By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
This year The Retail Observer is celebrating our 30th Anniversary and 50th since inception. The first issue of our magazine was printed in 1990, yet we tout “An Eye On The Industry Since 1970.” Here’s a little history as to why.
In 1970, Chuck Edmonds bought a franchise from a local TV/appliance newspaper, which he named the Northern California Retailer. In a full newspaper format, this magazine went out to local brown and white good dealers in the Northern California market. This “rag” — as many lovingly referred to it — remained under his sole leadership until 1983.
In 1983, it was sold to competitor Don Martin in Southern California who renamed it TAD (TV Appliance Dealer). The magazine’s reach grew, covering Southern California, Northern California, the Northwest and the Rocky Mountain/Southwest areas. Chuck stayed on under Don’s leadership.
In 1990, Don and his wife Kasnea (both NKBA Hall of Famers) sold the magazine and decided to start Kasmar Publications. Chuck went on to restart where he left off and formed a new publication called Retail Observer. He, along with long-time friend Lee Boucher, ran this new version of the magazine until 2007 and increased its outreach even further to 31 states and approximately 6,000 followers.
In 2007, Eliana Barriga and I purchased the magazine, gave it a makeover and as light namechangetoTheRetailObserver—the magazine you are reading today. The Retail Observer now has more than 32,300 subscribers, is being read in over 37 countries and is available in a print and digital version. Eliana and our team at The Retail Observer are very proud of the inherited history of the magazine and we look forward to continuing the legacy of this beloved “rag” in 2020 and for years to come.