“Stay true to your brand promise and value proposition” with Jared Margolis

Stay true to your brand promise and value proposition. These companies are competing solely on price so it is our job to educate consumers so they understand the value, integrity, and quality of branded products vs. the counterfeits they are purchasing. Knowing you often get what you pay for sometimes comes at the expense of […]

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Stay true to your brand promise and value proposition. These companies are competing solely on price so it is our job to educate consumers so they understand the value, integrity, and quality of branded products vs. the counterfeits they are purchasing. Knowing you often get what you pay for sometimes comes at the expense of the quality.

As part of our series about the future of retail, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jared Margolis, Chief Executive Officer — Payless Worldwide.

Prior to joining Payless in 2019, Jared Margolis was the President of CAA-GBG, a joint venture between Global Brands Group (GBG) and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where he built a global brand management company from zero to generating $300 million in annual royalties. Prior to completing the joint venture with CAA-GBG, Margolis was Executive Vice President for Business Development and Licensing at GBG, where he spearheaded the acquisition of several brand management companies in Asia, Europe, and South America. Margolis also brought Spyder, the ski apparel brand, to South Korea and built it into a $150 million retail lifestyle business. Margolis founded and directed a niche luxury apparel business catering to professional athletes that he sold to the largest Big & Tall retail chain in North America.

Retail is part of Margolis’ DNA having grown up in his family’s sporting goods retail chain.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Iwas brought in originally to consult on this project and it became clear that I was passionate about this brand so we agreed it made sense for us to partner on repositioning post-bankruptcy. The opportunity to lead an iconic brand through such an important transition was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

My career is actually filled with many interesting stories and it is hard to pinpoint just one. A highlight was traveling with the U.S. Olympic basketball team for 35 days eating three meals a day with them and joining all the practices and workouts with Kobe Bryant.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that.

I used to be in the custom clothing business and styled and dressed professional athletes. I went on a trip to Canada with $100k of inventory to deliver to a couple of Toronto Raptor clients without thinking of what I would have to deal with going through Customs. Needless to say, I spent more time then intended to go through Customs and learned to always plan ahead and be more detailed oriented for all business trips.

Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

The reemergence of Payless is quite an exciting project. Our goal is to make a positive impact on our local communities and reaffirm to our employees and customers that Payless is back and open for business.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Empower your people, collaborate, create opportunities to help people grow, and in turn your experience is more fun and fulfilling.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful, who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My parents. The most important thing I learned from them that has shaped me as a person in both business and with my family are values. The ability to know right from wrong, act with integrity, and to always be respectful.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Every day I try to do something positive and impact others around me.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. The Pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share five examples of different ideas that large retail outlets are implementing to adapt to the new realities created by the Pandemic?

  • Enhanced online shopping experience
  • The importance of being able to shop from a smart phone or tablet
  • Contactless payment and curbside pick-up
  • Listening to your consumers when it comes to putting out an offer
  • Offering a safe environment for all retail employees
  • Delivering an Omni-channel experience

In your opinion, will retail stores or malls continue to exist? How would you articulate the role of physical retail spaces at a time when online commerce platforms like Amazon Prime or Instacart can deliver the same day or the next day?

Absolutely. Amazon has also gotten into Brick and Mortar. It is imperative that retailers create a Brick’n’Click experience. Consumers are looking for a seamless shopping experience that meets their individual needs.

The so-called “Retail Apocalypse” has been going on for about a decade. While many retailers are struggling, some retailers, like Lululemon, Kroger, and Costco are quite profitable. Can you share a few lessons that other retailers can learn from the success of profitable retailers?

Invest in technology to increase efficiency and get more done. If you have the proper systems and tools in place it allows you to spend less time worrying about the little things and more energy focused on the big picture. Learn to delegate and empower your team. If you delegate tasks to your team it will free up your time to focus on growing your business.

Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise to retail companies and e-commerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?

Stay true to your brand promise and value proposition. These companies are competing solely on price so it is our job to educate consumers so they understand the value, integrity, and quality of branded products vs. the counterfeits they are purchasing. Knowing you often get what you pay for sometimes comes at the expense of the quality.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I believe we should be empowering members of our local communities and providing them with opportunities to succeed in their chosen career path.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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