STORES Magazine - October 2008 - (Page 26)

EXECUTIVE SUITE / RETAIL PEOPLE Leader of the TAG Team Retail analyst is bullish on customer service and innovation Dana Telsey CEO/chief research officer, TAG New York rom her perch at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street in New York, veteran retail analyst Dana Telsey runs an independent equity research and consulting firm focused on retail. Clients of Telsey Advisory Group (TAG) include money managers or investors needing information for a leveraged buyout, for example, or they might be mall developers looking to perfect a tenant mix. ability to respond quickly and accurately led to growth in the business. Why did you go out on your own? F It stemmed from the opportunity I saw in the world of independent research in the consumer sector, combined with the significant changes that were occurring at the brokerage firms. It was the right move at the right time for me. You’ve followed a lot of retailers for a lot of years professionally. Personally, what’s the greatest customer service you’ve experienced – and the worst? TAG covers domestic and international apparel vendors, specialty retailers, consumer electronics, department stores, discounters and off-price, home furnishings, luxury goods and sporting goods merchants, as well as casual, quick-service and specialty restaurants. Before venturing out on her own in 2006, Telsey was with Bear, Stearns & Co., most recently as a senior managing director. Prior to that, she was the retail analyst at C.J. Lawrence and vice president of the Baron Asset Fund at Baron Capital. She’s also managed to rack up industry awards and accolades along the way. Telsey is a 13-year member of Institutional Investor magazine’s “All-America Research Team” where, for the last seven years, she’s been ranked the No. 1 specialty stores analyst. Her firm was honored as the 2007 Women-Owned Business of the Year by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Telsey has been a guest on “Wall Street Week,” “ABC News,” “NBC Evening News” and “The Today Show” and is a regular retail analyst on both CNN and CNBC. You’ve followed retailers for some time now, but have you ever “worked retail”? The greatest customer service I ever experienced [was] in Milan, where every clothing store you go to, the clothing is perfectly altered within 24 hours. The worst was at Brioni, a highend Italian clothing store, where the custom suit I ordered was incorrectly altered by a tailor, who I was later told, specialized in buttons. If you had the attention of all retailers great and small, independent or public, what would tell them? Focus on your customer with customer service and innovation [and] with your store so that the environment is always exciting and drives repeat customers. [There should] always be a healthy balance of goods that customers want to buy on a repeat basis, but also differentiated enough to be special. What other passions or interests might you have pursued if you hadn’t taken this path? I would have been a lawyer or a language translator. [Telsy majored in history and Spanish as an undergrad.] Have you kept up with your Spanishlanguage skills? Yes. My family owned a bookstore on Madison Avenue and 51st Street where I worked in high school. I also worked at B. Dalton during college. Speaking of jobs, what was your first paying one? Not at all! A little-known fact about you? I love to walk. What do you do with downtime, and where did you spend your last vacation? Colour Library International, a stock photo library in New York City. Any life lessons learned there? Customer service and quick response. We had many demanding clients and the 26 STORES / OCTOBER 2008 I go shopping, of course. I travel so much that I sometimes spend three-day weekends in shopping cities, like Los Angeles, London and Milan. StORES — Janet Groeber WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - October 2008

STORES Magazine - October 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Force of a Different Collar
What Shoppers Think
Bagging the Competition
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Favorite 50
Sticky Strategies for Retention
Business Intelligence
NRFtech Wrap-up
Warehouse Systems
Selling Tools
Supply Chain
LOEB Retail Letter
Arts Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - October 2008