PROFILE

Frank Riso

Principal, Frank Riso Associates, LLC

Frank Riso has over fifty years serving the retail industry, beginning at store level management.  He started his career at Grand Union Supermarkets, installing Grand Union’s first POS scanning systems. Frank worked for Twin County Grocers, a cooperative wholesaler, as its Director of Retail Services, and for Supermation, an application provider for DSD software, as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing, until joining Symbol Technologies in 1991. Symbol was acquired by Motorola in 2007 which became Motorola Solutions, Inc (MSI) in 2009.  At MSI, Frank was in charge of their retail industry business, the largest part of MSI’s enterprise business.

Frank has served the retail industry as an associate member of National Retail National Association of Convenient Stores and the Food Marketing Institute. He was elected to serve on the Associate Member Council for NRF, and he is a past member of the Board of Directors for the International Retail User Group.  In addition to being a noted speaker and author in the field of retail automation, he is frequently quoted in RIS News, Retailwire, Chain Store Age, Supermarket News, Grocery Headquarters, Progressive Grocer, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  He was also an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in the Global Fashion Management graduate program.

Frank holds an engineering degree in Electrical Technology from Westchester, a BS degree in Marketing from Rutgers, and an MS degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation for Retail from NYU Polytechnic University. He has five U.S. Patents regarding the use of portable data devices in retail.

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  • Posted on: 02/28/2019

    Brands see voice ordering as more opportunity than threat

    I also think it is an opportunity for brands. It is easier to order by voice instead of making a list to order later or forgetting completely what we intended to order. Doing it by voice gets it done and if brand loyalty is there we ask for the item by brand so that should be a help to brands over the Amazon items. It does not matter which device we have or use since I think the consumer needs to be in control of what they are ordering, one mistake on a brand will be a lesson learned. Ordering in another language is also a benefit to using voice over not being able to read English.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2019

    Walmart says ‘goodbye’ to greeters and ‘hello’ to controversy

    I do not think so. The greeter is as much a part of Walmart as the happy face. The position is one that disabled and elderly people can do well but finding another position is normally not an option. I think more shoppers will speak up and this will be another oops on the part of Walmart. Keep the greeters and keep the folks that do the other roles as well.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2019

    E-commerce forces CPG brands to think differently

    The changes being made by P&G and soon additional CPG brands are just more steps in this new grocery sector, home delivery. The need to reduce cost, improve productivity of the work force, and increase sales are all part of any retail business so why not the home delivery sector? Brands such as P&G, General Mills, and Heinz are all looking at the transition to lower cost packaging. That will be the real challenge to the industry if they decide to enter the direct-to-consumer sector and take on retailers as competitors. Let us hope now that they and others continue to be in partnership with all aspects of the retail food industry.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Whole Foods to expand nationwide to drive Prime Now growth

    Whole Foods/Amazon needs to be very aggressive in order to be competitive in the shop-from-home sector of the grocery industry. More Millennials depend on the various combinations for grocery shopping and even going to the store itself. This will continue to grow as a segment of the industry and much like the physical stores the shop-at-home vendors and/or services will become very competitive. I think even the meal preparation services will be a part of the shop-at-home sector in the near future.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2018

    Should Amazon buy Target?

    I do not think Amazon's prime target is Target. Sorry, I could not help myself from saying that. It may be of value but with a main focus on shopping at home and staying at home, the Target asset would be more for picking up in-store. This is not yet the model at Amazon and that is what keeps them competitive. The cost of the stores in overhead would also be a concern I think for Amazon. If the price is too good to be true what can the board do? They can say it's a bad deal but the stockholders would be the ones to really make the call. Target can do better on their own.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2018

    Will Active Ride Shop customers be stoked over lifetime commissions?

    I think it is a good idea and one that is very new to the industry. It not only promotes the brand but provides rewards for everyone making a purchase and still offers a competitive advantage. I do think they should be more commonplace in retail however management of the entire system could be a burden given so many different brand names under one company such as Gap and Limited. Online retail should be a no-brainer but physical stores could have issues. I cannot imagine this program working at supermarkets or gas stations but it could be nice to have it at these types of retailers. Restaurants would be an excellent place too!
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    Gap is making the right move in closing a large number of stores. It is a difficult decision but should be made in order to save the brand. It will have a number of challenges in doing so, mostly dealing with lower sales figures, stock market issues and most of all a need to strengthen the brand by online sales. if done right Gap can gain back some of its sales with greater profits online, but it has to put a better plan in place and even partner with others such as Amazon.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2018

    Why is Bloomingdale’s selling major appliances?

    Bloomingdale's will do well selling LG Signature appliances since like the rest of the store, it will be selling premium items. The only issue I see is the lack of brand choice for the consumer, its LG or nothing right now. Home Depot and Lowe's are doing very well selling appliances, mostly for their kitchen and laundry remodels. I would also think that Walmart and Target are looking at the category too!
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    This may be another case of conflicting studies, where one study wants retailers to leave the consumer alone until checkout and one wants to interact with the consumer prior to checkout. Retailers can and should up the incentives for shoppers so that customers allow the retailer to identify them at entry. They can also use technology to identify more loyal customers -- either facial recognition or cell phone detection both of which may have negative results but do work to identify unique customers. Incentives that are forever changing would also be a way to reach more customers, because the retailer would sooner or later capture shoppers who would never agree to an incentive program!
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Will anything change for Sears after Chapter 11?

    Sears may be holding on in order to give its loyal employees one more Christmas season before closing all stores. It also gives them more time to line up buyers for the stores, which are the real asset for the holding company. To see such an icon of U.S. retail be treated so badly!
  • Posted on: 10/11/2018

    Would biometric feedback shopping carts creep out Walmart’s customers?

    I did not know that so many customers at Walmart were in need of medical help while shopping at their stores. If the cart also helped with some customers who suffer from wardrobe malfunction, that would be all good! I think shoppers would not like this technology for any number of reasons including their health issues. If implemented there are a number of positives that could be very important to Walmart. Dr. Herb Sorensen has done extensive research in the use of shopping carts and the speed, path and duration a customer spends in one area over another area. His studies have been used to better shape allocation of product as well as location of product all to produce higher sales. However, cart technology that requires power has always gone away as the infrastructure to support powering the carts creates significant costs.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2018

    Giant Food expects big things from a new, mini-grocery store concept

    Most Americans go to the grocery store to buy product that is on the shelf. We are not expecting to order items for delivery or pick up later and that may be the downfall of the Giant Heirloom Market. They may survive as an upscale convenience store or a better competitor to the newer discount grocers but many ideas from Europe just seem to be a fad here. Instead of the endless aisle a better online ordering and pick up or delivery service would be better but Peapod does that already. I am surprised that they are testing the concept in Philly instead of DC where there is more need for inner city grocers.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    Grab and go and yadda-yadda

    Many grocers do not even attempt to offer a good variety of prepared foods because it is such a strain to keep product both fresh and well-stocked. Those that do a good job have created a prepared foods department and they not only look after the product full-time but in many cases prepare product on site. The stores that attempt to offer prepared food as a side-line to the deli or meat or even dairy departments are doomed to failure and that has been what the author has been seeing on his tour of stores. It is truly an all-in or not-at-all decision that needs to happen!
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Study: Online retailers losing billions in sales to out-of-stocks

    First of all I find it interesting that the Grocery Manufacturers Association is doing a study regarding non-food when most of their members are food manufacturers! It seems self serving to me for the grocery industry to keep customers shopping in stores. That being said, I do see out-of-stocks for online retailers as a major problem since availability is one major reason to shop online. The same solutions of inventory management apply online as they do in-store, it is more a concern for the proper control of inventory at the warehouse and/or distribution centers. We are seeing the result of pure online retailers ignoring the solutions for inventory management thinking that they can manage inventory without solutions since they do not operate stores.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2018

    Prime Day success extends beyond Amazon

    Amazon needs to be more prepared for Prime Day since it was down for a good amount of time. That may have been why some other online retailers increased their sales. Both emails and Facebook reminders worked well for Amazon. At least in my case, we ordered a Fire Stick. Retailers need to hop on the to the sales day as well by continuing to also proclaim Prime Day as their day. It worked this year so why not have a 14th selling season called Prime Season?

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