I’ve just written a long post about the general creative consulting endeavors my late father was involved in. Highlights specific to him included:
- In 1973, Peter Monash joined Management Horizons, a consulting firm in the Columbus, Ohio area serving retailers.
- In 1976, he helped found a spin-off consulting firm, The Doody Company, later called Retail Planning Associates.
- In 1981, he and Terry Westmacott founded a spin-off of the spin-off, called ROI. (Pay no attention to the official name of “Retail Optimization International,” which I actually came up with for them — the point was to call it “ROI”.) That wasn’t the most successful of partnerships.
- He briefly went back to Retail Planning Associates (RPA).
- Finally, he founded Peter E. Monash and Associates, where the “Associates” were my mother and some part-time subcontractors (often ones he’d known from RPA). That was very successful.
Along the way, he did serious work for major retailers around the world — Wal-Mart in the US, Migros in Switzerland, Tesco in the UK, Horten, Karstadt, and Kaufhof in Germany, Ito Yokado in Japan, COIN in Italy, and many others spanning the world, Brazil and South Africa not excepted. Much travel ensued, often for weeks at a time, sometimes including my mother, sometimes not. Trips I myself tagged along on included ones to:
- Japan, twice in 1979, which is amazingly the last time to date I’ve been in East Asia.
- Hamburg, where we were guests of honor at the reopening of a flagship store, and former heavyweight boxing champion Max Schmeling told me in fluent German what a great guy that American football coach had been, his buddy Knute Rockne.
- Zurich, Venice, and more.
And when he attended the annual convention of the National Retail Federation in New York, he’d sack out on the floor of my Manhattan apartment, and we’d get some quality father/son time together.
Until his death, his email correspondents included people in Germany and France he’d done business with, or their assistants and families.
Much like Oracle was once the client and company that seemed to define me, Peter Monash was most closely identified with Wal-Mart. He advised Wal-Mart in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s alike. Most notably, he was central to the planning of Wal-Mart’s Hypermarket division — i.e., its integration of food and general merchandise retailing into what are now known as Wal-Mart SuperCenters. He played the Wal-Mart card the other way around too, trading on his knowledge as he advised other retailers envious of Wal-Mart’s success. He was, we believe, the first outside consultant Wal-Mart ever publicly acknowledged. He even was an expert adviser on Wal-Mart stock, working through veteran sell-side stock analyst Jeffrey Feiner.
Based on an email chain, I’m hoping for comments from my late father’s coworkers, here and/or on the companion post. I’ll cut this off for now, and perhaps cover his recreational activities and eventual final decline in a post that’s about my mother as well.