This week, I speak with Dana Telsey, of the Telsey Advisory Group (TAG), a research firm specializing in the study and analysis of retailers, REITs, and restaurant chains.
She began her career as an entry level assistant to Ron Baron of Baron Funds ($26 billion in assets under management). Baron taught her how to assess corporate management, a skill that serves her well when looking at individual retailers.
She got her MBA, worked her way to research analyst, eventually moving to Bear Stearns, where she spent 12 years covering all manner of retailers. She was top-rated by Institutional Investor for 13 straight years. Leaving Bear in 2006, she launched Telsey Advisory Group (TAG), covering retail for institutional clients around the world. In 2015, Ms. Telsey also formed Telsey Consumer Fund Management LP, a long/short hedge fund investing in consumer-based companies.
Telsey emphasizes the importance of getting into stores, meeting customers, interacting with staff, looking at merchandising, store traffic etc. She notes that every city she travels to, she spends time looking at regional and national stores.
We discuss the impact of online, what innovations retailers are implementing to compete, and how the landscape is being changed new technology. Cashier-less stores, “Buy online pick up in stores, new parking innovations(!) all are helping retailers in a very competitive environment. We also discuss Amazon, the 800 pound gorilla in retial.