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James Dion, Retail Speaker & Retail Consultant

James Dion (Jim), founder and president of Chicago-based Dionco Inc., is an internationally known Retail Speaker & Trainer, Retail Consultant, and the Author of the best-sellers "Retail Selling Ain’t Brain Surgery, It’s Twice As Hard", "Start and Run a Retail Business" and "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store".

Stefania Pinton, Retail Consultant

Stefania Pinton is a partner at Dionco. She has over 25 years of international retail industry knowledge and experience having worked for some of the largest retail companies in the world.

Our Network

At Dionco we rely on a network of resources for additional support and collaboration.


Accolades & Applause

"Retail Speaker James Dion will be making his record third appearance at the Running Event 2009. Retailers ask why we keep bringing him back, and I say 'because he's great'. Wouldn't you see Frank Sinatra or Bruce Springsteen more than once if you could? That's the way we feel about James Dion."   

Troy Leonard, The Running Event Director



"James Dion has a diverse skill set in that he has worked retail, manufacturing and operations.  In his consultancy he has had invaluable experiences and exposure to a variety of business sectors. He is a genuine retail expert with a big interest in systems. This is invaluable in establishing credibility as he understands the complexities of business and can relate to the challenges of his audiences. He has the unique capacity and ability to adapt his presentation content and style to the audience demographics so that the work is relevant and learning is guaranteed. We have worked together in creating and crafting several programs where flexibility and adaptability are key to success. We have delivered every time. Jim is a pleasure to work with, he listens well and cares about his customer and his audience. This is recognized in the results and in his success so far along the journey......"

Ruth Crowley, Vice President, General Merchandise,
Harley-Davidson Motor Company 



"James Dion is an excellent Retail Speaker and brings value to any event. His sessions are extremely well attended and highly rated on post-conference evaluations. We are continually asked to bring Jim back for another year. I have had Jim speak for me at Coverings for multiple years now and it is always a pleasure to work with him."

Michele Nebel Peake, Conference Manager, National Trade Productions


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"Retail Speaker and Retail Consultant James Dion is a consummate professional who is extremely knowledgeable in the worldwide retail industry. His experience, insights and enthusiasm for the subject matter he speaks on combined with a compelling delivery style make him an excellent choice as either a keynote speaker or consultant to any organization."

R. Craig Breese, President, Maytag International



“Stefania’s firsthand retail experience enables her to develop and deliver fresh and practical solutions that work in the real-world.  Retailers are a demanding group. They seek a measurable return on their investment of both time and money.  And new training programs must be integrated and aligned with the existing brand and organizational culture. Stefania helped us to deliver a highly successful program for our stores that led to a sustained improvement in sales and customer service. Stefania’s professionalism and ability to understand the needs of our organization were an asset and ensured the successful launch of this initiative.”

 Philippa Short, Stores Training Manager, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.


“James Dion not only brought a wonderful sales process to our retail organization, he completely changed how we look at our business and how we measure success at the store level. The thing that impressed me the most about Jim was his ability to come into our organization, quickly analyze and truly understand our business and culture and translate that into rich and relevant training for our organization. I would work with Jim again in a heartbeat and hope to do so again in the future.”

 Ami Huff, Manager, Retail Training & Sales Support Services,
The Original HoneyBaked Ham Co. of Ga., Inc.

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“If you want an audience to leave your event asking, 'when can we sign up for the next one?', James Dion is the one speaker who delivers. We've worked with many keynotes over the years and nobody matches Jim's amazing insights into the retail industry. He has helped our clients understand the mindset of today's consumer, create better relationships with suppliers, improve pricing strategies, outwit the competition, and run their businesses to achieve greater profitability - all in a format that entertains and inspires. Retail Speaker Jim Dion will truly delight your audience and give them information they can take back to the workplace and use.”

Kathryn Buchanan, Marketing Communications Manager,
JDA Software Group, Inc.



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“The Association of Golf Merchandisers has been honored to have Retail Speaker James Dion present retail education seminars at our annual conference for the past several years. The seminars presented have always been extremely professional and timely.  The topics are well-received and he is consistently ranked 'excellent' in member evaluations. Jim has a unique manner in presenting information that inspires our members to examine their business practices, to embrace change and to become better and more profitable retailers.”

Desane Blaney, Executive Director, AGM, Association of Golf Merchandisers

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“James Dion brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the retail industry.  He’s done a fantastic job of educating our Partners and our marketing/sales staff on the business issues faced by independent merchants. Retail Speaker and Retail Consultant James Dion is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.  If you have to know the SMB retailer and the market, Jim’s your man.”

Dale Sleppy, SMS&P Industry Marketing Manager - Retail, Microsoft Corporation

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"Jim, I consider you one of those rare individuals with the enviable ability to think 'beyond-the-norm' and your depth of understanding of the small, specialty retailer's world is second to none."

Pat Cochran, Vice President, Miller Freeman, San Francisco, CA



"While Stefania was our Director of Human Resources for over 3 years, her extensive retail background contributed to expand her role within the company well beyond HR topics. As we were transitioning from a single store to a multi store operation, her experience working with large retail corporations was a major factor in helping us devise retail best practices that were competitive and allowed us to thrive."

Darryl Rosen, President & CEO, Sam's Wines & Spirits, Chicago, IL 



"Jim, Thank you for delivering an AWESOME series of Workshops! During my 8 years at Microsoft, this was one of the best training programs delivered to Microsoft reps and partners that I have seen. The workshop was incredibly insightful, interesting, and enjoyable! I hope there is an opportunity to work with you again sometime in the future."

Marie Maxwell, Manager, Customer Services,
Microsoft, Redmond, WA


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"Retail Speaker James Dion has developed and delivered training sessions at each level of our general management curriculum over the past several years. Participants consistently rate his sessions very highly. He demonstrates three key attributes that differentiate himself from many other speakers and which contribute to the success of his sessions: his content is always fresh, relevant and expert; his delivery is engaging and energetic; and his knowledge and experience base extend well beyond just retail so he integrates his material into much of the other course content."

Cameron Bourne, Director, Executive Development and International Recruitment, Bata Limited, Toronto



"Jim, God has really given you a gift for teaching. We learned a lot - thanks for sharing."

Lee and Gerri Turner, For Heaven's Sake, Conroe TX



"I attended your presentation in September this year at Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, titled "The Twelve Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Buying and Using Retail Technology". Jim, I must sincerely thank you for the insight that you have given me. My company is involved in the wholesale/retail of hair care and cosmetics and based in Perth on the West Coast of Australia. We are in the process of negotiating in regards to implementing our new POS and Accounting Solution and the knowledge gained from your presentation has been invaluable. I just wished to take this small moment to convey my appreciation and also to wish you and your family a Happy Christmas and New Year. Thank you."

Joseph Geha, Perth, Australia



"Workshop held Tuesday, May 19, 1998, in balmy Bloomington, Minnesota. Approximately 123 retail sales professionals representing Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Computer City, EBX, Electronics Boutique and GameSpot attended an exciting three hour presentation conducted by James Dion, author of Retail Selling Ain't Brain Surgery, It's Twice as Hard. The Microsoft Professional Sales Workshop, produced by James Dion, allowed our RSPs the opportunity to become familiar with the steps involved in properly selling a customer in a casual, if not steamy, environment. Due to a lack of climate control in the presentation room and Retail Speaker Jim Dion's electrifying performance, guests were treated to an evening of inspiration and perspiration. The reviews have been excellent with ratings of 4.5 and 5.0."

"Extremely effective presentation, with an honesty and reality that I wish more companies would consider following."

"Awesome, so many great tips, definitely will use in my job!"

"Thank you for your time, Mr. Dion. I was personally and professionally enriched by this workshop."

"This speaker was absolutely fabulous! In fact, he was one of the best Retail Speakers I have ever heard."

"Extremely useful and well presented. Informative, entertaining. Methods and practices I can put to use in my position."

Cheryl L. Rost, Regional Manager, Microsoft, Minneapolis, MN


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"As the director of communications (and webmaster) for MacGregor Golf, I found your presentations very enlightening and entertaining. I go to a lot of conferences, and you were as good as it gets as a speaker. Jim, if you ever need a recommendation, feel free to give me a ring. Thanks again."

Steve Naru, Director of Communications, MacGregor Golf