Archive for December, 2015

Ahrendts’ luxury background shapes Apple store changes

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
As a student of Retail having designed stores for over 30 years I look to Apple for the ground breaking ideas. Usually I am quick to draw an opinion based on my experience if the story and concept makes good business sense.
I applaud Apple to go into test mode. We all are familiar that most of Apples innovative ideas were met with sceptisism by many when they were first introduced, only to have to eat “crow” once the sales figures came in.
This test may not be about sales figures but yet another great item to experience and draw in curiosity seekers. I am not sure that the Apple formula of $5000 per foot will be met with this product having a 2.5 turn ratio. I would guess that space is a commodity and whatever item will be consolidating to make room for this item will not suffer as a result of the move.
I do find it interesting that Ron Johnson who had a great success record with Target and brought that knowledge onto Apple moved on to a soft goods JCP. His tenure was short and his concept was actually innovative but did not fit the JCP financial position, and put vendors in an awkward position. I was intimately involved with this concept through vendor participation and was not surprised when the concept could not be executed. One could conclude that when you go from hardwoods to softwoods the playing field is way different.
Now what happens when Softwoods Burberry goes to Electronic hard goods? Are we going to see a disappointing results? Time will tell, but my bet is that Apple has the ability to fine tune any dilemma or opportunity as Sam Walton would position a challenge.
I look forward to the test roll out and progress because Apple is one of the few companies willing to try, willing to fail, and willing to get right back on the horse and continue to look for opportunities.
Apple Executive Seeks a Touch of Chic at Retail Stores – The New York Times
Apple Executive Seeks a Touch of Chic at Retail Stores - The New York Times

Jerry Birnbach Interview on You Tube by

Monday, December 7th, 2015

53Recently, A.R.E. Designer member Jerry Birnbach Assoc. A.I.A. was interviewed by Jerry is the owner of Jerry Birnbach & Associates a Top 40 Retail Design Firm.

In addition to his Store Planning services Jerry provides Expert Retail Witness opinions for attorneys nationwide with their retail liability cases.
His interview addressed how manufacturers are often challenged to value engineer the display cost which often opens up liability issues due to cutting corners.
The interview was posted on You Tube and the link is

“Our industry is in need to establish safety issues at store level and display manufacturing and A.R.E. can provide a valuable service to assist in this mission.

Rhinebeck Department Turns to Jerry Birnbach & Assoc for Design effort

Monday, December 7th, 2015
Historic Rhinebeck Dept Store

Historic Rhinebeck Dept Store

Rhinebeck Department Store has selected Jerry Birnbach & Associates the retail design firm to renovate this landmark building.
“It is a great opportunity to work on a project with such integrity and a client with an impressive understanding for retail,” per Jerry Birnbach.
Rhinebeck Department store located in the quaint town in the foothills of the Catskills continues the retail tradition that was started with the former Hudson Valley Store 1946.
We are committed to keeping our values as traditional as our
merchandise selection of Authentic Country Classics.
The design challenge is to preserve the spirit of a traditional shopping experience while designing a relevant solution for a high
demographic customer in todays world.

Nick Cannon named Chief Creative Officer at Radio Shack – Have they lost their minds?

Friday, December 4th, 2015

I am in disbelief that Radio Shack who has to realize they had a grade of “F” for Sales help knowledge, Sales help selling ability, Inventory control so there was product in the store, Poor product quality does realize they need to work on basic before they try to become creative.

Having close association with the Isaac Mizrachi brand at Target and Better Homes and Gardens for Walmart, each had amazing volume because the retail machine was well greased, smooth procedures, and a solid foundation for the Celebrity factor.

Radio Shack if they are to make another run at survival needs to get their act together or it is destain to fail. Back to basics friends.

FOR EXAMPLE: This is an electric item, my staff are knowledgeable about its use, applications, auxiliary accessories, it has a real guarantee besides a useless warrant policy without twenty exclusion voiding the warranty or replacement, it is priced well, it will run perfectly for several years, there are always the correct days of inventory on hand. Once the above is mastered, then we can talk about Nick Cannon.