By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
As you can see from the cover of The Retail Observer, we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary. The first issue of our magazine was printed in 1990 but 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 both local brown and white good dealers in the Northern California market. This “rag” as many lovingly referred to it, lasted until 1983 under his sole leadership.
In 1983, it was sold to a competitor by the name of 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 which he still runs today. Their kitchen, bath and specialty room publications can be downloaded online through the Apple app store. Chuck went on to restart were 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, it was purchased and given new life and was affectionately renamed The Retail Observer which is the magazine you are reading today. It now has over 21,000 subscribers, is being read in over 35 countries and is available in a print and digital version. Eliana and our team at The Retail Observer are very proud of the history that has been inherited and we look forward to continuing the legacy of this beloved “rag” in 2015 and for years to come.