The Robin Report and ASG/CG Ecosystem

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I want to update you on the exciting news we recently shared with you about The Robin Report’s acquisition by ASG/Chute Gerdeman. Our team had an immersive experience last week with our new partners in an all-hands-on-deck sharing of each of our business models. The overriding goal was to identify synergies that will add benefits for each of the communities we serve. Immersion was an understatement. And sharing our business models was like speed dating; one part education and another part digesting how to do it all.

Building an Ecosystem

As most of you know, The Robin Report is a multimedia communication platform from which we deliver thought leadership and strategic insights unavailable anywhere else. We publish reports, produce podcasts and webinars, and stage programs and events that support the transformation of the retail industry. With the support of ASG we will be expanding the breadth of our content and building new thought leadership platforms that serve the leadership of the retail community in a collaborative effort to provide valuable insights and guidance on strategy and operations.

Our expanded ecosystem connects the vital pieces of the retail world with expertise from ASG/Chute Gerdeman. They deliver incisive strategic thinking and real-time operational solutions for retailers through:
• Incisive experience design supporting major retail specialty brands.
• Forward-thinking, in-depth retail analytics, and strategy.
• Operations support through tenant representation.
• Cost-effective store planning and construction.
• Expert lease management.

Bridging Theory to Practice

ASG/Chute Gerdeman is not your typical consulting practice. Baked into its purpose-driven mission is to raise the bar of the retail industry. They don’t just consult; they also do the work. Furthermore, which was refreshing to me, they have a young, highly energetic culture. They are tech-savvy, combined with the respect for, and inclusion of, the solid traditional disciplines. For example, they understand that the principles of Marketing 101 have not changed. However, there are new digital and analytical tools that advance the function in more efficient and effective ways than the old school was capable of.

The Ohio Retail DNA

The founder of ASG, Steve Morris, and CEO, Carrie Barclay, as well as many in their leadership team have brought years of retail experience from their tenures at L Brands. For those of you who are too young to remember the genesis of L Brands, just Google it and find out how they innovated a huge list of retail business models and brands, truly changing the retail industry.

As alums of L Brands, Steve says one of the best learnings from founder Les Wexner was how he created a workplace culture and workforce, recruiting incredibly talented people and bringing them to a company with a shared vision and opportunity. “We all experienced the benefit of learning from those individuals. This shaped a culture of test and learn…sometimes fail…but not too often or you wouldn’t be there! Moving beyond an idea into testing and learning was something that created a spirit of innovation and led to many brands created within our company and acquisitions. This allowed us to develop a real estate strategy mindset to support ongoing ideas…how else does someone open 500 Bath & Body Works stores in one year!”

Holistic, Systems Thinking

ASG practices a holistic thought process and systems thinking approach to problem-solving, opportunity creation, and a strategic vision of what can be achieved. Creating a functional, collaborative ecosystem is a modern business model that balances innovation and creativity with solid results.

This is a big deal in the process of transforming the retail industry — and it caught my immediate attention. The Robin Report is in total lockstep with this approach, and we look forward to adding the thought leadership layer as rocket fuel to spread this philosophy across retail and its related industries.

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