Richard (Rick) Low, CPIM
Rick Low has over twenty years experience in the special markets channel. This channel of trade has many names, pieces and parts. Rick has had success with each segment of the business, becoming a visionary and leader in the industry. He has earned certifications, led industry organizations and spoken at countless conferences. Most importantly, Rick has led the transformation of two major retail brands to become market leaders in the premium space.
The special markets channel is a catchall description, basically capturing all of non-traditional retail. There are a lot of slices to the retail pie. Rick has been successful in nearly every channel of trade at some time during his career.
Traditional special markets, sometimes referred to as Premium, includes length of service programs, safety award programs, customer loyalty programs (airline points, casino giveaways, point redemptions for merchandise), corporate gifting, sales achievement awards, and incentive travel merchandise shopping experiences. Rick has spent over twenty years learning, leading and excelling in this environment. It is a $30B plus channel of trade you do not want to ignore.
At one time, e-commerce and online only retailers were a novel idea, an afterthought and infantile industry. Rick has always been an early adapter, in the late 1990's before the dot com bust, selling to internet companies such as Amazon, Cooking.com, Drugstore.com, Pets.com and more. (Tidbit: This is when he became a fan of the pacific northwest.) Now e-commerce companies are an essential part of retail.
The Exchange system is an essential part of supporting our troops worldwide. The Army (AAFES), Navy (NEXCOM), Marines (MCX) and Coast Guard all maintain separate retail centers for their troops. Each has its own purchasing directorate and retail objectives. Rick has been selling to the exchanges for nearly twenty years, as the military stores typically fall under the special markets umbrella. While at Hamilton Beach, he lead a team that was awarded Vendor of the Year at AAFES.
A relatively new source of merchandise are employee benefit plans, allowing employees to purchase a very wide range of product through payroll deductions. There are a few players in this arena. It is a great channel to tap into as it is not discounted and supports the value proposition of brands.
RLL Advisory has experience in multiple channels of retail: Brick and Mortar, Internet Distribution and Ecommerce Fulfillment, Wholesale Fulfillment, Catalogue, TV Shopping, Military Exchanges, Corporate Gifting, Premium, Casino and more. Insights from B2C and B2B.
Rick earned his CPIM from the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) in 2013. CPIM stands for Certified Professional of Incentive Management and demonstrates a commitment to ongoing learning and involvement in the industry. The IMA is the largest global membership based organization serving the incentive, rewards and recognition channel. Rick was President of the IMA from 2015-2016 and is still an active participating member. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Incentive Federation and participates on the education committee of the Incentive Research Foundation.