Dear Reader

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\"\"Welcome to the official website of The Robin Report. We are honored to have you as a reader and promise to deliver strategic insight to you each month covering the most important and timely events in the marketplace. And, we’re also dedicated to providing a level of relevance to your business that you just won’t find anywhere else, period.

As a part of our mission of being a unique, leading knowledge source, you will find our style sometimes irreverent, acerbic, provocative and on occasion even contentious. And, if we ruffle any feathers, so be it. There are more than enough ho-hum, same-old/same-old news and information sources out there.

Ours is stuff we don’t want you to read because you have to, but because you can’t wait for the next issue. Ours is stuff we want you to get “worked up” over.

In the coming months, we will be adding to our website, including, among other things, a treasure trove of knowledge from the archives of our collaborative partners Herbert Mines Associates, KSA (Kurt Salmon Associates) and MasterCard (MA) Advisors. Down the road, we’ll be conducting webinars, sending out timely blogs and all sorts of other interesting things.

In this out-of-the-starting-gate issue, you will be hit with the two most important things in your business right now: the economy as either “Chicken Little” or the “Bluebird of Happiness” sees it; and, how in the heck are you going to grow in this mess, much less survive. We are suggesting the growth route, but advising to be prepared for the Imperial Chinese torture method of “death by a thousand cuts,” because it’s going to be very slow and very painful indeed. But, don’t despair: we do, in fact have some great ideas for growth. Read it and you might sleep easier tonight.

We were also lucky enough in this issue to steal a few minutes of Macy’s (M) Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren’s time to comment on the economy, and how Macy’s will navigate through it both shortand long-term. He also gave us some great insight into some of the major strategies they are pursuing: the “My Macy’s” localization strategy, leasing space to specialty retailers; more private and exclusive brand building; the further integration of their online and offline distribution platforms; and, hints of their potential outlet store and global strategies.

Going forward, we intend to have these front page interviews each month, with top executives of major companies across all consumer-facing industries.

You’ll also find in this issue, as in all future issues, major “nuggets” of knowledge from contributing experts in retailing, branding, specific industry sectors, and consumer behavior, among others. Additionally, there are no greater experts in their field than our collaborative partners, who have offered to contribute articles from their considerable knowledge bases for each issue. Lastly, our “Quotes to Remember” page will stop you just before your brain gets all jammed up with the great knowledge we’re shoving in there. It will lighten the load, make you laugh, cry, or just plain leave you with a smile on your face.

Finally, I want you to know who our Board of Advisors consists of. Yes, to impress you, but, also to thank them for their endorsement of our providing knowledge you cannot get from any other source. We are honored, indeed humbled, to have on our Board: Paul Charron – former CEO Liz Claiborne; Michael Coady – former CEO Fairchild Publications; Neil Cole – CEO Iconix; Jane Elfers – CEO Children’s Place; Don Franceschini – former CEO Sara Lee  Apparel; John Fleming – former EVP, Wal-Mart; Joe Gromek – CEO Warnaco; Mindy Grossman – CEO HSN; Ken Hicks – CEO Footlocker; William Lauder – former CEO Estee Lauder; Terry Lundgren  – CEO Macy’s; Alexis Maybank – Founder and CEO Gilt Groupe; Mindy Meads – co-CEO Aeropostale; Carol Meyrowitz – CEO TJX; Allen Questrom – former CEO JCP, Federated, Neiman-Marcus, and Barney’s; Judith Russell – Executive Editor, the Apparel Strategist; Steve Sadove –  CEO Saks Inc; Denise Seegal, former President and CEO, VF Sportswear Coalition, Burt Tansky – CEO Neiman-Marcus; Mike Ullman – CEO JC Penney; Eric Wiseman – CEO VF Corporation; Tom Wyatt – President Old Navy. And, of course, our four collaborative partners are also on the Board: Herbert Mines Associates; KSA and, MasterCard Advisors.

Have a great read, and see you next month.

My Very Best Regards,

October 2010



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