Recent News

Parker Avery to Sponsor Oracle Retail Cross Talk

ATLANTA, GA – May 29, 2019 – The Parker Avery Group, a strategy and management consulting firm, will be sponsoring the Oracle Retail Cross Talk conference, to be held June 10 through 12 at the JW Marriott in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cross Talk is a  unique, executive conference, focusing on retail and connecting brands from verticals around the world to share lessons learned, best practices, and innovative ideas about the future of modern retail.

Parker Avery President & Managing Partner, Clay Parnell, and Associate Partner, Amanda Astrologo, will be attending the conference. Astrologo is teaming with Stein Mart leadership during a session focused on the retailer's experience with migrating retail planning to the cloud.

With nearly 30 years of experience in leadership retail positions, Parnell is a respected advisor to the retail industry, specializing in transformational initiatives across merchandising, planning, fulfillment, and supply chain. Astrologo has held key positions in merchandising, replenishment, and forecasting, and her experience spans retailers from a wide variety of geographies and segments, including apparel, department store, specialty, and value, among others.  Parnell and Astrologo have worked individually and collectively with major retailers such as Advance Auto Parts, Bealls, Inc., Belk, Cabela’s, Crate & Barrel, Dollar Tree, Kirkland’s, Limited Brands, Orvis, Party City, Publix, Stein Mart, T-Mobile, and Walmart, among many other brands.

“We are excited to participate as a 2019 Cross Talk sponsor,” Parnell says, “The conference environment gives all attendees a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand innovative functionality that can support a variety of retail initiatives and solve real challenges.” He continues, “As a firm focused on bridging the gap between solutions and the business users, we look forward to strengthening our knowledge and relationships to ensure our clients ultimately select and implement systems that best suit their requirements and result in meaningful change.” [learn more]

Parker Avery Celebrates the Role of Women in Retail Leadership

ATLANTA, GA – April 16, 2019 – The Parker Avery Group, a strategy and management consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Partner Sonia Hernandez will be participating in the Women in Retail Leadership Summit, to be held April 29 through May 1, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida. This invitation-only summit provides the opportunity for attendees to network with other women colleagues and hear impactful presentations and discussions from women retail leaders and motivational speakers on a variety of matters pertinent to today’s growing number of women in key retail roles.

With over 25 years of experience in senior-level retail positions, as well as with consulting firms and software companies, Hernandez is a respected advisor to the retail industry, specializing in merchandising systems, merchandising category management, and product management, and she is a strong advocate for women in retail leadership roles. “In our own firm, I am honored to work with bright, exceptional female talent with deep retail knowledge and solid consulting experience.” Hernandez says, “The women at Parker Avery have strong leadership backgrounds, spanning all retail segments as well as CPG brands across several countries. Their expertise covers the gambit of retail functions and business processes. It’s truly a fantastic environment where we all grow and learn—particularly when we can confidently rely on each others’ experience both personally and professionally.” [read more]

The Parker Avery Group Expands: Firm Strengthens Focus and Depth in Merchandising and Supply Chain

ATLANTA, GA – March 21, 2019 – The Parker Avery Group, an Atlanta based boutique retail consulting and strategy firm, is pleased to announce the addition of two retail veterans to the firm, Sarah Booth and Maurizio Scrofani. Sarah comes to Parker Avery with strong experience in general retail and wholesale, with a focus in marketing. Sarah is an agile and solution-oriented advisor with over 25 years of leadership experience in developing and leading transformational programs for several global retailers across marketing, store operations, and merchandising disciplines, covering B2B and B2C channels. She has held key roles with such brands as ASICS, Hot Topic/Torrid, IKEA USA, Incipio Group, Jockey International, and Oakley. Sarah has also worked in a consulting capacity with IBM Global Services, spanning a variety of retail segments, functional areas, and services. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Illinois and lives in Southern California.

Maurizio is a senior leader with deep expertise in logistics, distribution, transportation, and general supply chain management. Maurizio previously held executive roles with Cargonet, Delonghi, Delta Children’s Products, Grupo Alto, Macy’s, and Toys “R” Us. He has served as an adjunct professor at the William Paterson University of New Jersey and has published several articles in leading industry outlets, including the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), among others. He also has a strong focus on people development—which is portrayed in his book, “The Chess Game Played Behind the Boardroom Doors.” Maurizio is based in Riverdale, New Jersey.

“We are excited about the addition of both Sarah and Maurizio to our team,” says Parker Avery’s President & Managing Partner, Clay Parnell. “Their unique experiences and accomplishments will provide the firm even more breadth and depth of capability in the areas of merchandising and supply chain and will allow us to expand our service offerings to increase the value we bring to our retail clients." [meet the PAG team]

The Parker Avery Group 'Talks Retail' at NRF's 2019 Big Show

NEW YORK, NY. – January 11, 2019 – Select members of The Parker Avery Group are 'talking retail' this week with key retailers and strategic partners at the National Retail Federation's annual Big Show in New York City. Parker Avery's CEO, Robert Kaufman, is joined by Clay Parnell, Sonia Hernandez, Amanda Astrologo, Courtney Albert, and Marty Anderson to survey the latest in retail technology and trends, while reconnecting with industry colleagues, clients, and other retailers. This year, Parker Avery is also hosting an exclusive, invitation-only reception, where the Parker Avery team will discuss key developments in retail and showcase the firm's unique and pragmatic approach to solving retailer challenges in merchandising, supply chain, product development, and more. [read more]

Stein Mart Partners with The Parker Avery Group

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – May 11, 2018 – Stein Mart, a national specialty off-price retailer, partners with retail consulting firm The Parker Avery Group for improvements in merchandising operations, inventory performance and overall margins.

At the beginning of 2017, the retailer was facing critical challenges with product assortment, inventory levels, margins, and overall merchandising practices. 2017 was a period of transition for Stein Mart and they began making significant improvements—primarily adopting and following a 36-month merchandising improvement roadmap developed with The Parker Avery Group.

“We have updated our assortment and improved inventory productivity through reduced inventory levels, changes to receipt flow, and better markdown practices, and Parker Avery has been a valuable partner for us in this journey,” according to Mary Anne Morin, Stein Mart President. “Parker Avery’s level of retail industry experience, along with their ‘get it done’ approach, is unlike any other firm I’ve worked with. In addition to typical consulting roles, we have Amanda Astrologo, Senior Manager at The Parker Avery Group, partnering with me as our acting EVP of Planning.”

Developed late in 2016 through early 2017, the merchandising roadmap included process improvements in a number of critical areas: integrated calendar management, strategic planning, markdown management, open-to-buy management, allocation, and reporting. Entering 2018, the two companies continue to partner on initiatives focused on replenishment, markdown execution, hierarchy improvements, and use of enhanced product attributing. Future enhancements will involve further work with merchandise and assortment planning tools, as well as improved integration across various elements of their merchandising solution platform.

“Our work with Stein Mart is a perfect example of a client that is experiencing problems, but is finding making meaningful changes to be difficult,” said Clay Parnell, Parker Avery’s President and Managing Partner. “Where the initial assumption was system replacement, we quickly advised a focus on core merchandising business processes and policies first, with the knowledge that systems work may be required down the road. This allowed Stein Mart to achieve benefits more quickly, without a significant IT investment.”

In addition to process improvements, Parker Avery infused a critical focus on change management, including communication, training, and working with the Stein Mart executive team on understanding and embracing their role in leading major transformational change. Affirming this mindset, Morin states, “Fostering change is not easy. Everyone could see that something needed to be done differently, so we just have to keep reminding ourselves why change is necessary. The hardest part is pushing for change in advance of seeing results. Once people start to see real benefits, they help become ambassadors for more improvements.”

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