Author, Visionary, Retail Guru
Robin Lewis is the founder and CEO of The Robin Report. He is an author, speaker, and consultant for the retail and consumer products industries. He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations: among them are Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, VF Corp., Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, and Sara Lee, and financial firms such as The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, Lion Capital, PNC Bank and others, as well as associations and schools, most notably the World Retail Congress, the National Retail Federation, International Council of Shopping Centers, Cornell University, The New School, Fashion Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin, among others. Robin is Co-Author, The New Rules of Retail ; Founder and CEO, The Robin Report, a media enterprise for level retail executives with the inside story and back story on the industry; and Consultant for the Retail and Consumer Products Industries.
Industry consultants Lewis and Dart present an in-depth, cerebral look at the yesterday, today, and tomorrow of retail, arguing that nearly half of retailers will soon be gone. In the authors’ view, the key to success rests on a retailer’s ability to create “experiential and distributional superiority” and control the value chain. Knowing what’s important to do and knowing how to do it are two different things, but information and real-life examples are plentiful. Readers will learn how real estate will help define the shopping experience and how the business models of advertising and media will change. The last of three sections, “Ideas from the Masters,” includes a study of the largest apparel company in America, VF (Vanity Fair) Corporation, who possess “the best-managed supply chain in its industry.” Readers will also learn how Zappos.com delivers the “WOW experience” and why Apple earns an acclaimed “tip of the hat.” The authors root for The Gap’s success and speculate on the survival of one retail icon, currently stuck in a perfect storm. This complex and informative look at the retail world may be a bit too cerebral for consumers but perfect for anyone entrenched in retail management.
The New Rules of Retail
Driven by constantly evolving technology, globalization and a saturated marketplace, consumers now have total and instantaneous access to whatever they desire, thus creating an unprecedented level of consumer power and expectations. .The impact of these changes is so profound that all traditional strategic success factors—and the business models necessary to execute them—will become extinct. Using profiles and case examples of industry giants, Lewis reveals why some retailers are tremendously successful at reaching today’s increasingly elusive and demanding consumer and explains the new mandate for retailers: neurological connectivity, preemptive distribution and value chain control.
The Future of Retailing
Global and domestic economic dynamics converging with the Internet and its impact on driving change to current and future business models (“It’s only just begun … .glass half full or empty?”). The integration of the online and offline value chains (omni-channel): both the “front” and “back” ends; the issues and the answers.
“It’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times.” How four major headwinds turn the worst of times into the best.
We operate in a new era of brands, from mega to micro, an infinite number of finite brands for an infinite number of finite “consumer tribes.”
New Values, New Rules
The downward recalibration of value: the cause and effects of discount pricing; outlet stores; diffusion and/or private and exclusive brands; and the Internet.
Robin will collaborate in the development of customized topics as requested by client (also includes creating and conducting seminars and strategic workshops “off-site” or “on.”
Robin Lewis Biography
Robin Lewis is the co-author of The New Rules of Retail, published by Palgrave- McMillan Publishing in 2010, and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brand Week, and Advertising Age, as well as on CNBC and MSNBC.
In addition to his role as CEO and Editorial Director of The Robin Report, he is a professor at the Graduate School of Professional Studies at The Fashion Institute of Technology.
Previously, he was Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he developed and launched a global retail consulting practice. Prior to Goldman Sachs, as Vice President and Executive Editor of Women’s Wear Daily, he expanded its mission and strategically positioned the company as a business information provider, expanding the franchise into conferences, (WWD CEO Summits), trade shows, and syndicated and proprietary reports and research.
Earlier in his career he held executive positions in strategic planning, business development, and brand and marketing management at DuPont, VF Corporation and Grey Advertising.
He serves on the Board of Directors for the Fashion Group International, and on the Advisory Board of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and has served on the Board of Governors for the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parson’s School of Design. He holds a BS degree in business administration from Northwestern University with a special field of study in journalism from their Medill School.
For more information on Robin’s speaking availability please fill out the form below and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
Robin Lewis Past Speaking Venues
Anne Klein (executive meeting)
Arrow Shirts (international licensees)
Aveda (national sales and marketing meeting)
Bass Shoe Co. (management meeting)
Bath & Body Works (management meeting)
Bloomingdales (worldwide management meeting)
Bobbin Executive Forum (industry management forum)
Charming Shoppes (Board of Directors)
Cotton Incorporated (management meetings)
DuPont (worldwide Lycra management meeting)
Eddie Bauer (executive committee meeting)
Estee Lauder (worldwide management meeting)
Fairchild Publications (on-going CEO conferences)
Hartmarx (executive meeting)
Hugo Boss (management retreat)
JC Penney (national management meeting)
Kellwood, (management meeting)
Levi Strauss & Co. (executive committee meeting)
Liz Claiborne (executive meetings)
London Fog (executive meeting)
Monet (worldwide executive meeting)
Nickelodeon (marketing management meeting)
Oakley (brand apparel and accessories annual meeting)
Oxford Industries (management meetings)
Savanne Menswear (management meeting)
Sara Lee (board meeting)
Shanghai Apparel Mart Conference (Chinese manufacturers)
VF Corporation (board of directors meeting)
Wolverine Worldwide (worldwide executive meeting)
Woolrich (management meeting)
Financial and Consulting
Carlyle Group (private equity firm off-site management meeting)
Lion Capital (private equity firm annual client meeting)
PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper client meeting)
KS (Kurt Salmon partners meeting)
AAFA (American Apparel and Footwear Assn)
AAPN (American Apparel Producer’s Network)
Brazil Retail Federation (Sao Paulo)
FGI (Fashion Group International – on-going seminars)
ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers)
ITC (Italian Trade Commission)
KTA (Knitted Textile Assn.)
MAGIC (Men’s Apparel Guild In California)
Material World (international fabric trade show)
NACS (National Association of College Stores)
NAFFIM (National Association of Furriers In Montreal)
NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants)
NKSA (Northern Knitted Sportswear Association)
NRF (National Retail Federation)
NSGMA (National Sporting Goods Mfgs Assn)
RMS (Retail Marketing Society)
TDA (Textile Distributors Assn)
THA (The Hosiery Association)
WRC (World Retail Congress, London 2012)
FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology Advanced Management Program)
North Carolina State University
Philadelphia College of Textiles
Parson’s School of Design
The New School
University of Wisconsin
Reviews for The New Rules of Retail
A tour de force…offers a tremendous look-back and look-forward at the past, present, and future of retail…I highly recommend it.”—Fortune
Provides an accessible set of principles for assessing what retailers need to do to survive…a thoughtful analysis.”—The Financial Times
The authors bring solid credentials to their forecast of the coming retail landscape, and they provide plenty of interesting material for readers on both sides of the cash register.”—Kirkus
In-depth, cerebral look at the yesterday, today, and tomorrow of retail … perfect for anyone entrenched in retail management”—Publishers Weekly
This book is much too interesting to be bedtime reading. The New Rule of Retail is fascinating and a little frightening vision of our consumptive future. While not apocalyptic, it is stark and powerfully real. If you are a merchant or marketer, this is your up-wake call.”–Paco Underhill, CEO Envirosell Inc. and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping
I truly enjoyed reading Robin Lewis and Michael Dart’s book. They have clearly defined the new rules for success; whereby the successful brand managers will be those who can manage and control the pre-emptive distribution of their neurologically addictive brand from its creation all the way through to consumption.”–Michael Gould, Chairman & CEO, Bloomingdale’s
Lewis and Dart delve deeply and smartly into what we need to do to thrive in the increasingly complex retail marketplace. Great stuff.”–William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies
The New Rules Of Retail offers a thought-provoking and compelling perspective on the future of the industry. Both traditional retailers and e-commerce competitors will find the principles outlined by Lewis and Dart relevant to their needs. A must read.”–John Donahoe, CEO, EBay
Lewis and Dart give a very accurate view of the past history of retailing. But more importantly, they offer an insightful and strategic view of the consumers and business models needed to support its future.”–Claudio Del Vecchio, CEO, Brooks Brothers
The New Rules of Retail is a powerful analysis of the tectonic shifts that have transformed this industry, and it reveals the secrets of succeeding in today’s new economic and digital environment. Authors Robin Lewis and Michael Dart know retailing inside and out and their thought-provoking book, with its incisive perspective, proves it.”–Tracy Mullin, former President and CEO, National Retail Federation
The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace is an important and instructive read for industry veterans and newcomers alike. Lewis and Dart provide a practical road map for success in the rapidly evolving environment, along with an assessment of the retailers who ‘get it’. With the authors’ dire prediction that 50% of retailers will be unable to survive the transition to “Wave III,” this is a must read for everyone in the business today!”–Jane Elfers, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Place
This book is an essential read for anyone who is interested in a history of what drives 70 percent of the U.S. economy and the many challenges expected to be faced in the future. Like we are now seeing in politics, the voter/consumer is in the driver’s seat, and those serving her had better take heed.” — Allen Questrom, former CEO, JCPenney, Federated Department Stores, and Barney’s
The New Rules of Retail is a must read for students of contemporary retailing. Full of meaningful insights about the current environment, the authors chart the course for a successful retail future.”—Paul Charron, former CEO of Liz Claiborne
Takes a real approach to describe why some retailers prospered and others failed through each wave of Retail history. Lewis’ and Dart’s use of case examples bring the book to life to clearly spell out how customers and the competitive environment have changed and how retailers today must connect with their customers and take control of their value chain to not only be successful, but survive.”—Ken Hicks, Chairman & CEO, Foot Locker, Inc.