Leadership, Longevity, and Continuously Pivoting in Retail | Interview with Danny Kole

Aug 2, 2023



In this episode, Stephanie talks to Danny Kole, Co-President, Kole Imports & Closeouts.

  • 1:47: The Story – How Two Brothers started a business at swap meets using wait lines to source merchandise before the meets started.
  • 3:35: The Pivot – from swap meets to selling promotional, new merchandise.
  • 4:36: Sourcing – Diving to LA and using sourcing wholesale merchandise from import businesses in downtown Los Angeles.
  • 7:55: Trade Shows – If you build it, they will come. How trade shows laid the foundation for Kole Imports & Exports.
  • 8:30: Re-packaging existing products to develop items that could retail for .99 stores.
  • 11:00: You need to find and sell merchandise that customers recognize in order for it to sell well.
  • 13:55: Lessons from family, be impeccable to your word.  Show up and be authentic to your customers.
  • 15:00: Longevity and retention is important. Having your employees stay with you is critical to your success.
  • 17:15:  Creating a team with an entrepreneur mindset.  People don’t work for us, they work with us.
  • 20:38: Defining leadership and adapting with shifting environments.
  • 23:00: Focus your energy on what you can influence. Find the positive in all situations and focus your attention on progress.
  • 24:30: Learning to pivot with the industry and being a considerate leader.
  • 27:00: Building grit and learning to problem solve for personal success.
  • 31:00: The importance of generational family-owned business and how family members play key roles in the future of the company.
  • 34:22: Learning from mistakes and moving forward.
  • 36:12: Make your booth a party, don’t be afraid to stand out! In 36 years, we’ve learned that makes all the difference. We started with ONE booth, and now we have 38.
  • 38:00: Balance your booth merchandise, Kole Imports carries 50% closeouts and 50% imports.
  • 37:00: Closeouts allow retailers to create excitement in their stores with consumers! Trending now – closeout buys are at an all time high.
  • 38:00: ASD Market Week is an order writing, high volume, show.
Stephanie Beringhele

Stephanie Beringhele

VIP Buyer Relations Director | Podcast Host, Retail Business Empowerment