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: 09/13/2018

    What will it take for consumers to take out their mobile wallets?

    It’s so interesting to see mobile wallets evolve in the U.S. (SLOW!) vs. Asia, particularly China, where the use is almost ubiquitous at this point. The main reason in my estimation is the existence of all-encompassing platforms of mobile commerce such as WeChat which enable the Chinese consumer to stay on the WeChat platform for everything from social media to all levels of mobile commerce. In the U.S., our digital platforms are fragmented and so people find it difficult to migrate between social and commercial platforms. The argument about security is stunning in that mobile wallet transactions are inherently more secure due to token technology and should be the main reason to drive adoption (that has been my reason to use Apple Pay and similar mobile wallets as often as possible). In the end, what will drive adoption to a tipping point will be the younger, digitally and mobile-savvy consumer who will adopt mobile payments as a natural extension of their digital/mobile life.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2018

    Analyst: Whole Foods’ lower price claims are mostly ‘noise’

    I’m skeptical that the Whole Foods customer is really expecting "low prices." In the area of organic and high-end grocery shopping, the customer is not typically a Walmart shopper and I question the focus on low prices as a long-term growth strategy. Amazon/Whole Foods needs to maintain and modestly grow the existing base (meaning growth is necessary to offset attrition) and the use of Prime membership rewards (as modest as they may be) will be enough to do so. I don’t want Whole Foods to become Kroger or Target/Walmart. Its success will be in its differentiation as an upscale shopping experience with yes, higher prices.
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    It is not true that the younger generation is turning its back on luxury. Gucci’s recent success alone belies that idea. Scarcity is the point of luxury and the top brands will continue to ensure that scarcity. The change will be in how they do this. Not by selling excess through discounters, and it's no longer easily done through incineration or putting it into landfill, but by recycling and reusing the elements of the excess garments. Burberry’s decision is smart, but reversing an annual destruction of $37 million worth of product to zero won’t happen easily.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2018

    Will Kroger’s ban mean the end of plastic bags in grocery stores?

    There is no reason to get lost in a discussion on Kroger’s motives. We have reached a tipping point where some combination of regulations, consumer demand, and pressure from others in the industry. It is very good for Kroger, with their immense size, to lead this further to the moment when single-use plastic bags will be virtually eliminated from the industry, along with all the other waste-reduction initiatives.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2018

    Will gains make believers of investors who opposed Target’s toy category push?

    It’s an excellent strategy by a well-operated retailer who knows how to mix/manage higher and lower margin categories. Toys "R" Us in particular is indeed low margin but can be an excellent driver of both penetration and dwell time, giving more opportunities to drive higher margin purchasing along with toys and baby items. These are categories that align well with Target’s market positioning and should be a long-term strength for them going forward as they build loyalty and position themselves as more of a headquarters for the two categories.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2018

    Kroger teams with Alibaba to sell private labels to half-a-billion Chinese consumers

    This is likely to be quite successful in the short term. Although Chinese brands are making huge strides in reliability and safety, there is still a large percentage of Chinese consumers who would rather access well known American, European and Aussie/Kiwi brands if the price is reasonable. And, Alibaba is a brilliant digital marketer who will make all the right moves to ensure excellent exposure to the right Chinese consumers. As I said, however, Chinese brands have been making huge strides and the fact is that the Chinese consumer really doesn’t need Kroger’s products. There are excellent, safe Chinese products specifically designed for the Chinese consumer growing more and more popular all the time. Once these brands’ reputation for safety and reliability reach a tipping point, many non-Chinese brands, like Kroger’s Simple Truth (designed for American consumers) will lose out as they will be unable to adapt as readily nor priced as well as the Chinese alternatives. For the next 2-3 years, this should be a winner for Kroger.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2018

    Lampert’s Kenmore offer seems like more shuffling of chairs on Titanic’s deck

    Sears/K-Mart is a sad and compelling case study in vulture venture capitalism and how it has destroyed so many heritage retail nameplates. Venture Capitalism isn’t necessarily bad -- but the vulture version is pure evil. Please, put the employees and customers of these once mighty retailers out of their misery. There are better retailers to work for and better retailers in which to shop. There’s barely any meat left on the bones. Bury them already!
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Hy-Vee opens fitness-focused grocery store concept

    My addition to the conversation is cheers for the statement that Randy Edeker makes of seeing 50-60 of these (not 100s). It is a niche play with a good concept that could be additive to EBITDA if executed well.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    J.C. Penney goes after Babies ‘R’ Us customers with new shops

    The larger question, as a few of my colleagues allude to is, “Does J.C. Penney deserve to exist?” Doing a nice job on in-store baby shops is a logical thing for a relevant department store to do. But is J.C. Penney relevant? Dropping in a decent baby shop into a typical boring, poorly marketed, under-invested and under-staffed J.C. Penney won’t move the needle. Between Kohl’s, Macy’s and I suppose Primark (I’m not familiar with them), the mid-market consumer is covered. J.C. Penney, Sears/K-Mart.... Bye bye.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Can AR help shoppers get where they need to go?

    I think most of my colleagues are missing the point here. The power of Blippar’s idea is the easy creation of an AR overlay onto any physical environment. Unfortunately, the video focuses on one overly gamified office environment, one that few if any operators would choose (although with the rise of digital/gaming natives, you never know). Later in the video, they move on to some still images of more logically appropriate overlays in stores, stadiums, etc. The point is this: Having an easy to access AR overlay is the key. Once in place, the operator (retailer, warehouse operator, stadium, etc.) can personalize the overlay to be “brand right” and developed for the population segment most likely to utilize the content. The final step, which has yet to be introduced, is the device that most people will use to access the AR overlay. I agree that today’s phones and tablets are too clumsy, and that Google Glass didn’t take off. But something will come that provides the easy to use access for the AR overlays which will be ubiquitous in the very near future, at first via phone, and later by? In retail, I’m excited to see this come to life. The still shots in the video give a good sense of what is to come in directional help, communication of pricing and features, etc. It’s coming, people. Sooner than we imagine!
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Can retail compete for computer science graduates?

    The key advantages retailers have for tech professionals exist only in headquarters cities. Even then, most IT departments are relatively small, particular at senior tech or leadership levels, offering few opportunities for career advancement. As an out-of-college starter job, retail (in headquarters cities) is a viable option and can be sold on cost of living, city attributes, and exciting omnichannel developments in an industry most students recognize. Just don’t expect the best and brightest to remain with that retailer longer than 2-5 years. They will go where the opportunities are, and they won’t have to move to Silicon Valley or Seattle to do so.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Can on-demand sales stabilize Blue Apron?

    Having watched Chef’d’s demise through an executive there, it seems to me that Chef’d and Blue Apron did the hard work of determining what works and what doesn’t in the meal kit space, and now the big grocery players, e.g. Kroger, can come in and establish the service in the ways the customer wants, and make money too. Once the big grocers have an offering in each major market, and the quality and the variety meet consumer needs, I see no reason for large scale independent players to exist.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Party City to run pilot with Amazon, ‘the world’s largest and most trafficked mall’

    As often mentioned here regarding listing or not listing on Amazon, listing is an obvious choice as part of many retailers’ distribution strategies. As Mr. Harrison states, Amazon in the world’s largest and most trafficked mall. The issue is the cost to list. Just as opening a store in the top malls is more expensive than less popular malls, the cost to list on Amazon is high. But the reward in terms of awareness and overall market share can be significant. The magic is to determine the amount of business that Party City can afford to flow through Amazon, given the high fulfillment costs. Each distribution platform provides a known profit per item sold, plus the halo effect of omnichannel. This must be carefully analyzed to determine optimum platform mix. If they can keep the mix optimized between their physical stores, their website, and 3rd party sites such as Amazon, the strategy can work. It is, however, a delicate balance and can easily get mismanaged.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    What can retailers do about consumer’s AI concerns?

    It’s all about transparency when warranted. Most are using and/or interacting with AI assisted platforms many times a day if not constantly and don’t necessarily realize it. Usually that is fine and a constant reminder wouldn’t be helpful or desired. I agree with the comments about shutting up about it when communicating neither adds to the experience or dispels fears. For example I use Waze, the driving directions assistant, daily which is AI enabled. I don’t need to be told it is AI. But if in a situation where the consumer thinks they are dealing with a person, they should be informed if they are instead being served by an AI enabled chatbot. This is likely to remain an issue only for a few more years. As AI assisted technologies become ubiquitous, and the digitally native generations continue to grow as a percentage of consumers, it will become a non-issue, in my opinion.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2018

    Will RadioShack find new life inside HobbyTown’s stores?

    If it is to find a sustainable future, this is how RadioShack will do it. In as much as HobbyTown will be successful, I don’t see any reason why this won’t be successful for both parties. HobbyTown could have decided to offer the same product and services without leasing to RadioShack. They did it because they knew that the brand RadioShack still has cachet for this category and they’d do better by leveraging RadioShack’s ability to attract that consumer vs. trying to build the category on the HobbyTown name alone. I am cautiously optimistic that this will work for both.

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