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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Retail Brands Expand Services to Boost the Bottom Line

When Minneapolis-based Best Buy bought the then eight-year-old Geek Squad from founder Robert Stephens back in 2002, the move seemed anything but intuitive. Now, over ...
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CEO Craig Jelinek Leads Costco with Vision and Empathy

It seems like there has been a strong exodus of retail CEOs in 2022, particularly among highly visible retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond, Gap, ...
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New Retail: How the “Store” Will Undergo Transformation

For the vast majority of the 20th century, retailing had been largely transactional. The store was the place where the goods were seen, sold, and ...
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Toys Are Battling It Out This Holiday

After two years of record breaking, pandemic fueled toy sales, the market has chilled from red-hot to cool-blue. According to NPD, for the first six-months ...
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Gifting With a Purpose

For gift givers, convenience and flexibility are the two key benefits of gift cards, driving their adoption among people, companies, and marketers the world over. Not ...
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