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: 05/14/2018

    Is an on-demand workforce heading to retail’s selling floors?

    It is obvious that customers will be served better by regular, well-trained employees. However, if a retailer utilizes on-demand labor when it is in the best interest of the individual worker, then it is a big positive. People who want and/or need additional hours of work will benefit. But if retailers use this to substitute for regular employees as a cost-saving measure, it is wrong. The larger societal question is that if this segment of labor continues to grow, then how will we ensure these people receive basic health and other benefits normally associated with regular employment? If we are to embrace the gig economy fully, we must also embrace social safety nets including universal health care, IMHO.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Dormify pops up well before back-to-school season

    While mass retailers will remain the largest players in this space, there is plenty of room for growth for a niche player like Dormify. The key will be the cool factor: ensuring that the social media comments remain as positive as they are now. Check out their Instagram feed -- most posts have over 2,000 likes. Clearly they are established as a style setter in this space. If they provide sustained excellent product curation, delivery and set up, along with after sales care, they will be positioned to not only grow market share in the back-to-school dorm space, but be able to launch year-round services in small-space decor (offices, studio apartments, rooms for rent, etc.). VERY COOL brand.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Walmart outbids Amazon for India’s Flipkart

    A strong move by Walmart on both ends. Keeping a 40% stake in Asda allows them to benefit from the potential of a slower growth market. The 77% majority stake in Flipkart enables Walmart to further their long-term commitment to the high growth potential in India, utilizing a partner with a keen understanding of this huge and highly complex marketplace.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Starbucks and Nestle make a global coffee CPG deal

    It is a strong strategic move for both companies. As noted Nestle, struggling of late, needed a big brand infusion into its portfolio and they have acquired distribution rights for one of the most powerful and positively perceived consumer brands. Starbucks obviously gains from the announced intent to further enrich shareholders and I am therefore deeply disappointed in the lack of vision to at least put out a PR push that they would invest more in facilities upgrades, helping local coffee producers, etc. The transparent “it's only about the shareholders” is awful PR for a company that just recently did a great job handling the unfortunate Philadelphia issue.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    When Harry’s met Target and then Walmart

    Much ado about nothing. This is not such a status product among trend-setting Millennials that a push into Walmart will affect existing consumers one way or another. Great move for distribution and leveraging production infrastructure for Harry’s. Further pressure on Gillette, and good news for commodity purchasing for consumers.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Walmart associates check out customers on the floor in pilot program

    The move makes sense for me due to its specific application in the outside Home & Garden section. It is indeed a hassle to take these often large and difficult to manage items into the main store and checkout system. By enabling the consumer to transact outside, including car-side as the video demonstrates, enables convenience as well as associate interaction. I do not see this working well inside the main store, but nothing stops Walmart from now testing the technology in various departments.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Trader Joe’s and Barneys launch podcasts

    Very interesting to see the growth in podcast listening in our video-centric world. The logic of course is in the time spent commuting and also in working out when video viewing isn’t an option. My son devours audio books during his commute and a young colleague does so on his runs. Both interestingly have moved from mostly listening to music to listening to books and motivational speakers. Podcasts are perfect for this generation of listeners and those companies with stories that resonate to their interests will succeed. Similar to effective YouTube offerings, companies must be authentic with the medium chosen, provide content that is engaging and true to that brand’s DNA, and keep up with new content and audience engagement. Both Barneys and Trader Joe’s have the type of cult following that should eat this up. I don’t see it being effective for more mass/mainstream retailers and brands.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Shake Shack ends cashless experiment

    If this were China, where use of mobile wallets is ubiquitous, this would be a yawn. In the US, however, we’re still quite a bit away from pure cashless and/or pure kiosk environments. Testing is still important so that companies can learn which segments embrace this experience and those that do not, so I applaud the effort. If they hadn’t gone 100% to this method by retaining a person to help, the data would not be as valuable. I personally look forward to more companies offering kiosk and cashless options, but 100% solutions are likely not quite ready for prime time.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2018

    Macy’s latest acquisition is all about STORYtelling

    This is a brilliant acquisition and testament to Jeff’s commitment to recreate the department store experience at Macy’s, particularly to attract Millenials and Gen X. The key is to think about “scale” differently here vs. the traditional idea of putting a hot concept into every store in the portfolio. With Macy’s modern ability to use customer data analytics they will be able to help Rachel curate “Stories” appropriate to the customer mix in each store in which one is opened. This will likely mean developing a number of concepts that can be mutliplied across dozens of locations, but not the entire chain. A store in San Francisco should (and must) have a different “Story” than a store in Miami or Chicago or a smaller suburban location. I am excited to see this idea move forward.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    Will shoppers go to Walmart to buy a car?

    I compare this to the very successful vision centers in Costco. There is little connection in my mind between shopping for bulk items and getting eyeglasses. And yet, because the service is fast, professional and accurate, thousands of Costco customers use the service and I dare say make special trips for the purpose, adding to the likelihood of further Costco shopping. Therefore, since most Walmart stores are too large, adding this service is not detracting from store productivity and will likely add trips to Walmart -- assuming the service is excellent. I applaud the move.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    J Sainsbury CEO’s singing hits a sour note on social media

    Clearly an unfortunate and telling show of typical c-suite hubris and lack of awareness. However, it will likely have zero impact on him or his ability to lead. If this is exposing his authentic self, I am fairly certain that his team already knows this.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2018

    Whole Foods to become a Prime perk for Amazon’s customers

    The increased cost for Amazon Prime membership is still a great value and part of that value are the additional perks such as this discount at Whole Foods. My family already shops Whole Foods for particular categories of products and we’ll continue to do so, and not likely at a higher rate than we do already. 10% isn’t enough to move the needle on our frequency or basket size. Since 75% of WF shoppers are already Prime Members, the opportunity is for those Prime Members who don’t already shop WF. This will likely provide an incentive for some material percentage of non shoppers to try WF.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2018

    Chico’s decides to join Amazon, since it can’t beat it

    In a well orchestrated strategy, I believe most consumer brands and retailers would benefit from siting on Amazon’s platform. As some here have mentioned, it is a typical low rent/high traffic real estate play. The winners will be those that have differentiation for their products, the way they interact with the consumer, etc., that allows them to stand out as consumers search on the platform. While the difficult business trend may have pushed them to make the decision now, I think it would still a good decision even if comps were +5% instead of -5% if they follow the points above.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2018

    McDonald’s newest restaurant has international flavor

    This is a terrific strategy for all the big fast food restaurants to employ. The real issue is being able to create menus for specific locations based on customer demographics and most importantly, individual transaction data using data analytics. What was once the great strength of fast food -- menu consistency anywhere you go -- is now often a negative. My unscientific observation is that most of us like a combination of newness and consistency. So the idea that I can begin thinking of McDonald's as a place I can get what I’m craving (a standard menu item), but also as a place I can discover something new is compelling. So it isn’t about rolling out an international menu item across thousands of locations, but rather to those locations that have customer characteristics that the data analytics predict interest.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2018

    Will Gen Zers push personalization toward individualization?

    The discussion is excellent and points to two key ideas: One, that this is about understanding what the customer wants and delivering on that (no different than for any previous generation). Two, that Gen Z is leveraging social media and other technologies to more aggressively push for individualization whenever possible. A retailer delivering individualization well is Stitch Fix, who marries big data analytics with a real, human stylist who engages directly with each customer to co-create each “fix.” Another who is doing this on a fully human level is Dirty Lemon, whose healthy beverages are marketed and sold exclusively via text message, leveraging Gen Z’s favorite way to communicate. And the conversation is all human -- no chatbots or other AI tech. The point here is that each brand and retailer needs to understand how they can provide engagement for their customers that leverages today’s technologies in a brand-right way. Personalization remains a core effective strategy, blended with appropriate Individualization. Yes this is more costly, but is now a growing requirement for ongoing engagement with Gen Z and increasingly with all generations. My last comment is about the danger of over-generalizations. The study covered 16 countries so I assume there is representation from Asia, Latin America, Europe and the US. Recent studies have shown quite different purchasing behaviors for Gen Z in China vs. the US, for example. It would be worth drilling down into the data to understand it in relation to specific cultures to apply the learning to a specific brand or retailer.

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