Archive for the ‘RDD News’ 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.

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.

Department Stores are heading in the wrong direction.

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

This Outlet strategy goes against the main reasons for the department stores success and preserving loyal base customers. In addition, you have the issues at the outlet level, lower paid service associates, vanilla store design and presentation, more chance for negative shopping experience due to budget factors and you have lowered the core department store business as a result of guilty through association. Does it make sense to give your establish customer a reason to not shop your Department store and go to another location to shop. Retailers strive for multiple sales, and this approach will not work to that initiative.

What is the right strategy? Allocate an area with the core department store which takes the product residue, the off season items and create a permanent section within the store that would simulate the off price store concept. Why? Because is brings a new customer in, and perhaps over time that price driven customer becomes a trade up customer, which improves the quality of shopper within the department store. Off price retailing is basically depending on price to drive the business. Customers accept items that are not in their size, out dated fashion, a basic shopping experience and that works for that customer. But the department store is walking faster at an outlet level just to stay in place. Department stores are do not represent the numbers that a TJX and Marshals, Ross Stores provide product vendors, who are stuck with product. Having been involved intimately with licensing of brands, believe me when I say, the surplus, first dibs on good product goes to the biggest retailer. Prestige, which department stores represent, does not factor in obtaining the best of the worst. So department stores force to buy into their new outlet stores because space allocation requires they fill up the store to give a sense of being in business, must depend on the department store assortment sale items to be directed to the outlet. The cost of the transfer, probably gets written off on the department store and not into the cost of goods for the outlet store, thus presenting a false vision of success.
You cannot be all things to all customers, you have to live by the sword and die by the sword because this alternative outlet solution will be working against the odds due to the competition who invented the concept.

Lastly, we all have made the observation when shopping an outlet store similar to the high profile Gap retailer, that the product found in the Gap store, never saw the light of day in that company store. People now believed that most of the off price product was really a ploy that its origin was a company store, but the reality is it was outlet store bound from the purchase order inception. Customers caught on fast which watered down the credibility of the outlet concept from great product at great prices, to good prices only.

There is a big elephant walking the sidewalks and shopping for new items

Friday, March 30th, 2012

RDD Associates has recently designed a store in Kingsburg, CA for a drug store that has reinvented itself. The new 6000 s.f. store is selling everything to assist the aging baby boomers with mobile items. Scooters, lift chairs, walkers, are some of the items on display in a big box format. The breath of assortment is telling their customer that they know what the customer wants, what they stand for and instilling a sense that A-Z Home is the leader in this category. The store opened and sales are through the roof.

At this point, I wonder how many retailers have stopped reading this article as it does not relate to their product in the store. As a guest lecturer at Retail design seminars, I often point out that the average person looks but does not see. The example above should ring loud and true for you. The message is what can I be selling to this affluent, large body of mass, to improve my business and their quality of life. Whether the customer you are not selling is a baby boomers, gen x , or milleniums they all have common likes and needs which you can be providing product for.

The answer is simple but the execution is not always easy. As a Store Planner our skill is to get more items out in the same space and not have the customer feel they are trapped in a sea of displays. Most retailers have a hard time giving up product to just trade off volume with a new item. That is not what I suggest. As a merchant your responsibilty is to find the next great item before your competition does. Intrench the item with assortment into your store all of which will prevent your customer from seeking alternate retailers to shop for these items. As a Store Planner, our goal is to blend the new product into the store by making the customer aware of the new offering. 

For those retailers that do not want to see this train coming, you can stand next to Sears and JCP, Kmart, and so many other retailers who are standing on the platform while the train has left the station with their customers on board.

RDD Associates providing pro bono services to retailers in need

Thursday, March 18th, 2010



Retailer Rescue Analysis Kit Provides Strategic Solutions

to Regain Footing in a Weak Economy

Aug 10, 2009 —  RDD Associates Inc., — a nationally recognized leader in Retail Design, Merchandising, Branding and Business plans — relaunches its Retail Rescue Analysis Kit to aid struggling New York Retailers. As sales continue to see a steady decrease, New York City’s “Main Street” retailers are acting now by bringing in RDD Associates Inc.

Retail Rescue Analysis Kit is a disaster recovery program engineered to enable the small retailer to take advantage of the same consulting services provided to big names like WalMart, Crayola and Children’s Place. It was born immediately after the tragedies of September 11, 2001 as an answer to Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Economic Development Corp and Mayor Bloomberg concept of “Adopt-a-Company.”

RDD Associates Inc. was one of the first New York City Design firms to be called into action to provide Pro Bono services to the lower Manhattan retailers that were deeply impacted by the unthinkable.  Since then, many businesses did regain their footing and are continuing to succeed despite the odds that were against them.


RDD Associates Inc.’s president, Michelle Birnbach, remembers the retailers had no where to turn when it came to evaluating the store design, merchandising strategy, determining the best store layout for, maximizing the sales per square foot. “ Most retailers learn through example, and are self taught through the school of hard knocks,” says Birnbach.  “RDD Associates Inc. took the guesswork out of design with highly sophisticated computer analysis so that the retailer could see the vision without putting a nail in the wall.


Not only was the design defined in renderings but the entire productivity of the sales, product assortment, and seasonal inventory levels were planned far in advance. Three retailers were able to reopen in record time with a better store then before and are still operating successfully today.

Birnbach stated, “RDD Associates Inc. is proud of its prior involvement to help retailers and would like to see more Top 50 industry-rated design firms assist with this call to save the New York City Main Street retailer.”


Retail Rescue Analysis Kit comprises of an ala carte menu to feed the small “Main Street New York” retailer: traffic flow, packaging, business branding, lighting, layout, displays, merchandising, inventory control, show windows, interactive in-store signage, interior design, public relations, and marketing plans to inject life back into the retailer.


“We are at a cross road where hard working, innovative retailers once found ways to stay afloat,” said Birnbach. “Current circumstances call for global tactics, resourceful solutions and a budget that many would have walked away from.  The opportunity is there for every small retailer to turn lemons into lemonade by rethinking their current store dynamics and unique qualities and our Retail Rescue Analysis Kit will be in place as long as it takes to get stability back in the retail sector.”