Michael Dart Profile

Retail industry expert Michael Dart has been monitoring and researching the fundamental changes in the retail markets over the recent decades. As we move into a more technological global future with saturated markets, consumers have expectations far above their predecessors. So much has changed that Michael believes that 50% of today’s retailers and consumer companies will not be able to remain operative. The relationship between the seller and the buyer will change out of all recognition.

Michael has identified the drivers of these changes, and he has examined the most successful retailers to analyze how their business models are holding up in this new world. Through the examination of companies such as VF Corporation (Wrangler/The North Face), Starbucks, Ralph Lauren, Apple, Gilt Group and Amazon he identifies the factors that allow some companies to thrive while others go to the wall.

Michael has singled out a trio of crucial factors–neurological connectivity, pre-emptive distribution and value chain control–which are responsible for virtually every retail success story in modern times. No retailer can afford to ignore The New Rules of Retail (Michael’s new book) and the strategies he outlines, which will enable him or her to flourish.

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    The retail world is undergoing a fundamental transformation. Rapidly evolving technology, globalization, and a saturated marketplace offer consumers instant access to thousands of equally compelling products and services, creating unprecedented levels of expectation. The impact of these changes is so profound that 50 percent of today’s retailers and consumer companies will not survive it. Traditional business models will become extinct, and the relationship between vendors and consumers will shift dramatically.

    Industry expert Michael Dart identifies the forces behind these changes and look at the retail heroes of today and tomorrow to see how their business models are responding to the modern marketplace. Profiling industry giants such as VF Corporation (owner of Wrangler and The North Face), Starbucks, and Ralph Lauren, as well as cutting-edge favorites like Apple, Gilt Groupe, and Amazon, Dart uncovers why some retailers are so successful at reaching today’s increasingly elusive and demanding customer while others miss the mark by a mile. What are the three crucial factors that determine whether businesses win or lose?

      • Neurological Connectivity—creating an addictive, irresistible shopping experience, from preshopping anticipation to consumption satisfaction
      • Preemptive Distribution—using all possible distribution platforms to access consumers ahead of the competition
      • Value Chain Control—vertically integrating control of a company’s entire value chain, from creation through point of sale, for maximum delivery on the brand promise

    This essential formula, Dart argues, is responsible for virtually every retail success story of the past few decades. So while the landscape may never look the same, The New Rules of Retail gives business leaders the tools they need to not only survive, but thrive.

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Michael Dart's Speech Descriptions

Michael explains how consumers’ expectations have risen exponentially with the expansion of the technological age. Any consumer can get whatever they want at the lowest price almost instantaneously, and that has dramatically changed both the power and the expectations of the consumer.

The change this has engendered is so dramatic that traditional business models in retail are all but useless. Michael analyses the most successful retailers and details the three factors they all have in common which enable them to continue selling in this new environment.

The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace
Driven by constantly evolving technology, globalization, and a saturated marketplace, consumers now have total and instantaneous access to whatever they desire, thus creating an unprecedented level of consumer power and expectations.

The impact of these changes is so profound that all traditional strategic success factors—and the business models necessary to execute them—will become extinct.

Using profiles and case examples of industry giants, we reveal why some retailers are tremendously successful at reaching today’s increasingly elusive and demanding consumer and explain the new mandate for retailers: neurological connectivity, preemptive distribution and value chain control.

What People are Saying about Seeing Michael Speak

Rating Entries

“Lewis and Dart delve deeply and smartly into what we need to do to thrive in the increasingly complex retail marketplace.”
    William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies

The New Rules of Retail… is stark and powerfully real. If you are a merchant or marketer, this is your wake-up call.”
    Paco Underhill, CEO of Envirosell Inc. and author of Why We Buy

“A must-read guide survival in a changed and changing world.”
    Margaret Hayes, President, The Fashion Group International

“A thought provoking and compelling perspective of the future of the industry. Both traditional retailers and e-commerce competitors will find the principles relevant to their needs.”
    John Donahoe, CEO, eBay

“[Robin Lewis and Michael Dart] have clearly defined the new rules for success.”
    Michael Gould, Chairman & CEO, Bloomingdale’s

“Robin Lewis and Michael Dart have created a masterpiece.”
    John Smith, Chairman & CEO, ABC Company

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Books by Michael Dart:


The New Rules of Retail
Puzzled by prominent cases of failure, we set out to figure out why some retailers succeed and others fail. The answer is The New Rules of Retail, which details a profound shift in power from producer to marketer to consumer over the last century.

The book then identifies how to survive and prosper in this new era of absolute consumer power. Using many of the industry’s leading retailers as case studies, we’ve identified three rules for success: developing a neurological connection with customers, implementing preemptive distribution strategies and controlling the value chain.

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