Antony Karabus is CEO of HRC Advisory, a leading
retail advisory firm. He has advised retailers
on strategic and financial performance issues
for over 25 years and has assisted numerous
North American retailers in creating significant
shareholder value during this time. Karabus has
advised numerous national retail chains in key
sectors, including department store, specialty
apparel and hard lines, big box, and grocery. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
model that is distinct from
price and engages the
customer most effectively.
2 Create a merchandising, assortment, and inventory
deployment strategy that aligns
with the differentiated
customer value proposition.
3 Deploy their capital to the most important initiatives that will
position them for the necessary
transformation in the new
4 Manage their cost infrastructure and deploy
capital cost effectively while
enabling the strategic agenda
and meeting customer needs.
5 Design an analytics capability that produces key insights into
the key drivers of profitability
and customer engagement.
In addition, these retailers will need to
reevaluate their real estate portfolios
against their current and anticipated
customer profile. Some will need to
downsize their premium location
store sizes to make the economics
more manageable, while others that
operate primarily in malls that are
struggling to remain relevant in the
new retail environment will need to
rethink their real estate fleet based on
where their customers are migrating.
That could be street location or to
the B or C mall that is making the
transition to more relevancy and still
has the right kind of consumer traffic.
Additionally, they may need to close
some of their stores and reduce the
attendant infrastructure costs to focus
their limited resources on the best
stores and e-commerce channel.
Finally, the current retail environment
is not for the faint of heart. This is
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a complex time and survival of the
fittest is an apt phrase for the industry.
Many of the weaker retailers have
already gone out of business. Yet
others are struggling and may not
survive. On the other hand, there
are many retailers who are thriving
due to their differentiated value
proposition and are meeting or
exceeding their particular customers’
expectations. This is a very exciting
time for the latter and given all
the retailers that have gone out of
business, there is more market share
available for those that remain. J