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Entries in Art and Science of Shopping (18)


The Resurgence of the Department Store: Dare to Be Great

Over the past year Kathleen Jordan, a principal in Gensler’s New York office and leader in the firm’s Retail practice, undertook an investigation into the future of the department store. Her premise was simple: for years she’s been hearing and reading about the upcoming death of the department store, but so far it hasn’t happened. To learn more, she spoke with industry leaders, visited successful examples around the world, and read a lot of articles. The result is a set of distinct advantages she sees for department stores in today’s business and retail climate, and a set of bold strategies to regain the competitive advantages these stores once held. She will share her findings in a six part blog series.

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The Art & Science of Shopping: Color Explosion

With the exception of a seven year hiatus in Gensler’s NJ office, I have worked in New York City for my entire career. The unofficial dress code for city dwellers and commuters alike has always been black. Black coat, black pants, black shoes. The only color you would ever find on a self-respecting New Yorker was white, or grey, and the occasional navy blue. I mention my hiatus because during that time I discovered color, and it infiltrated my wardrobe like ivy in a garden. When I came back to the city, colleagues remarked that my “New Jersey side” was showing – referring to my penchant for color.

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The Art & Science of Shopping: Rebel against Sameness

I’ve been on a bit of a road trip lately – six countries in eight weeks. I’m exhausted, but what made me weary more than the travel itself was the amount of sameness I was saw everywhere along the way. From Singapore to Uruguay, with stops in London, Germany, Dubai, and Argentina along the way, I encountered an astonishing, not to mention disappointing, level of sameness.

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The Art & Science of Shopping: Souvenirs

My travels took me to Buenos Aires last spring—I know, poor me—and during the trip I managed to squeeze in an early excursion to the Paloma area prior to my evening departure. I have to say, even my unfortunate exhausted companions felt it was worth all the walking. While there, we stumbled upon a non-descript shop—there was no noticeable sign to identify the store. The storefront had only two small shoebox-sized windows displaying examples of the handcrafted wares being sold within. Less being more in this case, and being the shopper that I am, that was a big enough hook for me.

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The Art & Science of Shopping: Louboutin vs. YSL and the battle of “secondary meaning” for brands

I know I’m not an attorney, nor am I schooled in trademark law, but as someone who works with brands everyday to develop unique environments that differentiate a brand from its competitors, watching the Louboutin vs. YSL case unfold has been quite eye-opening.

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