getting all of us there.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2019

    Will Amazon, CVS or Walgreens win the speedy Rx delivery race?

    Those of us old enough to remember the days when the pharmacy would always deliver the prescription medicines can see the benefit of this service. However, the issue won’t be the convenience; it will be the cost. Forking over an additional $7.99 for delivery might be a bit steep for many, and because we’ve become accustomed to picking up our prescriptions, many consumers may opt to do so. I see the more significant opportunity being with an annual delivery fee of something like $50 for all deliveries and other perks for the consumer if they sign up. This way the retailers will establish customer loyalty and receive a more significant win.

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