Mike Osorio

President, Organizational Change & Effectiveness, DFASS Group
Mike is President, Organizational Change & Effectiveness at DFASS Group in Miami, Florida. In addition, his consultancy offers paid and pro-bono services to individuals and organizations who can benefit from his experience, capabilities, and proven ability to drive results. Mike can be engaged for individual and team coaching, project management, and non-competing retail consulting. Mike is an internationally experienced executive retail professional with a diverse career in luxury travel retail, department stores, and specialty food/gifts including DFASS Group, DFS Group Limited, Harry & David, Gottschalk’s, and Macy’s. Senior level leadership roles other than his current role 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). Mike is a positive, high-energy leader with demonstrated results in building organizations, teams and top talent. He leads 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: 03/20/2019

    Will a new name and private labels give DSW a leg up on the competition?

    I have been a DSW customer for over 10 years and have always been impressed by their selection of excellent brands and warehouse pricing. In recent years they have invested heavily in onmichannel capabilities and customer experience. I applaud the Camuto Group acquisition and trust they have a good reason for the name change. Two points for emphasis: 1. Changing the name is unnecessary, although it looks to be a corporate name change only. So if it somehow makes them feel better, or more aligned to their company ethos and long-term strategy, then go for it. If they were going to change the store nameplates, that would be an expensive mistake. It does not appear this is the case. 2. The private label focus is brilliant, bolstered by the Camuto Group, which already supplies wholesale for many brands as well as owns several designer brands (and footwear licenses) including Max Studio, CC Corso Como, Lucky Brand and namesake Vince Camuto. So they are not diluting the power of the "designer" focus of DSW as they increase margin through a private label expansion that appears to the customer as more legitimate designer brands.
  • Posted on: 03/11/2019

    Will Costco’s new $15 minimum wage hurt or benefit the chain?

    For its entire existence, a core piece of Costco's employer value proposition has been superior wages and benefits. It is certainly important for them to continue to lead if they want to retain this reputation. The irony is that Costco's leadership in this area is a contributing factor of the now-popular notion of a "living wage," and often used in the drive for a $15 minimum wage. Now that it has become important for all large retailers to prove they recognize their role in driving livable wages (or not), the Walmarts, Targets and Amazons of the world are now increasing the price for Costco to retain their leadership position. In the end, this is very positive for all retail employees as Wall Street will likely price in this "new normal" of labor costs and reduce the negative impact on share prices, thus enabling more retailers to provide a living wage.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does fear motivate workers or make things worse?

    The use of fear to motivate performance is an act of laziness, ineptitude, and/or evidence of the poor character of the leader. Other than the use of fear to stop an individual from injuring themselves (just as a parent does for stopping a child from touching a hot stove), there is no legitimate use of fear to motivate performance. Any other view is naive and dangerous.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2018

    Have retail store associates fallen into a hypnotic state?

    This is such an important discussion. The main message is to “mix it up.” Even using the Retail Doctor’s prescriptions, or any of the panelists’, becomes stale if used exclusively. The focus for retailers should be on developing front line supervisors and their direct line managers in creative leadership development. Front line leaders must have the capability and desire to constantly develop new ways to excite and energize the staff, using methods that are relevant for the diversity of today’s workforce. This is about culture and focus on in-store customer experience. It can be done, but take intentional effort on an ongoing basis.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2018

    IKEA assembles holiday messages to drive sales

    The “Maybes” spot is terrific for the American market and is pitched well for our current times in which recognizing the many ways Americans celebrate the holidays is crucial for any retailer to broadly resonate among consumers. However, it is difficult for our very American-centric “experts” panel to judge what is effective in Canada or Sweden, so I won’t try. Given our panel’s agreement that the “Maybe’s” spot was very strong (for an American audience) I will make the leap that the ones for Canada and Sweden are equally effective for those markets. My message: this is an example of American hubris. We cannot and should not dictate the messaging for other countries and cultures, and yet we often try. Our generally expressed lack of cultural intelligence is unfortunate and often limits American brands and retailers as they attempt to expand outside of the American mainland.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

    Walmart: Floor cleaning robots will give associates more time to serve customers

    It is highly likely that the rise of robotics in retail will lead to reduced headcount for labor, vs. being a driver of service. But the possible labor redirection is not going to be material. When used well, these floor cleaning robots can be conversation starters with customers that add to the potential for positive interactions. And certainly taking the opportunity to “sell” it as an improvement to service is a good move. Overall it is a good thing.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    Another example of the toxic recipe of growth for growth’s sake to satisfy shareholders, vs. responding to real consumer need. This of course is financed with ballooning debt which (shock!) eventually can’t be serviced efficiently during downturns or significant changes in buying behaviors. Same old story, same sad result: store closings, layoffs, and cost cutting on investments in staffing and talent development, physical plant maintenance and renovations, technology and customer experience. All leading to aging stores and worsening customer experience. Another chain to eventually die from oversaturation and inability at that scale to effectively change? Probably.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    Are weekend deals the key to Target’s holiday success?

    Target’s success seems to be driven by an improved product focus and a communication strategy that is resonating with their core shopper as well as drawing in new shoppers utilizing modern digital tools. It isn’t surprising to see people avoid the malls on a weekend and jet in and out of a Target for needed items. Offering select deals for those consumers is smart and seemingly effective. Desired product, easy shopping, and good deals. Seems pretty good to me.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    What’s next for Small Business Saturday?

    The event is not likely to have the 70% awareness claimed in the article, but putting that aside, it seems a large percentage of communities support the event in meaningful ways, calling attention to a segment of retail getting increasing attention through Instagram and other digital platforms. Small businesses are finally utilizing digital in large numbers and getting attention similarly to larger retailer digital efforts. This, plus local Chambers of Commerce and similar business organizations are doing a reasonable job of pushing the event. This is NOT a zero-sum game of “competing” with the big guys. There is increasing consumer interest in unique product offerings, which are often best served by smaller enterprises including start ups. There is plenty of room for both big and small.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Does Amazon’s record performance point to the growing importance of Cyber Monday?

    These named shopping “holidays” are increasingly important to top-line sales as consumers get more and more in tune with them. The bottom line is also likely protected for the most part by category managers negotiating maintained margin from their suppliers. The mobile portion is notable and a good sign that a material percentage of Americans are finally realizing that when out and about, or at their jobs, mobile provides an easy way to monitor online sales and shop with ease. Woe to any retailer who lacks a robust mobile site at this point. It's interesting to note that despite this being a record-breaking Cyber Monday, the 7.9 billion was dwarfed by China’s 11:11 event at over 30 billion, with a huge percentage of sales happening on mobile devices. The West has a long way to go ....
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Can online unboxing videos turn Walmart into ‘America’s Best Toy Shop?’

    I do think this will work quite well for the toy category, because children will enjoy the experience and will not be put off by the fact that it is a choreographed retailer experience, vs. what really drives the success of “unboxing” videos in general for adults: authenticity. Therefore, it will likely have limited application in other categories that require an adult. Possibilities exist however for testing this in complex product categories such as certain electronics.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Is it time for U.S. retailers to embrace Singles Day?

    Just as the non-Christmas celebrating world long ago adopted the Christmas themed holiday shopping decor and events, based on the dominance of American/Western commerce and the need to manufacture reasons to shop, so will the Western world begin adopt the engines of Chinese/Asian commerce. How quickly? I would wager it will be rather soon (within this decade). The innovation and sheer volumes coming out of Asia have become impossible to ignore and the pressure of improving sales will drive one or more of the larger US retailers to go after 11/11 - probably Amazon.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2018

    Has food waste become mission critical for grocers’ bottom lines and the planet?

    Tony’s response is the obvious one — grocery owners creating the solution locally. Here’s the problem: For the major grocers, the “owner” is shareholders who thus far have only rewarded profits, not social responsibility. Only if shareholders begin to reward the actions that Tony articulates will this issue begin to become a way to both reduce waste and help the needy in our communities and around the world. Side note: equally to blame are the corporately run major food producers who overproduce to drive financial results, along with government subsidies of many farmed commodities to artificially raise prices and drive over production. It will take a multi-pronged approach to shrink production incentives to match real need, and to drive grocers to more effectively reduce overbuying and increase distribution of overstocks to the needy.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2018

    Why are Wall Street analysts so irked over Apple’s reporting changes?

    Unfortunately, the industry of stock analysis and investor guidance requires stories like this, especially for one of the highest valued companies on the planet. It’s sensationalism of a minor issue. Well-run, publicly traded companies continuously work to portray their financials in the best way possible to ensure ongoing institutional investor interest. It’s neither inherently good or bad, it just is. There is good logic to move from unit-based reporting for a mature and expensive product category to a more holistic view of revenues and profits. Are they hiding potential unit declines? Maybe. But this data is not required to provide reasonable guidance for individual or institutional stock investors. Move on.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2018

    Can retail rivals beat Amazon without having lower prices over the holidays?

    The concept of “beating” Amazon is a bit nonsensical. Amazon will, in aggregate, continue to dominate holiday shopping on the strength of price, convenience and trust for most product categories. The question is how other retailers define “success”. If it is in stock valuations, which requires ever growing revenues and profits, then most will lose. However, if success could be defined by providing desired product with exceptional service that drives sufficient transactions to provide sustainable profits that allow for continued investment in the retailer’s talent, technology and physical plant, then a huge percentage of Amazon’s “competitors” can be seen as winning. We need to get beyond the concept of winners and losers defined by a flawed institutional investor driven model and focus instead on financial models that allow low growth, yet profitable models to thrive. I for one will continue to shop Amazon for a large percentage of my purchases and also do business with startups, small businesses and other unique specialty retailers when I want a more unique and complete experience.

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