Jan Rogers Kniffen
CEO, J Rogers Kniffen World Wide Enterprises
Jan Rogers Kniffen is a retail expert with decades of real world experience and knowledge that connects the dots between the past and future to help retailer Boards of Directors build the future with sound financial assumptions and executable operational structure.
Jan consults with investors in retail companies and is a regular CNBC contributor. Jan is self-described as the "country's leading expert on retailing."
As a former retail finance and operations executive, Jan now provides his deep knowledge, experience and innovative thinking with the ever expanding retail eco-system.
As the CEO of, J Rogers Kniffen WWE, he operates a successful consulting business with three areas of focus:
1. Consulting with institutional investors on publicly traded retail companies
2. Providing expertise to private equity firms making investments in retail
3. Consulting with retailers' Boards of Directors about improving their business to match the changing paradigm shifts in retail
"JAN KNIFFEN IS ONE OF THE PRE-EMINENT EXPERTS ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL. COMBINING DECADES OF EXPERIENCE WITH A KEEN VIEW INTO HOW TECHNOLOGY AND MARKET FORCES ARE ACCELERATING THE RATE OF CHANGE IN THE RETAIL BUSINESS, JAN OFFERS A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE INTO WHAT LIES AHEAD IN THIS INNOVATION SUPER-CYCLE. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR INSIGHTS INTO THE FUTURE OF RETAIL, JAN IS THE GO-TO-GUY."
Senior Vice President
Jan’s deep knowledge and direct experience comes from twenty years as a senior executive at The May Department Stores. A company that operated Lord & Taylor, Filene’s, Fox, Hecht’s, May-Cohen’s, Robinson’s of Florida, Sibley’s, Horne’s, Kaufman’s, Foley’s, Marshall Field’s, Famous Barr, ZCMI, Goldwater’s, May D&F, The Denver, Meier and Frank, Robinson’s, Strawbridge’s, Thalhimer’s, May Company Cleveland, May Company California, May Company Akron, Strauss, Venture, Caldor, Sycamore, Loehmann’s, Payless ShoeSource, as well as developing, owning and operating 26 super regional shopping malls.
As SVP Finance and Treasurer Kniffen ran Treasury Operations, Tax, Risk, Investor Relations, Public Relations, Long Range Financial Planning, Acquisition Analysis, Competitor Comparison, and Medical. Kniffen also managed the $3 billion pension, profit sharing and foundation portfolio. Kniffen chartered and was president of the three May National Banks, and president of the insurance subsidiaries of May.
Prior to May, Kniffen spent two years reporting to the treasurer of Icahn and Company and doing acquisitions and divestitures with Carl Icahn’s organization. In 1984 Kniffen issued the largest junk bond that had been issued up until that time.
Kniffen frequently points out (to anyone who will listen) that he stocked his first shelf in 1964, attended the grand opening of Walmart store number 26 (the first Walmart outside of Arkansas) in 1968 and the grand opening of the first Walmart SuperCenter in 1988 (by then he was already a VP at a major retailer), as proof of a lifelong dedication to what is happening in retail.
Kniffen grew up in Cairo, Illinois, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, the place where the steamboat runs over the raft in Mark Twain’s novel “Huckleberry Finn,” near the shore of the northernmost bayou on the North American Continent, and in the shadow of Bald Knob Mountain, the easternmost peak in the Ozark range.
Kniffen majored in English at the University of Illinois, received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University, an M.B.A. in finance from Lindenwood University, and did doctoral work in finance at St. Louis University.