Rick Planos

"Specializing in Sales Team Leadership and Sales Strategy
for Top Global Retail Brands"


Core Capabilities:

  • Delivering breakthrough revenue by providing visionary leadership at the intersection of the in-store customer experience, associate engagement, and online technology to top international retailers including Apple, Google, Macy's, Warner Brothers Studio, and Barnes and Noble.

  • Levels of P&L responsibility have ranged from Vice President of Stores, Director of Stores, and Vice President of International Franchised Stores to Regional Director and District Manager. Fast-track promotions based on consistent results in challenging global markets. Fluent with start-ups.

  • Senior sales leader experience encompasses directing over 120 locations simultaneously, grossing excess of $560 million in total sales, as well as grand-opening more than 150 locations including international flagship locations, large Apple stores and prototypical Google pop ups. Able to navigate the nuances of New York City, West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, and diverse global markets including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

  • Additional areas of global, national, and regional specialization include:

    • Branded, licensed, and private label merchandising

    • Store, franchising and brand turnarounds, including strategic planning / P&L

    • Online and digital sales

    • E-commerce storefront, website, and app customer experience

    • Store within a store (shop-in-shop), pop ups, experiential retail

    • Real estate selection, store design, and customer journey mapping

    • Supply chain, distribution, and logistics

    • Team building, talent acquisition, mentoring, coaching, and award winning associate engagement scores

    • Store closing strategies, liquidation, bankruptcies

    • Career mentorship at collegiate, mid and senior executive level

    • Active volunteerism with Make a Wish Illinois, University of Illinois, Curt's Cafe, Ivy Execs and others


Pop Up Lead - Chicago

  • Led Google Hardware Experiential Pop Up to record results in Chicago’s Bucktown Neighborhood

  • Selected Brand Ambassadors and refined concept

  • Ensured store experience encouraged customers to make the connection between Google software and hardware


Consulting Partner — U.S. and Asia

  • Develop actionable customer acquisition and engagement strategies, transform retail store, luxury, restaurant, and hospitality environments.

  • Create national rollout plans for B2B / B2B mobile apps and software options for global brands in the U.S., Malaysia, and India.

Clients include:

  • Consumer Electronics: Best Buy, Samsung, Micro Center, AT&T, Target

  • Licensed and Branded Merchandise: Disney, Columbia Sportswear, Hershey's, Clarks Shoes, Lenscrafters, Nautica, Hallmark, Starwood Retail Properties, Simon Malls, Chicago Cubs

  • Restaurants: California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Capital Grille, Darden Concepts, Coopers Hawk, Levy

  • Luxury: Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, Breitling, Rolex, Omega, Coach

  • Gourmet: Le Creuset, Williams-Sonoma, Nespresso

  • Healthcare: Sunrise Living Centers, ChenMed, Silverado

  • Store Closings: Great American, Hilco, Gordmans, Gander Mountain

BBW — 2012 to 2015

Director Retail Sales Territory | District Manager — Chicago, Illinois

  • Developed revenue, customer base, and sales teams for 16 Build-A-Bear Workshop locations in 4 states in a high touch, interactive, metric driven children's business. Originated a clear, actionable strategic plan and vision for the customer journey and customer experience, both through online e-commerce and in-store.

  • Fluent in licensing, franchising, apps, and innovative technology platforms that drive new retail revenue. Led cross-functional team focused on generating new product, marketing, and promotion ideas for company's senior management group. Opened and perfected three new concept locations, including shop-in-shop.

  • Customized approaches to associate engagement, training, and coaching.

APPLE — 2010 to 2012

Retail Store Leader — Portland, Oregon | Spokane, Washington

  • Promoted to larger-volume location after grand-opening Spokane, Washington location within first 8 months of store lifecycle based on leadership in driving sales success, store launches, and cost-effective management.

  • Drove revenue for large Apple stores generating $30-$45 million annually through through consistent strategy and tactical execution. Lauded for delivering Top 5 Performance Levels in Sales and Customer Service.

  • Motivated new talent internship program for smaller markets that was adopted by Apple nationwide. Consistently ranked #1 in market Quarter-to-Date (QTD) overall metrics, including key customer feedback. Recruited, trained, and developed as many as 125 team members and 7 managers.

  • Led underperforming location to #7 ranking, globally, in comp sales increases.

OMAHA STEAKS — 2002 to 2006

Director of Stores — Omaha, Nebraska

  • Turned around 80 store locations for specialty gourmet retailer as Chief Stores Officer, including completely new real estate strategy, merchandising, and store designs. Delivered profitable results multiple years in a row. P&L responsibility included opening 15 new concept locations and closing 20 unprofitable locations to ensure bottom-line results.

  • Revitalized product selection, merchandising, e-commerce customer experience. Reinvigorated store culture, including incentivizing sales personnel and creating new, breakthrough training, sales, and reward techniques.

BARNES AND NOBLE — 2000 to 2002

Regional Director of Stores — New York, New York

  • Reported directly to president of Barnes & Noble as part of Executive Operations Committee. Provided sales leadership for East Coast region; 110 B&N locations generating $560 million in sales, including 110 Starbucks Café locations.


Vice President, International Franchised Stores — Los Angeles, California

  • High-profile global role overseeing sales development and expansion of 55 international start-up franchise locations in 13 countries generating between $150 and $175 million in annual revenue. Developed flagship, airport, airport, and shop-in-shop store designs for markets including the Emirates, Asia, UK, and Europe. Promoted from District Manager to Regional Manager to VP in seven years.

Education and Memberships:

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Graduate Degree (Ongoing Coursework) in Business and Information Technology / Digital Experience / Social Media

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — College of Business, Bachelors of Science in Marketing. Member of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity