August 9, 2022

Over 20 Years of Merchandising, Buying, Product Development and Sourcing Experience with Retail Strategy Group Founder Liza Amlani [EP 341]

Show Notes

Rick Saez
Rick Saez
Over 20 Years of Merchandising, Buying, Product Development and Sourcing Experience with Retail Strategy Group Founder Liza Amlani [EP 341]
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Today I’m joined by Liza Amlani principal and founder of Retail Strategy Group. Liza has over 20 years of Industry knowledge and Experience in Merchandising, Buying, Product Development, and Sourcing with Luxury and Mass Merchant Retailers in both Regional and Global markets and has some progressive thoughts on traditional retail business. We get into a little of that and plenty more in this wide-ranging conversation.

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Show Notes

Today I’m joined by Liza Amlani Principal and Founder of Retail Strategy Group. Liza has over 20 years of Industry knowledge and Experience in Merchandising, Buying, Product Development, and Sourcing with Luxury and Mass Merchant Retailers in both Regional and Global markets and has some progressive thoughts on traditional retail business. We get into a little of that and plenty more in this wide-ranging conversation.

Tell us how you got into retail, like many of us it was your first job?

Yes, it was. I had many jobs, but pretty much all of the jobs I ever had were in a mall. I started with all those shoes, which I absolutely love.

Share with our listeners the best 3 tactics you think Outdoor Retailers are executing currently.

I think that outdoor retailers truly hire the best people. You know, from product developers to merchants and planners, to material teams, they absolutely love the brand that they’re working with.

And it shows in the product that they’re creating. It shows the product mix and the assortment that they’re creating.

The second thing I would say is that product and activity, obsessed brand ambassadors in the store. They’re not only selling on the shop floor, but they’re immersed in outdoor on and off of work.

And that’s so authentic to the customer. So I think that’s very special. Outdoor brands really hold sustainability as a key metrics. Because they’re part of the outdoor. So in that in itself is also authentic.

How about the 3 biggest opportunities for improvement?

I would say this is something that I saw at one of the conferences that I was in, which is I saw someone from re I speak. There were some other folks on the panel and they were talking about diversity in merchandise assortment. And I think that this is something that is an opportunity.

The second thing I would say is around material innovation. And I think that would be across apparel, footwear as well as accessories and equipment. Especially from that sustainability lens, protecting the environment while developing materials that are better for the planet is a win-win.

The last thing I would say I believe there’s a very big opportunity here to get closer to the customer, especially as we’re expanding into more diverse customer segments and new customer segments and even younger ones leveraging insights to drive better decisions across merchandising, planning, product creation, and of course marketing and promotion.

Can you give us three ways Retail Strategy Group can help outdoor retail businesses?

The first thing I would say is definitely rethinking that product creation process, helping brands get faster to market.

Optimizing merchandising strategies. So reimagining how we think about seasonality, which is what I just talked about and how building assortments around stories versus looking at product.

And then speaking about customers, how to get closer to the customer through insights and how those insights will drive product planning. And merchandising decisions specifically.

What outdoor activities do you participate in?

Definitely hiking and running. I really love to be outdoors. Anything outdoors

Do you have any suggestions and/or advice for folks wanting to get into retail, buying, merchandising etc ?

Be obsessed about product or the industry that you’re looking to get into. I think that you never want your work to feel like work and I absolutely don’t. I love what I do. And do the work and get your hands dirty. So if you wanna be a merchant or designer, then definitely work on the shop floor or work, you know, shadow a designer or pattern maker just to get the full breath of what the role entails and to make sure that you do love it.

What is your favorite outdoor gear purchase under $100?

I recently just purchased a new pair of hiking boots. I know we keep going back to the hiking, but this is something that I’m really getting into. And they’re ultra lightweight. So that, that was exciting

How about some of your favorite books?

I would say Kite Runner and the Alchemist are my favorite books.

Is there anything else you want to say or ask of our listeners?

We have a monthly newsletter called The Merchant Life and we just launched our latest edition.

Follow up with Liza