Kai Clarke

CEO, President- American Retail Consultants


Results-oriented revenue and profit driven, global CMO with an MBA and a strong eCommerce, logistics, architectural and LED lighting, consumer products and eCommerce background. Proven road warrior and Amazon guru, skilled in establishing and managing new global divisions with $200 million profit and loss responsibility, including cradle to grave manufacturing, product planning, forecasting, logistics, tracking and analysis modeling. This includes managing, creating and overseeing digital, SEO, social media and online marketing (lead prospecting, lead generation, follow up, networking, social media, Nielsen, IRI and customer service). Marketing leader with a strong technical aptitude including expertise in consumer product design (CPG), manufacturing, logistics, Import / Export, architectural lighting and fixture sourcing, eCommerce / Amazon and retail sales, and marketing and channel development. Practiced leader in strategic direction, data mining, international product sourcing, leadership and new business planning. Exceptional clarity in situations where resources must be altered in a self-sustaining growth structure.

Management Strengths include:

• Consultative and solutions-oriented leadership across entire organizations in over 100 markets
• Leading successful small company, start-up and business turn-arounds from $5 million to $200 million
• Growing top line revenues through rapid new product creation, global OEM/ODM manufacturing, marketing, branding and positioning by building teams with balanced communication and execution including full web and mobile technology marketing as part of the end to end go to market strategy
• Knows when to strategize, when to manage, when to escalate and when to execute
• Developing global teams to achieve rapid revenue and profit growth in Europe and Asia exceeding 50%
• Brand equity development and new market penetration managing 260+ people in over 37 countries
• $200 MM+ P&L Management with a bottom line focus and the ability to operate at a strategic level
• Contract, sub-contract and strategic alliance negotiations throughout our supply chains saving 18+%
• Global logistics and account management to grow business throughout Asia (40%) and Europe (50%)
• Extensive travel throughout Europe and Asia over the last 20 years, including living part-time in China over the last 8 years as well as many years growing up as a military brat in Europe.


Private, Retail Consulting and Operational Consulting Firm, Founded in 2014 in Los Angeles

American Retail Consultants, Inc., an American based company that helps establish Chinese companies including architectural lighting and LED fixtures, consumer electronics, CPG hardware manufacturers (and all international companies) create USA focused B2B, B2C, retail, Amazon, eCommerce / Online, distribution sales and marketing, management, development, and consulting company of retail hard goods, CPG, electronics, and consumer products.

(Direct Reports: 3 Country Managers and 3 Marketing Managers)
Responsible for the P&L development and execution of commercial strategy and tactics as part of the multi-million dollar American marketing, sales, logistics, and operations of several international initiatives. Focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our customer’s LED and architectural lighting operations, processes, and logistics from cradle to grave including overseas manufacturing and domestic sales.
• Elevated KPI revenues to 44% year-over-year growth using strategic direction and operational maximization, with a strong emphasis on reducing expenses while establishing leadership in target markets and fostering technology engagement platforms
• Created new partner growth of 84% for 2013 leveraging Internet, Amazon B2B and B2C marketing initiatives, defining our new corporate focus and set priorities, establishing objectives, plan and allocate resources, lead execution, and results management
• Reduced overall costs by 32% by creating mid-range business plans and yearly budgets, while establishing corrective expense action plans and achievable KPIs.
• Identified 61 new commercially viable market activities, reducing COGS by 6%. Sourced new products to diversify our product portfolio and partnering opportunities, including sourcing new products from new partners in China, and Continually developed superior P&L results by leading global teams to optimize business performance and market development focusing on strategic web, software, and partner marketing activities.
• Elevated key BU revenues to 28% year-over-year growth (product and Import / Export sourcing) using strategic direction and operational maximization, with a strong emphasis on reducing expenses while establishing leadership in target China markets.
• Identified and created new retail branding, packaging design, EDI, digital, and content marketing and partner efforts for all retail eCommerce / Amazon, electronic and LED products in each of their diverse channels including Wal-Mart, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, Walgreens, Graybar, Target, Costco, and other key partners.

Private, Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, 11-50 Employees, Founded 2010, HQ: Corona, CA

Viribright is a division of Matrix Lighting Inc., which is a subsidiary of Matrix Holdings Limited. Matrix Holdings Limited was established in 1979 and has been listed on the Hong Kong Limited Stock Exchange since 1994. Matrix Holdings Ltd. has factories in China and Vietnam with a total of over 20,000 employees worldwide.

VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES AND MARKETING (Reported to President and Board)
(Direct Reports: 1 Director and 1 National Sales Manager. Sales force of 35 in the USA)
• Created 28 new SKUs with firm targets and objectives for both the online/Amazon and traditional marketing and sales organizations embracing a strategic top-to-top marketing effort aligned with market requirements.
• Worked with over 85 LED distributors, brokers and key account category managers to cross-merchandise, promote and build our Viribright brand worldwide at accounts like Walmart, Amazon, Graybar, WESCO, Consolidated Electrical (CED), Ace, Do it Best, Best Buy, Lowes, Orgill, Home Depot, True Value and Costco.
• Identified and optimized our new Internet, eCommerce, Amazon, B2B and B2C marketing initiatives to reduce inventory by 45% in the first 6 months by defining our new corporate focus while setting priorities, establishing objectives, planning and allocating resources, lead execution, and results management resulting in new partner growth.
• Improved sales by over 30% in our top 25 accounts through sales team coaching, mentoring, collaborative problem solving and goal achievement to realize a coordinated Viribright marketing position

Private, Consumer Electronics & Products, 100+ Employees, Founded 1992

(Direct Reports: National Sales Manager, 3 Regional Managers, Sales force of 85, 2 Marketing staff and China Sourcing Office)

Living part of the time over the last 8 years, from my second home in China and the remainder of the time from my base in Los Angeles, my global focus was split between managing our China based LED lighting and fixtures and electronic hardware manufacturing, USA online and traditional LED and electronic sales, logistical and FDA focused marketing operations from multiple locations in both China and our USA headquarters every month, to maximize our profitability by managing, and leveraging the company’s resources and assets to grow Miraclebeam’s share of the LED and CPG markets.
• Exceeded 20% revenue growth over the last 8 years by creating and implementing a national architectural lighting and LED / Laser/ CPG electronics, eCommerce, channel distribution, and logistics strategy. Improved product quality in our Chinese Partner’s LED lighting and electronics factories and restored our client Import / Export service levels to world-class FDA standards. Maintained and improved operational and financial performance of the company for our retail partners in branded (OEM) and house-branded (ODM) products.
• Increased client growth (60%+) in 15 different product categories assessed LED/Laser market opportunities, competitive research, trend analysis and evolving global product needs to develop a business growth plan, based on gaining LED and Laser market share through new product research and development, and client growth (60%+) in 15 different product categories and through the sourcing, licensing and manufacturing of over 400 new SKUs for major retailers including government (GSA), Wal-Mart, Amazon, Sears/K-Mart, Kroger, AAFES, Walgreens, Fry’s, $.99 Only, Petco, Petsmart, Publishers Clearing House, True Value, Do It Best, Ace, OSH, Family Dollar, Big Lots, Meijer, 7/11, etc.
• Reduced budgets by 9% through the maximization of our corporate LED and Laser logistics, automation and operational efficiencies to support annual growth plans and improve earnings including LEAN manufacturing and warehousing, and Import / Export development, while providing tracking initiatives for continuous and never-ending improvement (exceeding FDA standards), which were globally communicated, supported, and remotely managed
• Saved over 6% by forecasting annual capital expenditure projections/submissions while actively overseeing our purchase order and accounts payable processes resulting in savings of 6%

Private, Consumer Electronics, 50 Employees, Founded 1999

Vice President of Sales and Marketing- COO (Reported to Board of Directors)
(Direct Reports: Marketing Director and National Sales Manager, International Sales Manager, 25 Sales Reps and 12 Marketing Support staff)

As Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and COO of this $50 million, entrepreneurial-focused team, my key focus was on providing direction and leadership to our financial, operational and management teams to ensure short and long-term revenue growth and profitability.
• Created over $17 million dollars in new revenues in both OEM and commercial channels (Cellboost) while increasing store distribution from 10,000 store fronts to over 80,000 store fronts with partners like Fox Entertainment, Disney, Time Warner, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Staples, Office Depot, K-Mart, CompUSA, 7/11, AAFES and others.
• Produced sustainable and ongoing financial cost reductions of over $200,000 per quarter while elevating service quality, manufacturing and customer service through six sigma best practices and ISO (9001, 9002) implementations
• Responsible for the strategic direction of all aspects of an organization’s operational policies, objectives, and initiatives, while attaining short- and long-term financial and operational goals
• Decreased warehouse inventories by over $1 million in 2005, lowered logistical costs by over $200K, while increasing product turns.
• Designed, introduced, manufactured and marketed 16 new items in 7 new categories (OEM and retail), to provide a broader product base for increased revenues while establishing our full web and mobile technology marketing as part of the end to end go to market consumer and carrier strategy
• Developed relationships with 10 new marketing partners in 2003, and created over 30 new SKUs including all roadmap, collateral and POP materials within each category

Public, Computer Hardware & Digital Signage Technology, 201 – 500 Employees, Founded 1983

(Reported to President) (Direct Reports: 24 Sales people and 4 Staff)

Recruited to start-up and develop a new commercial monitor division within the existing company. Responsible for new business revenues of over $80 million in sales, amid 3 years of company reductions.
• Grew the business from concept to over $15 million in new revenues for the first year; over $60 million in the second year by defining our roadmap, creating OLED and LCD products to fill the channels and differentiating these targets by segmenting each market for key retailers and consumers
• Developed 37 new commercial and OEM, SKUs and created all OEM, ODM, Consumer and Commercial sales marketing materials, product collateral, packaging and directed product and business development for the unit’s electronic and traditional OLED and LCD sales and marketing efforts.
• Collaborated with industry leaders like Wal-Mart, Dell (OEM), MicronPC, CDW (OEM), Staples, Costco, Best Buy, Circuit City to create unique products, positioned to appeal to diverse channels, within each retail roadmap segment.

Public, Consumer Goods, 1,001 – 5,000 Employees, Founded 1896

(Direct Reports: 40 Country Market Managers, CMMs and Staff)
Brought in to strategically re-define and reposition our corporate, global, OEM and channel, sales and marketing (e-centric, direct and distribution marketing) strategy. Responsible for over $108 million in revenue. Redefined our marketing team’s strategic planning processes and roadmap development to complement our key global alliance partner objectives.
• Increased sales by over 11% in 1999. Established firm targets and objectives for both the marketing and sales organizations embracing a strategic top-to-top marketing effort aligned with market requirements.
• Created $12 Million in new revenue in 2000 working with distributors, brokers and Fortune 100 Brand Managers to cross-merchandise, promote and build our battery brands worldwide at accounts like K-mart, Office Depot, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Circuit City and Costco. Key projects with Sony, Sharp, Black and Decker, Philips, GE, Stanley, Philips, Disney, and Mattel.
• Achieved 6 new design-wins, created over $4 million in new business development revenue and increased product branding and revenues. Led Philips Pronto and Microsoft Toy energy design implementation from cradle to grave and marketed this to all corporate divisions.

PROCTER & GAMBLE /GILLETTE/DURACELL, INC. SAN FRANCISCO, CA 1995 – 1999 Public, Consumer Goods, 10,001+ Employees, Founded 1837
GLOBAL OEM MARKETING DIRECTOR (Reported to VP OEM Sales and Marketing)
(Director Reports: 37 Sales and Marketing OEM Country Managers)
Managed our global OEM specialist marketing and sales teams, developing and cultivating new and existing products, major accounts and partnerships. Responsible for over $95 Million in revenue. Expert in new product creation, industry trade marketing, and retail trends, pricing, category practices, and product positioning. Created and marketed emerging solutions through competitive analysis, product definition, and the coordination of engineering, marketing, sales and design. Drove alignment and marketing initiatives across product groups and company teams.
• Successfully secured 23 design-wins (hardware, software, service) involving global Duracell strategic partners in 1998.
• Increased revenues by over $36 million in 1998, through new product differentiation in diverse markets.
• Facilitated 11 Mobile, Medical, Handheld, Wireless and battery design-ins with the European and Asia Pacific global marketing teams while managing winning marketing projects worldwide.
• Achieved over $95 million in new revenues in 1997.
• Number 1 performer in 1997 by coordinating cross merchandising and new brand development with key partners in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Costco, Kroger, Target, Staples, Office Depot and Home Depot stores.
• Increased Shipments by 60% over an 8-month period and created 9 new design-wins in 1996. Created “Device of the Month” co-promotional campaigns with mobile and wireless devices from Disney, Philips, 3Com, J&J, Sharp, Toshiba, GE and Logitech.

Part-time, active MBA professor, mentoring and teaching students in multiple disciplines in the Graduate School of Business. My desire and aptitude for learning and understanding of new technologies and concepts has required a traditional, as well as an Internet-based teaching style, since my classrooms are facilitated electronically “on line.” Areas of focus include Graduate Computer Science, Critical Thinking, Organizational Behavior, Marketing, Management and Communications.

MBA-Michigan State University / UOP: MBA – Marketing with emphasis in International Management, Finance, Organizational Behavior, Computer Science, 4.0 – Advanced Graduate Studies toward PHD.
B.A.-Michigan State University: BA – Advertising Management-Minor in Economics and Mathematics
Training: Executive Education in Global Supply Chain Management, Stanford University – GE Executive Training: Global Leadership Management Development; Xerox Advanced Selling Skills (DCVB, SPIN), Six Sigma Champion and Green Belt
Fluent in English (native), French, versed in German and some Chinese

  • Posted on: 04/23/2021

    Will Americans go shopping for dressier clothes as the COVID-19 threat is reduced?

    Yes, Americans will go out clothes shopping. No, they will not abandon (completely) their COVID-casual clothes. We can expect Americans to increase their shopping, but their habits will reflect a changing lifestyle, workplace and approach to what they are wearing.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Say goodbye to Walmart’s robotic towers

    Welcome to the Pandemic! Walmart is now accounting for their customers wanting to safely stay in their vehicles rather than go inside the store, leave their vehicles and take exposure risks. This is not about robotic towers, but instead customers wanting the same services that they get from most other retailers who offer buy online and pickup outside of store services. Listen to the customer and you will always win!
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Can West Elm tap influencer buzz?

    This influencer program sounds forced and out of touch. Getting existing influencers to approve or disapprove their products will be difficult, but is the key to reality based opinions online.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Target looks to elevate its ship-from-store operations

    Yes. Expanding its order online fulfillment will increase Target's reach, their shipping strength, and overall fulfillment as they seek to better establish themselves as a strong player in the last-mile delivery space and online ordering.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2021

    Will American consumers push back against higher grocery prices?

    No. When it comes to a rise in prices (not a sustained rise in prices -- that is the definition of inflation) consumers may change their behaviors, but very little and only temporarily. Gas is a great example of this purchasing behavior. When gas drops 5 percent, people don't drive more. The same for when it rises 5 percent. People don't drive less. Here we are talking about food, which is one of our biggest necessities. No change as prices slowly rise. Employment numbers continue to increase, driving this impact even further down, and away from consumer purchasing behavior.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Toms finds one-for-one charitable model doesn’t add up for its business

    This is a smart business decision for Toms. Their old model based upon a one for one donation simply didn't work for business. How many years did they have to lose profits before this decision became reasonable? This should have been done long ago....
  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?

    "Never change a winning game, always change a losing one." Is the proverb that BBB is trying to follow and it will certainly improve their store's positioning. The real question here is how much will it change and at what cost?
  • Posted on: 04/05/2021

    Should Amazon open clearance stores?

    This is just another name for Amazon's Outlet, and another function that Amazon's warehouse already compliments to the Outlet as well. Putting in brick-and-mortar stores would have to have a tremendous value proposition over and above the online positioning that Amazon already has. Considering the lack of a call to action, despite the pandemic, it appears that the physical store does not offer enough leverage over the online positioning for Amazon (why would it?).
  • Posted on: 03/26/2021

    Will marketplaces become legally liable for what they sell?

    Yes, yes, yes. Buyer beware also extends to seller be prepared. Now sellers, the online marketplaces they use, and the manufacturers will all have to be fully insured and ethically prepared to defend the products they represent. Ethically, this should be our expectation, and it is about time it finally gains legal support at the state level.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2021

    Amazon’s no good, very bad PR week

    No. Amazon continues to attract talent, and the poor working conditions PR is the exception, not the rule. Despite what was said by the Senators, paying employees $15 an hour (instead of the minimum wage of $7.25) WILL make a difference and any employee will tell you this. Add benefits on top of this and you have a progressive workplace that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Oh yeah, every bank has cameras by every teller, entrance and exit. The same applies to jewelry stores, large retailers, etc. Every mall parking lot, entrance and exit has cameras throughout the building. Just because this article says that there is a bad PR situation for Amazon, doesn't make it so. I would argue that very few companies have Amazon's total workplace, employee, and corporate leadership, including progressive pay, benefits and a growing corporate future.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2021

    Why hasn’t plus-sized apparel been an easy win for retail?

    This is clearly a strategy that requires product differentiation through target market segmentation. Plus-sized apparel is a narrow part of the market, and yet still requires well-fitting clothes that many plus-sized people may want, or may not want. Add to this the increased amount of inventory and the costs required to sell this and this category already answers the question why it is not an easy win at retail.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2021

    Whole Foods wants to help consumers eat mindfully

    This seems to be less about eating mindfully, and more like a promotional campaign for Headspace. What about the types of alignments that other competitors to Headspace like Calm, Stop, Wave Meditation, etc. have done and their approach to the types of solutions they offer?
  • Posted on: 03/23/2021

    Walmart opens marketplace to non-U.S. sellers, hears DoorDash drivers’ gripes

    Walmart must have a full logistics team, like Amazon, to cover the last mile. Depending on third-party contractors will not work for Walmart, and they need to face this and create their own in-house solution. This will eliminate concerns from DoorDash and increase Walmart's efficiencies and profits, while preparing them better for the future.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2021

    How to save today’s mall

    The best way to save today's mall is to get rid of them. Malls are outdated retailing dinosaurs which have become pandemic super spreader locations. That means this concept is just waiting for the next virus to arrive (and it will), while it has to fight the shift to direct-to-consumer/online efficiency. A high risk, catastrophic model that is less and less able to make profits with each day.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2021

    Will tech acquisitions enable Nike to drive personalization at scale?

    Managing information using machine learning allows the direct to consumer interface that Nike is pushing towards to become more efficient, more profitable, and easier to implement within all of Nike's other systems. More data, better use, and expanded reach of this data can only benefit Nike as they grow their products, better manage their logistics, and better define their reach to the consumer.

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