Mike Osorio

Principal, Osorio Group LLC dba Mike Osorio Consulting
After concluding my successful experience as Region President with DFS Group, I am actively seeking my next senior executive role. In the interim, I have relaunched my consultancy to offer paid and pro-bono services to individuals and organizations who can benefit from my experience, capabilities, and proven ability to drive results. I can be engaged for individual and team coaching, project management, retail consulting, and interim roles.

I am an internationally experienced executive retail professional with a diverse career in luxury travel retail, department stores, and specialty food/gifts including DFS Group Limited, Harry & David, Gottschalk’s, and Macy’s. Senior level leadership roles have included Region President, Senior VP Organizational Change Management, Senior VP Learning & Development/Chief Learning Officer, Group VP Organizational Effectiveness, and Managing Director (all at DFS Group Limited); Senior VP/GM Stores (at Harry & David); and VP/Director of Stores (at Gottschalk's).

I am a positive, high-energy leader with demonstrated results in building organizations, teams and top talent. I lead by combining compelling vision and strategy with hands-on tactical execution, successfully driving individual and team engagement and performance. Subject matter expertise in leading change, US domestic and international store operations, P&L management, financial and strategic planning, talent development, organization design and development, internal communication, customer and employee engagement, project management, negotiation, stakeholder and board management, and public speaking.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2018

    Target offers discounts as teachers prep for back-to-school

    Unfortunately this is more of a statement of poor school funding and the requirement for teachers to supplement school supplies with their own purchases. Target and many others offering teacher discounts has become necessary to attract this purchasing demographic and Target is wise to participate. It will be both a sales and goodwill opportunity.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2018

    Need a nap? Casper opened a store for that

    The concept is marketing and PR-oriented, and not likely to be scalable or long-lasting. They would have a better chance of utilization in an environment that needs it, such as airports (there are a few examples in Asia of short-term sleep pods for layovers). I don’t see enough of a user base for a viable economic model in a city environment.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2018

    Are shoppers ready to pay to park at the mall?

    This is a good example of a debate that requires none. There are already hundreds of examples, primarily in downtown shopping districts, with paid parking. The way this new version of paid parking operates is no different than any other “pay-to-play” service or commodity: A highly desired service or commodity, with limited availability, is offered for a fee. In this case, that desired commodity is front row or nearby parking. Black Friday parking is hardly the motivation, but rather daily parking in hot malls. Obviously this would not be done in a mall which either has plenty of parking vs. it’s desirability, or where the consumer economic demographic would not allow for it. There can be an entirely different debate on the rise of subscription services and other pay-to-play models and whether even an upper moderate consumer can afford what could be dozens of such services. For now though, these models will continue to proliferate. But the question here is whether paid parking is positive or negative for malls and how to leverage it for appeal. It will likely be positive for malls where it makes sense to implement it, and will likely be used by retailers to create visitation to high end customers by offering to pay for it.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Kroger to deliver groceries using driverless cars

    As many have said, it is impossible to know which technology solutions will become ubiquitous in the future, However, what we do know is that the future is being written now by people putting their ideas out into the market with a reasonable sense of potential customer adoption and economic viability. Many people who use grocery delivery services will find this idea fine, even with the requirement that they still need to walk out to wherever the Nuro arrives to carry the groceries into their home. I personally would want a service where a person would bring the groceries at least to my door, if not into my kitchen. Let’s see what happens!
  • Posted on: 06/28/2018

    Are retailers overlooking their communities?

    This is a critical issue for all retailers, large and small. Of course real community connection breeds loyalty and overcomes issues like pricing and home delivery. It is alarming how few retailers are truly customer and community centric. If this is a real and authentic aspect of the retailer’s DNA, then such connections will be natural and rise above being “too busy running the business” or available “CSR” budgets. While this type of engagement has always been important to long term viability of a particular location, in today’s hyper connected world and with Millennials demanding authenticity, this now becomes a cost of entry. If you don’t authentically connect with your customer and your community, there are easier ways to make money than being a retailer.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2018

    Will an online dating site formula work for pop-ups?

    Brilliant. The analogy to a dating app is valid. This is one of a growing number of sites that seek to become a “matchmaker” for entities that need something (in this case a pop-up shop) and entities that can fulfill that need (in this case a brand). This ability to sort based on criteria from both sides of that equation, the visibility to possibilities that would otherwise be difficult to see, and the mechanism to quickly communicate an initial inquiry are fun, effective and actionable. Well done! I look forward to seeing this expand beyond Houston to truly gauge the potential.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2018

    IKEA says no to plastic

    It is in IKEA’s brand DNA to lead this type of initiative, but it is clear that the legislative inertia is pushing them to act likely before they would have done so on their own (if ever). It is definitely the “right thing to do,” but the costs have been such that even those companies whose brand DNA support sustainable activities have found it difficult to move. The legislation inertia shows that it is probable that all businesses will have to comply to some level of reduction in plastic use. For the near term, we can expect moves like this to primarily come from retailers and brands for whom this fits a larger brand narrative. As plastic replacements costs come down, we’ll see others choose to make the changes as well.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2018

    Facebook to ban advertisers if they don’t clean up their acts

    Whether due to self-serving reputation management or the authentic desire to do the right thing, this move is positive for FB, legitimate adversities and users. The use of user feedback to self-regulate the site should be quite effective and can only lead to fewer “shady” advertisers, a better user experience, and fewer defections. A good move overall.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2018

    Should retailers incentivize store staff to accept digital transformation?

    Joanna Rutter and Dave Bruno are spot on in their comments. Any material change to job functions, workflows, compensation, or customer interaction requires a robust change management process. Technology based change adds to the necessity of such a process. Having led many change processes, I know the pain of missing any of the necessary stages of change management. This is absolutely not rocket science, although most organizations struggle with committing to the entire process due to misunderstanding and overly aggressive implementation timelines and budget restrictions. If you can’t afford or have the patience to properly manage digital or any other significant transformation, don’t start. However, to be successful, you can’t afford not to transform.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Too many meetings and reports undercut promos

    I sincerely hope that the level of challenges described in the article are mainly a reference to the “Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer” group. I do not think this is valid across retail generally. Where it is true, we should expect them not to be around much longer. The first three complaints are about organizational dysfunction and have nothing to do with promotional analysis. Read “The Advantage” by Pat Lencione for a roadmap to organizational health. The second three complaints are all about appropriate investment in technology and data analytics tools. These are no longer materially expensive investments. There is no excuse to be using manual processes or “tools from the 1990’s.” Solving all 6 complaints requires an effective senior team and support of the board. If a company lacks either, they are unlikely to solve the issues or to survive.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Brands win with TV 2.0 and the new direct mail

    My guidance as always when looking at potential marketing platforms is to start with the DNA of the brand/retailer/product and an analysis of where the desired customer consumes communications. If the limited TV 2.0 platform described here or direct mail allow for a message in alignment with your DNA and is shown to be a place where your target consumer consume information, then test it by all means! There is a limited marketing budget, and a plethora of platform choices. Companies should focus on a small number of platforms, while leaving some budget for testing others.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2018

    Why did Bon-Ton fail while Macy’s did not? 

    Like so many failures in M&A, the Bon-Ton deal was doomed from the start by outsized debt and post-merger financial expectations. The idea and previous success of a “local department store” in 2nd tier markets could have continued to play well without the debt servicing burden that stripped away management’s ability to invest in the customer, the product and the facilities. When any retailer fails to invest in those 3 areas, they die. No surprise here. Macy’s continues to invest in all 3, although not as well as I’d like in the facilities portion. It remains to be seen if long term, they can be financially sustainable given their own debt burdens and often unrealistic market expectations on growth and short term profitability.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2018

    Retailers told to forget social media

    As with any marketing platform, social media investments make sense when one or more of them are both “where the customer lives” and are in alignment with the brand’s or retailer’s DNA. The challenge of course is the sheer number of significant platforms, the lack of internal understanding about how each platform engages its audience, and the follower syndrome which pushes companies to invest just because it was successful for someone else. We’re in a sorting-out phase where companies are realizing some investments have made zero sense in driving customer engagement and purchase behaviors. Don’t overreact and throw it all away. Invest where it makes customer and brand sense, learn, adjust. The beat goes on....
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    1-800-Flowers stays a step ahead of disruptive tech

    The most difficult aspect of embracing new technologies and other innovations is the culture of the organization, led by the CEO. In Mr. McCann's case, he has shown the rare ability to keep himself and then his organization focused on assuming obsolescence is around the corner if he doesn't stay committed to tapping into new technologies as they emerge. Many companies claim to have this attitude, but few live it in the way they invest time and capital. Kudos to Mr. McCann for leading in this manner. It is not a guarantee of long-term success, but improves the odds greatly.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    Convenience is king as new-gen vending units add meal kits

    Excellent activation. When I am working remotely, the option of a meal kit available in this way would be incredibly tempting. Well-placed Byte machines in facilities well-populated with the identified target consumers should prove to be quite successful. I love to see the innovations these companies are showing.

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