The clear inspiration for Trius Retail is the spirit and accomplished life of Mr. Jack Lewis…
Jack Lewis was never satisfied with the status quo. During his long and accomplished career, Jack created companies, changed brand images, founded and developed new technologies, but perhaps his greatest attribute was his contagious sensibility as a human being and friend that fostered a special bond between those that knew him.
I first met Jack in the Fall of 1990. At the time I was newly assigned to the position of Director of Market Research at Marsh Supermarkets, then a hundred-plus store chain in central Indiana and western Ohio. Don Marsh, the CEO at Marsh had called me into his office to introduce me to Jack and to let me know that I would be working with Mr. Lewis on a new project, aptly named the Marsh Super Study.
I would learn a short time later, that Jack had been the editor of Progressive Grocer Magazine and had been the catalyst for very first food channel shopping behavioral study in 1960, called the Dillon Study.
That meeting was one of those moments in life that seemed really quite ordinary at the time, but looking back on that day nearly 25 years later, it was arguably the most important day of my entire professional life. Over the next two years , I worked with and for Jack, measuring everything that moved at Marsh. We culminated our efforts by publishing the results of the study in the December 1992 Issue of Progressive Grocer Magazine. We traveled to Europe, Asia, and all parts of the U.S. presenting the findings and answering long-standing questions of grocers worldwide.
But it didn’t end there. Jack had no intention of resting on the laurels of the Super Study. Following completion of the study, he immediately embarked on several other follow up projects, one involving in-store shopper tracking using infra red technology, and the other involved playing branded commercial messages onto TV screens within the store in a very targeted and measurable way. It was during those two projects that Jack introduced me to my co-founders of Trius Retail, Dave McGuigan and Pete Abell.
Over the next 20 years, Jack continued to subtly and sometimes not so subtly keep Dave, Pete, and I connected. Thanks to Jack, the four of us worked on several projects over the years and kept in close touch having the common bond and mentor, Jack, close at hand.
Sadly, Jack passed away in May of 2013. Dave, Pete, and I (along with a couple dozen of Jack’s closest friends) assembled once in again to honor Jack and share our love for the man and our deep gratitude for his friendship and his wisdom.
As the months passed following Jack’s departure, Dave called Pete and I to suggest that Jack’s legacy in the food industry should not end with his passing. Dave was certain that Jack would want the three of us to do something special, perhaps on the order of some of Jack’s past accomplishments, such as introducing space management to the grocery channel, or establishing the foundation for category management practices as they exist today.
We gave it thought and went to work.
A few short months later, Trius Retail™ and it’s innovative Shelf Alive!™ technology became the manifestation of the spirit of Jack Lewis. We believe Jack would be proud of what we have developed and the potential change it can bring to retailers, shoppers, and brands as they seek to effectively communicate with each other. As we toil forward, we know that Jack is close by, encouraging us, inspiring innovation, and instilling an unwavering attitude that Trius Retail, LLC will make its mark.
Thank you Jack for continuing to inspire us and for setting the standards of excellence that Trius Retail™ will continually strive to attain!