PROFILE

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.
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  • 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.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2018

    Why haven’t CPG giants figured out what makes small brands so popular?

    It’s a perfect environment for the rise of small CPG brands, and frankly for all small brands as well in areas of fashion, technology, etc. The public has built up a basic distrust in large enterprises including government and large companies. The consumer is easily exposed to the latest trends via digital platforms and influencer recommendations. Technology has enabled small companies to immediate act as if they were large in everything from supply chain, finance and product development and marketing. Investors have turned their attention on the outsized returns available in fast growing startups, thus giving these companies significant leverage to invest in quick ramping up of sales and profits. In the end, all this leads to today’s reality: consumer demand and a plethora of small companies ready to deliver against those demands. The large CPG companies are indeed investing in incubators and acquisitions, but it remains to be seen if that strategy can create returns that slow drawn the trend of investment in more and more small brands.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    How should retail employers prepare for Gen Z workers?

    I agree with my colleagues who believe that the core of how we best welcome anyone into the retail workplace is the same: leading with care and empathy, respecting them while holding them accountable to well-articulated values, treating them as individuals vs. stereotypes of their generation. Their true digital nativity will be their greatest asset for us to learn from, as well as their great challenge as their face-to-face socialization/communication skills may be challenged when dealing with older customers and co-workers.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    Will AT&T give Starbucks competition as the new ‘third place’ for people to hang out?

    This for me is an overreach by a brand trying to emulate a successful concept and apply it to the boring world of telecom, which only Apple seems to have been able to create at retail. It’s an interesting experiment, but I can’t imagine choosing an AT&T store and an unknown coffee brand over Starbucks or whichever coffee shop I might prefer today.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    Will Amazon disrupt retail again with its new 4-star store concept?

    We all seem to agree -- brilliant. From effective data capture to leveraging the power and success of real consumer recommendations, 4-Star will likely prove quite successful as they learn the best way to curate the assortment to create an understandable category mix and focus.
  • 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!

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