Archive for the ‘Brand Design’ Category

Kmart selling product obtained from Bankrupt retailers.

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 1.48.34 PMWhat a sad state of affairs for retail. Considered once as a leading retailer has now become a vulture circling dying retailers. Good for the customer? Hardly. If it did not sell and keep another retail alive what is going to make if more successful at Kmart? Price, but the consumer will be purchasing faulty, inferior, out of fashion items and to those who hard press to buy family essentials, I get it. But now think about the impact this has on the Vendors that supply Kmart with product. Their orders are not cut to zero which will put that level of retail into a need to sell off manufactured goods. So Mr., Vendor, we know Walmart was built on Vendor relations and that is why they were and remain great. Vendors need to give TJX, Marshalls, Family Dollar and those retailers their deliveries first, their best items and focus on a partner retailer not a retailer that is desperate to stay alive.

Radio Shack appears to be shorting out due to bad wiring

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Radio Shack was a powerhouse at one time for electronics. Over time they allowed their staff training, assortment, inventory on hand to fall into an abyss. This concept needs to grow up and what is apparent, and financially driven is the stores remain same old, same old.
The success of Radio Shack will fall on the public’s perception that this store can provide anything and everything, a category killer, otherwise you can cherry pick Rado Shack on line.
The biggest advantage they can offer the customer is the ability to easily shop the store with informative signing, out posting product to improve the multiple sale and joining this century with mobile device drive sales techniques.
The investment is too great to become innovative, the staff are not knowledgeable about the product, the breath of assortment is too vast to control and area and then conquer others so why surge without the weapons in place?
In all due respect the captain of this ship although coming with great credentials lacks the background of retail savvy. A former vendor cannot direct a retailer when the revitalization for Radio Shack depends on product sold in a manner that it becomes the reason to shop the store, i.e.: Apple.

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.

Trump and Confederate Flag go down in a blaze of glory

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

trump 2Two brands or iconic symbols shot and now missing in action this week.
First the confederate flag became a topic that most retailers and media dropped like a lead ballon. Why?
The topic has been debated back and forth by many this week.
Perhaps we need to revisit the American Flag and remember “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the U.S.A. And to the Republic, for which is stands, ( and goes on to define what it stands for )
Now here comes another flag,a symbol of another nation who at the time had a specific “for which it stands “ and for over 160 years our nation has worked to put that behind us. Any reminder of that mentality apparently promotes feelings in the ignorant individuals that cannot get over the fact that they lost the war and the “one nation under god” got the help from a higher power which assisted in the victory. So retailers, I salute you for a quick and decisive move to eliminate one more reminder of what should not have been and to support what we are constantly striving to achieve in our society “for liberty and justice for all”.
As for the Trump brand, well that is another story. Can’t argue honesty is the best policy. Can’t take away anyones right to say what they believe to be true. What concerns me and remains a gray area, is that several high end apparel designers recently came out with anti gay and anti transgender comments which were meant to be hurtful. Yet D&C, and others are still on the shelves of certain retailers in spite of crossing the line of decency. So why was Trump removed. Having been actively involved with Licensing and Brands, it could have been the easiest way to get out of a non lucrative contract due to poor performance. Just a guess, because the world in truth will not miss seeing Trump product in the stores. What will become interesting is if by some weird set of circumstances if a peanut farmer could win, Trump could win the White House. If Trump wins will retailers make bottom line decisions disguised to be made for hot topic and will this product find itself back on the shelf? My guess is yes.

Walmart renews Meredith Better Homes and Gardens product line

Friday, October 21st, 2011

A simple statement but what goes on behind this news is a major accomplishment for the team that has put this all together. One of the most difficult tasks in retail is to have unique product, at the right price, with the best quality, and always in stock. We all know the power of Walmart to handle product from beginning to end, but in the beginning there was a design team. Obviously a team that has great design capability and understandswhat the customer wants and needs.

In todays retail environment, the point of difference has become the brand, and Better Homes and Gardens is as good a brand as there is.  The transition of  a printed media brand with great credentials to a physical product took a lot of thought and sorting out to have it succeed. I applaud this team of retailer and design team for giving America a product that will remain with us for years to come.

Madonna new Hits will be on the Runway not Billboard’s Chart

Thursday, March 25th, 2010


If ever there was a brand that was meant to be, this is it! Madonna has consistently maintained who she is and what she stands for. Her success to have withstood the test of time is a testimonial to an industry comprised of fickled fans.As a retail consultant for retailers and brands my advice is simple. Pay attention to detail and have a clear vision of what you want to look like at the store level. I have seen too many retailers kill a celeb brand by not taking the extra step to do it right. This is not about throw it at the wall and watch it stick. Even Madonna needs to follow the basic rules of retailing in order to guarantee success.The first of many right moves was to join forces with Iconix. They certainly have a track record for successful launches but Beware of Macy’s. Having experienced personally the XOXO brand at Macy’s Herald Square I can only say their intentions were good, but their execution was just that.I for one would like to see a red thread sawn into the wrist of every item if possible. You would be doing many a favor.

Jerry Birnbach F.I.S.P

Partner RDD Associates NYC Store Designers

Retailers for a Better Tomorrow Blogger


Retail Brand leader goes to Target with Walmart number two

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I recently did a review for a vendor of the number one and number two retailer referenced in this article. Based on my review of Walmart verses Target the order of best was reversed. Target should be number one, not based on volume but on the shopping experience.Having a long relationship with both retailers and experienced the evolution of their store presentation and product offering I think Target has been proactive in their thinking and Walmart reactive.Target has been a sea of red when you entered their store. In concert with their advertising they consistently have a brand recognition without the name even visible. The interior of Target is upscale, they used slat wire units before Walmart. Their graphics are well defined, depict the lifestyle they stand for and have expressed their message to the consumers for years. When Isaac Mizrahi was introduced to Target, it changed the world of Branding in Mass retail. Walmart looking for an answer to Target’s Isaac over a year later landed on George by Me, created by a top designer Mark Eisen. Although the product was innovative, the line was hindered by a reorganization at Walmart which led to the brands demise.Walmart has now introduced a more upscale flooring material. Walmart has become a sea of blue obviously to compete against the color red. Walmart have gone to yet another department sign system which has a very “cheap” look to it. Creativity lacks in a Walmart Store while it reeks in a Target Store. I understand that cost is a major consideration is Walmart, but Target works under the same restraints and pays attention to detail in their display presentation. Walmart uses extrusions, molded clips, mass produced display elements which are very constructional in nature. I think their customer is sophisticated enough to recognize mediocre design solutions. Sure it keeps product pricing down and perhaps that is acceptable to their consumers.One could never take away the success Walmart has enjoyed over many years and certainly they are a power to reckon with. I lived Walmart in the 70;s and 80’s when Mr. Sam was taking hold of the industry. He was innovative, he was a people person and he had relationships with vendors which led to their overwhelming success.What Target has done in my mind was to reach out to the Department store customer who felt the pinch of the economy and make them feel that shopping at Target was not a radical step down from Macy’s.Walmart’s message, in my eye, is they are representing a step up from Family Dollar. As the two approach the middle of the off price retail spectrum it will be interesting to see who leads the way and wins those customers. Will price prevail or will style win over.Jerry Birnbach F.I.S.P.Partner rddassociatesinc Store Planners NYC