We offer strategic, analytical and operational assistance to retail and consumer products organizations.
Atlanta Retail Consulting was formed by seasoned retail consulting professionals to address the need for experienced retail consulting advice and implementation guidance. Today’s typical consulting resource is often overpriced, lacking in true deep retail experience, and, most particularly, unfamiliar with execution in a chain environment. Atlanta Retail Consulting was formed as a solution to these industry challenges and to provide retailers and consumer products organizations with a resource that is properly skilled and better able to meet their real needs.
We have combined a core team of hand-chosen, dedicated retail consulting experts who have previously proven themselves in the retail industry. Our team is skilled at analysis, in tune with the true retail environment and has proven experience implementing meaningful, measurable improvement. Atlanta Retail Consulting provides high quality strategic, analytical, and operational consulting assistance to clients who are honestly motivated to identify and realize quantifiable improvement in their revenue stream and/or cost structure.
Our leadership team is headed by Pat Fitzpatrick
Patrick Fitzpatrick is the President and founder of Atlanta Retail Consulting Inc. Following his graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, with an Industrial Engineering and Financial Management background, he worked for a decade with Colt Industries, as a member of the Management Career System, in various division operational and financial positions including Manager of Financial Analysis and Division Controller.
In 1982 Patrick took a position with a leading retail consulting organization that was subsequently merged into Arthur Andersen & Co. Over the following seventeen years Patrick managed and was accountable for scores of successful consulting engagements while rising to Director of National Retail Consulting Sales for Arthur Andersen North America. In 1998 he accepted a Partner position with another large international consulting organization, rising to Senior Partner in 2003. In 2004 Patrick formed Atlanta Retail Consulting Inc.
Sample engagements that Atlanta Retail Consulting has completed include:
- For a major Canadian retail organization, ARC guided the client Retail Operations Team in a store inventory and space usage analysis. The in-store analysis included a detailed review of both hard and soft goods store fixture usage, store aisle space utilization, store display effectiveness, retail inventory carrying capacity, store backroom inventory storage effectiveness, in-bound freight cost reduction, store space utilization and future retail expansion space planning models. The analysis also incorporated a detailed grocery on-floor and backroom inventory turn and product expiration analysis, identifying significant shrink reduction opportunities.
- For an historic northeast regional retail chain, ARC provided detailed financial and retail operational guidance to the firm during their operational wind-down and financial dissolution. The organization hired ARC to guide them through the complex process of organizing and consolidating the retail operation prior to dissolution, advertising and selling off the entire chain inventory in a manner that provided maximum revenue and effectiveness throughout the total company clearance process.
- For an international commercial construction firm located in the Southeast, ARC performed a detailed retail effectiveness evaluation for the associated retail hardware business. The evaluation spanned sales effectiveness, advertising, service behaviors, inventory availability and condition, pricing policies and training needs. Improvement opportunities and implementation recommendations identified during the evaluation permitted the parent organization to continue operations in a profitable manner.
- For a local boutique fresh format grocery store, ARC performed a detailed operational review to assist the owners to prepare the business for expansion. All facets of the retail grocery operation were reviewed, with an emphasis on: service staffing and behaviors, POS system usage, replenishment control, management communication and store display effectiveness.
- At a popular high-end mountain states men’s apparel retailer, ARC performed a broad retail analysis of the business. The review was sponsored by the investment firm that was financing the business and had been called upon to invest more heavily to expand the base of vendors currently represented in the store. The results of the review were invaluable to the owners and investor in the firm and the new lines of apparel were successfully added strengthening sales and permitting continued operation.
- ARC structured and performed an assessment of the shopping experience offered by a major US toll road retail organization with locations in numerous east coast states. The purpose of this assessment was to identify opportunities to optimize Toll Road Retail Store sales and drive customer and associate satisfaction by ensuring the retail management structure (Corporate and Field Operations), roles, processes and tools created the best environment to deliver these results.
- ARC was engaged to guide the operation planning process for a major US hotel chain constructing a new and innovative Food Hall in one of their newest properties. The guidance provided assisted the management team to avoid a series of future (planned) operational impediments that would have significantly (negatively) affected the operation of the retail operation.
- For the largest Southeastern US C-Store chain, ARC was engaged to work with the corporate operational team to assist them to improve the effectiveness of store execution and the (operational) launch of a new food concept. The scope of work included identifying improvement opportunities for all facets of the C-Store operation, including modifications to the new scheduling system.
- For a well-known Southeastern regional produce wholesaler / retailer, ARC was engaged to review a newly developed expansion strategy. The result of ARC’s strategy review was a significant refinement and shift of the initial strategic direction. The organization adopted the ARC recommendations and avoided a very costly expansion that was associated with significant risk.
- Performed a multi-format retail effectiveness analysis for a real estate investor / developer located in the western US. This engagement required our team to analyze and structure a stepped improvement plan to drive retail sales across a series of related nameplates and guide operational improvement leading to a return to profitability.
- Analyzed and guided improvements in a Hawaiian Islands based grocery operation. After a substantial retail facility re-design, completed prior to our engagement, this client continued to experience on-going profitability challenges. Phase I of our work included an analysis of all aspects of the retail operation and guidance on change implementation. The scope of work included: sales effectiveness, customer service behaviors, inventory control, key systems, staffing effectiveness, mix/placement, operational best practice awareness, whse re-design, and marketing strategy.Additonal phases of work are pending.
- Performed a detailed Inventory Management / SKU Rationalization Analysis of a nationally recognized, multi-channel womens apparel retailer. The review provided a detailed perspective by category / department of the inventory effectiveness achieved by the merchandising team. Numerous opportunities for revenue and GMROI improvement were identified, including overstock patterns, over-pricing patterns, and color and size scale inefficiencies.
- Conducted a detailed multi-state store operation review/assessment for a national (tri-channel) specialty tool retailer. The analysis included all aspects of the store operation with an emphasis on best practices and labor management. The assessment has resulted in a large Phase II add-on to guide improvements in the field and prepare the firm for a late summer full-chain rollout.
- Performed a triple-format retail revue for a large regional medical provider with an imbedded retail offering. The review spanned the optical, durable medical, and pharmacy offerings. The review process and resultant recommendations included inventory control and accounting improvements, site location suggestions, marketing opportunities, merchandise mix opportunities, and on-line presence points. Subsequent work has included assistance with the placement of a Director of Retail.
- Provided industry research for a legal team representing one of the largest US mass retailers in a significant product liability lawsuit. This process included industry-specific guidance on retail merchandising practices and the impact of product safety in the buying decision process.
- Lead a revenue enhancement effort for a regional Mid-Atlantic grocer. The process involved a detailed financial, operational, merchandising mix, labor utilization, marketing, and organizational analysis of this high-end specialty food operation culminating in the development of a detailed improvement program designed to allow the firm to improve operations after a period of stagnant growth and declining profitability. Leadership work to assist the retailer to implement the recommendations is on-going.
- Provided guidance to a legal team engaged in a wage and hour lawsuit. This process included developing the logic and methodology necessary to analyze actual hours-worked patterns and comparison to required-hours needed from an advanced workforce management system.
- Performed a detailed Retail Effectiveness Review for a regional Home Accessory retailer / wholesaler. This assessment assisted management by appropriately focusing attention on the critical operating components of their retail organization and permitted the firm to regain significant market share.
- Managed a detailed chain-wide field management time use analysis for a nation-wide specialty retailer. The study identified numerous significant opportunities for senior management to restructure key field management position requirements and modify hiring criteria currently employed by the retailer to improve store performance.
- Performed a multi-site, multi-state store operations assessment for the leading US cosmetics category killer. The assessment scope included all store functions plus all related interaction with the corporate and distribution functions. While leading a client team, all store tasks were observed and diagnosed to identify current productivity rates and future best practice opportunities. Millions in cost avoidance savings were uncovered during the assessment phase of work. The client WFM system was also reviewed and a detailed list of critical updates were established to permit the stores to benefit from more accurate work schedules. The model store / chain-wide implementation phase is being scheduled.
- Performed a full ERP System Assessment for a large national Home Decor retailer. The assessment included an enterprise-wide review of the current (and anticipated) financial and merchandising system capabilities. Existing system capabilities and architechure were contrasted to future capabilities and logical future systems were identified for further scrutiny. Once completed this phase of work transitioned into a full Conference Room Pilot (CRP) process permitting a detailed review of two leading ERP software packages. The selection process was completed in early 2010 and the final phase of work is currently underway to implement the Oracle Merchandising Platform across all key merchandise and financial functions.
- Developed and supervised a three month nationwide Multi-Cultural Marketing Assessment for one of the largest US based Cellular firms. The assessment included a store-level: operational review, non-english customer intercepts, cultural pattern identification, and marketing display and collateral effectiveness review. The outcome permitted the client organization to significantly refine the marketing tools employed at store level and revise the customer experience to better match the cultural needs of their customer base.
- Guided the store re-design of a regional Bookstore chain. While partnering with one of retail’s most sought after design firms, we created a radically new store design, upgraded the existing units, reduced unproductive inventory and created a prototype model which is currently being used as the template for expansion.
- Performed a detailed Multi-Location Performance Assessment for one of the largest and best known Resort Retail management firms. Our team recommended branded nameplate shifts, location and design modifications, and operational support improvements focused on increasing sales revenue.
- Performed a thorough Supply-Chain Analysis for one of the best known Home Accessory distributors in the US. The review touched on all aspects of the business and culminated in a detailed plan to realign key organizational teams, upgrade systems and procedures, and streamline the functioning of the sales force.
- Analyzed the Labor Effectiveness of a major Supermarket chain in conjunction with a legal challenge. The analysis performed was integral in restructuring the defense strategy employed to fend off the legal complaint.
- Guided the forensic analysis of one of the largest retail Drugstore chains in conjunction with a “material adverse change” complaint and determination of damages. Our team provided the defendant with an invaluable platform for their defense and a detailed perspective of the inner-workings of the organization in dispute.
- Managed a Supply Chain Assessment for a northeastern Apparel distributor that provides fashion apparel, fashion accessories and a dedicated cosmetics line to mass and general U.S. fashion retailers. Our team developed a comprehensive list of improvement recommendations for senior management and has begun guiding the implementation of new processes. Implementation will focus on activity based costing studies to cost justify key value added services currently offered, streamlining the order-entry process, DC workflow redesign, and coordination of activities in multiple distribution center locations.
- Assisted a leading Fine Jewelry retailer and operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States with; the development of a new internal Product Warranty Program strategy, a self-insured operational plan, a pro-forma for transition to a self-insured status, and the negotiation / selection process with various outside participating insurance organizations.
- Analyzed the Store Operational Practices and Labor Utilization of a large west-coast based Fashion retailer, with a focus on all aspects of the in-store pricing function. We also identified operational impediments along with focused recommendations for future improvement. Our team observed key process steps in multiple locations permitting the development of new, more accurate store labor standards reflecting current task procedures. Future phases of work will include assistance with implementation of the process improvement recommendations, coordination with all store functions, and the recalculation of store standards based upon revised procedures.
- Developed a dynamic Revenue Enhancement Strategy and go-to-market plan for a national Service Provider organization. The work involved our team learning the details of the firm’s current marketing approach, performing a thorough SWOT analysis and recommending; a new strategy including marketing approach, sales strategy and enhanced selling tools utilization, web presence enhancement, staffing level changes, roles and responsibilities recommendations, and new management metrics.
- Performed a detailed Merchandising Process review for a nationally known Mass retailer. The process required our team to thoroughly review the corporate level merchandising process – including the buying, planning, and allocation functions. We reviewed all aspects of the current merchandising system and a detailed review was performed of the current distribution process and distribution network efficiency. Recommendations for improvement were developed and presented with immediate, near-term, and long-term perspectives and details for an implementation strategy. Assistance with the implementation process is also scheduled to begin.