Sanford Stein

Sandy considers himself a “recovering store designer.” Having grown up in a mid-century Milwaukee retail family he watched his father and uncle evolve from “accidental retailers” to brand builders. While still in high school, he was drafting store layouts for the family’s new retail venture, and his career die was cast.

After completing his design education, he began a five-decade long campaign to convince retailers that sound design principles and return-on-investment were not alien notions but were fundamental tenants of building a strong retail brand. Some were not easily swayed. But Sandy’s tenacity brought rewards and awards over the three-plus-decade run of his Minneapolis boutique retail design practice, and through its corresponding 400-plus projects. These were accompanied by countless published articles and speeches both chronicling and forecasting profound retail industry change.

Upon entering “indefinite semi-retirement” and on the heels of publishing his IBPA, Benjamin Franklin award-winning book Retail Schmetail, Sandy founded LinkedIn’s RETAIL SPEAK. He is also a frequent contributor to and was named a Top 100 RETHINK Retail influencer for the past three years as well as a member of its advisory board.

When not writing, Sandy, along with wife Cheryl and Havanese pup Shelby can be seen “top-down touring” around one of Minneapolis’ many lakes in a classic Ford Mustang, often driving with the heater on.

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