A veteran designer with roots in retail reflects on the changes he and his extended family have seen in the industry.
In this debut memoir, Stein combines personal reminiscences with business insights derived from half a century of experience, both as the child of a midcentury retailer and as an experienced designer and brand manager. Stein places his story within the context of cultural and geographic trends. Born shortly after the end of World War II, he grew up in Milwaukee’s Jewish community and was part of the family business. His father and uncle opened a jewelry and toy store, then a small chain of drugstores. Although he studied interior design and initially pursued it as a career, Stein found himself returning to his retail roots in recent decades as companies began to understand the importance of managing the customer’s entire shopping experience.
—Kirkus Review, September 2, 2014
A delight to read, Retail Schmetail is an essential guide to understanding the mechanics of making the sale, creating brands and working the magic of retail design. With engaging back stories for each concept he puts forward, Stein walks us through the steps of how retail works — or doesn't. And he is not afraid to call the industry to task: ‘Unless the design solution directly addresses the client's issues, it won't matter how great the solution is or how passionate the designer may be about his or her 'baby'. I personally believe that over the course of the last millennium, the design industry has had a PR problem.’
—Bruce N. Wright, AIA, AIGA assoc.
Excellent book! Mr. Stein could have written this like a text book and bored the daylights out of us. Instead, it was funny, entertaining and informative all rolled into one. It has good detail without being too much. I loved the quirky family tidbits.
—Judge #2, 2015 Benjamin Franklin Award - Best New Voice: Nonfiction
Stein takes readers on a guided tour of various retailers and brands from the last century through to today. His wry humor keeps things light and his knowledge of and passion for retail/branding is evident.
—Judge #1, 2015 Benjamin Franklin Award - Best New Voice: Nonfiction