PROFILE

Tony Orlando

Owner, Tony O's Supermarket and Catering

Born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, Tony Orlando has 50 years in the food business, having started at four years of age in 1961.

Tony purchased his store in May of 1999 from his father. Through the years, he has acquired extensive knowledge of meat and deli departments. He has consulted with other independents to help their businesses grow.

Tony has served on many Midwest beef councils and also was on the Young Executives Council for the NGA, of which he is a charter member.

Tony graduated from Ohio State University in 1978 with a Bachelors in Business Administration. He is married to wife Maria and has two sons, Michael (19) and Stephen (16). Tony is also the President of the Autistic Children’s Foundation. He loves golfing, casinos and talking shop at NGA.

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  • Posted on: 08/10/2018

    Can on-demand sales stabilize Blue Apron?

    Blue Apron and others in this arena are struggling for a couple of reasons. For one, the cost of the product is too high unless they keep giving you $40 discounts with free delivery every time, and people of my generation generally know how to cook and prefer picking out what they want at the store, with significant savings in their pocket. High income couples may have tried this, but the return business hasn't happened in numbers that are sustainable for success in the long run. My son tried one with his friends and said it is nowhere near enough food for hungry adults, and again wasn't worth the money spent. Many consumers want value and when the original great deals stopped, so did the repeat business.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Kroger takes on Visa

    Costco did this a few years ago by throwing American Express out of their stores, and struck a better deal with Visa. Their business disruption was not a factor at all, as it was a smooth transition. Major mega retailers are pounding everyone for lower costs, and deals to add profits to the bottom line, and will continue to use their power to stay on top. In the end, Visa will cave to some degree and lower their fees, and guess who will pay more? That's right, the smaller retailers will pick up the slack, and that is how retail works today.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Kroger Ship to take on Amazon’s Prime Pantry

    Once again the big boys are chasing each other into more losses providing free delivery on $35 worth of staples. Making money seems unfashionable with these new efforts, but again it is a battle to see who is left standing out there in the retail supermarket arena and, unless you are willing to take a loss, I'd stay out of the craziness.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2018

    Walmart still trying to figure out home delivery

    I studied this for almost four years and it is hard to get through some folks' heads that free delivery is killing the bottom lines, without increasing the price of the goods. Why is this so hard to understand? But they will continue to push forward with this, thinking it will work itself out. I keep running the real numbers on the total cost of delivery for groceries, and I couldn't do it for less than $15 just to break even, if all expenses are factored in, or I raise my prices by 18 percent to 20 percent to offset the costs. Raising the minimum purchase will help, but the labor to pull, package and deliver the food safely in a proper vehicle will eat profits away quickly. Consumers are demanding free delivery, and it is too tempting to ignore, especially for Walmart, as Amazon is their arch rival and they don't want to lose sales no matter what the cost.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2018

    Does Five Below make sense for 5th Ave?

    I find this to be hilarious; the the snobs near 5th Ave are upset. What's next, an Aldi and a dented can closeout thrift store? 5 Below will find out if it is a success in the first year, and if it does well, others may follow as their money is just as green as any other tenant willing to pay the rent. Visitors with families would love a break on the sky high prices for basic stuff in NYC, so they should do well.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Retailers fail to reward long-time customers at their own risk

    There are some true loyal customers in retail today, but that has been shrinking for many years as consumers have a wide variety of choices to buy the same product -- be it online, at the local small business or the giant mega-stores. I don't have any computer algorithm to key in on my top-tier customers, but I know almost every single one of them. They are thanked in many ways, whether I comp them a dessert or a salad from my deli or give them a discount on a special cut of meat for a big party. It is done all them time, and the rest of our customers are always treated well. The loyalty for hardline goods and specialty clothing or home goods has its own reward system. Like Macy's who treat my wife very well, or Joann Fabrics, who have friendly associates that build relationships with their loyal customers. You must recognize your high rollers and make sure they get exclusive pre-buy super deals (which goes a long way) and other types of promotions. Rewards that single out a store's best shoppers are reasons why they stay loyal to that particular store.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2018

    Kroger’s 90-day terms have CPG suppliers seeing red

    Kroger is a monster-sized company and wants to be treated like Walmart, and many CPG companies are playing Russian Roulette wondering if they want to adhere to these terms or walk away. This is why small businesses get upset, as they are lucky to get 7 to 14 days on their invoices, not to mention the special pricing these big companies are getting on top of these terms. Who will blink first? My biggest concern is, if they cave in, we as smaller stores will pay more to subsidize Kroger and that is how it is done today. The rich and powerful control and dominate the manufacturers of many products besides food and, in the end, the communities suffer as main streets and strip plazas continue to empty out.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    Retailers use brand ads to help pay for free delivery

    This has been going on for 50 years, and now to offset free shipping, having a few flyers is gong to solve the problem? Free delivery is now part of consumers' expectations, and many retailers are scrambling to find ways to get a little revenue to help with the high cost of delivery. Amazon gets about $12-13 billion just in subscription fees, and they still don't break even on shipping costs, so now a few flyers are gonna be a game changer? It must be built into the cost of the goods being shipped, or risk losing money big time trying to be like Amazon. Higher minimum purchases is another partial solution, so keep the new ideas coming, I'm looking forward to reading about them.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2018

    Did Build-A-Bear destroy its brand with a successful promotion?

    All I can add to this is how something sold way, way below its true value will create chaos, and Build-A-Bear definitely created a crowd. I remember some of my insane deals over the years, and it draws some bloodthirsty deal hunters, that will push and shove their way to get want they want, and you won't see them again, until the next insane deal. We had fights over 25lb. bags of flour at 69 cents many years ago, and my dad had to break customers up to make sure no one got hurt. Retail is a bare knuckle brawl, when these sales occur, and Black Friday actually had some poor souls die, being stomped on to get to the $99 TVs, so this is not something new, and any crazy promotion must be thought thru to manage the crowds, and continue to run the event successfully and safely. Have a great weekend everyone.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Will America win the trade war?

    Well I must be the only one who feels differently, as many of these countries have been taking advantage of the very low tariffs as they have exporting goods into our country. This can not be ignored, and Trump is just beginning to negotiate for a better deal, and it will eventually work itself out, as he certainly knows how to strike a deal that will be better for the U.S. These other countries already know that the old way of dumping stuff here is over, and it should be, because in the long run American products need to be sold overseas with a level playing field, so we'll see who blinks first, and I'm betting on us to come out with a deal that makes us competitive, which is what is needed to fix the imbalance that has been going on for five decades.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Amazon calls on entrepreneurs to help deliver its packages

    This depends on a couple of factors. The drivers themselves must meet the standards Amazon sets or it's bye bye. They also must be compensated to make a good living, so Amazon must provide a very good commission to attract hard working drivers. If not then it simply will not work. It is an opportunity and it could be good for both parties.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Are retailers overlooking their communities?

    Retailers of all types for the most part try to be involved with their communities, but as things get more difficult financially, you must pick your charities wisely. We get more than 200 requests a year for donations, and 90 percent of the folks coming in do not spend one dime in my store and never will. This is the new way today, and unless I support a business with my dollars, I'd never ask for anything, as in my opinion it is wrong to do so. Walmart gives people a form to fill out, and Aldi gives out nothing, which leaves what few stores are left to carry the burden of the folks who seek out donations. I politely tell them what charities I take care of and wish them well, but it is increasingly difficult to meet the demands, and if things were to improve I could do more but it's unlikely that this will happen. I still volunteer my time in the schools talking with kids and doing mock interviews and some job shadowing, and any of us as business people should give our time to community events. Either way, stay involved and always try to improve your community in ways that help. I wish all of you the best.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    Another move to add at least 100 billion in sales over the next five years, and now it is the three large pharmacies that will feel Amazon's crushing blow to retail. Too bad I never bought their stock, because it will continue to carve out big chunks of whatever they choose to venture into. I have felt it for years, as staple grocery items are being delivered everywhere, so buckle up, CVS and your buddies, as it is going to get ugly.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Microsoft exploring checkout-less technologies

    This technology all sounds great, but it will be difficult for an independent operator to afford the upfront costs to do this. I see many large regional chains looking at this, but even they will test it in a few stores to work out the issues before a massive changeover occurs. What about the friendly associates who handle not only the transaction, but engage with customers to make sure their needs are all met, including carry outs, and specialty orders? We'll see how this goes, and it will move forward at a steady pace. If costs continue to drop, then smaller businesses may adopt it as well. We talk a lot about outstanding customer service. This could possibly backfire for some stores who make the changeover without shifting the front-end staff to other positions -- such as customer service concierge agents -- which would be wise.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Is Amazon killing Barnes & Noble’s chances for a turnaround?

    They just shut down a gigantic store in Erie Pa., and unfortunately, they probably will not survive in the long run. Amazon is the current commerce killer; add in Walmart, and you have little chance to grow your retail business in today's marketplace. There will be more casualties, and Amazon will be bigger than any retail business in the world in the near future. Niche stores that operate in good markets will continue to do well, but the outlying rural areas will continue to see shuttered stores, as foot traffic is decreasing every year.

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