Sound Bites from GlobalShop

show floorBefore the Retail Roundtable earlier today, this Retail Design Diva had the privilege of speaking with some VIP Retailers about GlobalShop 2014.

Many were excited about the informative conference sessions being held throughout the week. “I thought the keynote this year was fantastic and really set the tone for the whole tradeshow,” said Jane Jones, visual merchandising manager for Wild Birds Unlimited. “The thing that really struck a chord—and many things did—was Kip Tindell’s message about letting people use their intuition more in the work place.”

Michael Solis, creative director of show planning for Neiman Marcus, also was excited to be at the show. Continue reading →

GS Keynote: Organization with Heart

keynote picHow do you build a business that thrives? During the GlobalShop keynote session on Tuesday, March 18, Kip Tindell, chairman and CEO of The Container Store, said that the key to being a thriving business is to be a conscious business built on quality people and communication.

As Tindell shared the story of The Container Store’s humble beginnings, he detailed the seven founding principles—also known as the tenants of conscious capitalism—on which the company was founded and on which it continues to build its business. “They guide every decision we make,” he said. “They aren’t just on the wall of the home office.”

The Container Store prides itself on its people, training its first-time employees for about 265 hours (the average retailer does just eight!) “If you focus on the shareholders, the magic is lost,” he said. Continue reading →

Celebrate St. Paddy’s at Our GS Party!

dr_fleetwood_partylogo.jpgBust out your green garb (and yes, even that green bow tie or those crazy green stilettos stashed in the back of your closet) for the design:retail party, presented by Fleetwood, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Taking place from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at The miX Lounge at the top of THEhotel in Las Vegas, the pre-show party will offer up cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, in addition to stunning views of The Strip and plenty of networking with fellow designers and retail friends. Better yet: the party is free to attend with an RSVP at (vendors and manufacturers outside of our sponsor company are not permitted to attend). Continue reading →

A New Retail Read

RetailSchmetail_Front Cover.jpgHere’s a little message that caught our attention recently: It’s a book: “Retail Schmetail.” Born Feb. 4, a 33.8-ounce, 7.5-in.-by-9-in.-by-1-in. tome. Book and author doing fine; publisher in treatment. Available at Beaver’s Pond Press, Amazon, B&N and great indie bookstores near you. Follow on Twitter @schmetail

Well, the note is from indie retail design vet and RDI member Sandy Stein (Stein LLC, Minneapolis), announcing the arrival of his 328-page history of retail. While another book tracing retail history is always of interest, Stein added a memoir. The subtitle of his book, “ONE Hundred Years, TWO Immigrants, THREE Generations, FOUR Hundred Projects,” tells you exactly what’s between the covers. Continue reading →

Appreciating Morris Lapidus

stairwayI’m finishing a fascinating new book that references Morris Lapidus (1902-2001), the remarkable architect who died 13 years ago this month. Lapidus became best known for his neo-baroque “Miami Modern” Fontainebleau (1954) and Eden Roc (1955-56) hotels in Miami Beach, featuring dramatic public spaces that provided visitors with a sense of adventure and escape. Oh, and don’t forget that infamous stairway to nowhere.

But, before Lapidus gave us those now-famous architectural details dubbed woogles, beanpoles and cheese holes, he embraced store design as a profession after earning his architectural degree from Columbia University in 1927. (He also dabbled in stage design, costuming and acting as an undergrad at NYU.) He would go on to work with Ross-Frankel, a firm specializing in retail storefronts, for 15 years. Continue reading →