Author

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 Forbes.com 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.

Amazon and the Big Boxes

Amazon’s Anguish The “defining” pure-play ecommerce behemoth Amazon flourished over its first two decades, despite lacking storefronts and retail real estate. But that was then. ...
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The New Age of Wellness: Retailers, Listen Up!

Amidst rising inflation, crippling student debt, unaffordable housing, rounds of layoffs, a lingering pandemic, and a looming recession, workers of all ages are reaching a breaking ...
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Return on Experience, the New Metric

ROI, or return on investment, has been the standard gauge for retailers attempting to quantify how expenditures lead to sales outcomes. Now in an era ...
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America’s Preeminent Mega-Mall Has Always Been Thinking Big…and Small

America’s mid-20th Century suburban sprawl drove the first big wave of shopping center growth. With that, locally based single-store merchants who thrived in bustling downtowns ...
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The MetaMall: The Next Big Retail Development Will Be in Cyberspace

Two unrelated events took place 30 years ago in 1992 that altered our world. The first involved Charles M. Stack who started Book Stacks Unlimited, ...
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The Sustainability Tsunami

As a lifelong trend watcher and forecaster, I have often witnessed the influence of “trend convergence” when specific events and circumstances combine to create major ...
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Livestream Selling: Channel Agnostic Nirvana

QVC managed to hook the baby boom generation 35 years ago to buy things on TV. It became the birth of “retailtainment” and proved to ...
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Ulta and Sephora Break into the Big Boxes

America’s beauty queens, Ulta and Sephora, have been going head-to-head in the U.S. market since Ulta launched in 1990, and Sephora opened its first store ...
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