Total Retail Talks
Total Retail Talks is for retail executives who crave the knowledge and insights needed to stay successful in today's fast-paced industry. Through engaging talks and focused interviews, listeners take away useful information and practical advice from a full roster of retail experts, influencers and leaders.

In episode 428 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Mike Clem, CEO of Sweetwater, the world's leading music technology and instrument retailer. Listen in as Clem discusses his 20-year career at Sweetwater (1:00), why the company has a strong track record of long-time employee retention (1:45), and how he is working to maintain and continue building the music retailer's strong organizational culture (3:05).

Furthermore, Clem shares the skills and experiences that have prepared him to succeed as CEO (6:25) and identifies the e-commerce and consumer behavior trends he's seeing in the music industry (8:35). He discusses how current industry trends and customer data impact Sweetwater's marketing approach (10:30) and the retailer's focus on content to educate and engage musicians (12:30). Lastly, Clem shares his holiday season forecast for the business (14:00).

Mike Clem is the newly appointed CEO of Sweetwater, the No. 1 e-commerce provider of music instruments and audio gear in the U.S. Since joining the company in 2003, Clem has held several key leadership roles in e-commerce and marketing, and has been instrumental in driving Sweetwater's growth. Prior to being named president in January 2023, Clem served as chief growth officer, where he orchestrated strategic growth plans and innovation in all areas of the business. He also served as chief digital officer, overseeing the online shopping experience and strategy.

Clem has over 25 years of experience in retail e-commerce, which began in the earliest days of the internet and includes many notable retail brands. He's recognized as an innovator, speaker and mentor. A graduate of Purdue University, Clem is a lifelong musician who is passionate about the music industry. He's a proud Fort Wayne native, where he's active in the community with his wife and their four children.

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