Home furnishings retailer confirms new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

It's official: Crate and Barrel has confirmed that CEO Doug Diemoz has left the company.

Crate and Barrel announced Tuesday that board chair Neela Montgomery will become the new chief executive, effective August 1. In the interim, Montgomery will continue in her current position, working closely with Crate and Barrel president and chief merchant Steve 'Woody' Woodward, and COO Mike Relich.

Diemoz's departure was first reported in April. He joined Crate & Barrel in 2015, coming from Restoration Hardware (now RH) where he served as chief development officer. He is involved in a lawsuit filed earlier this year in which RH alleged that he and another former employee committed trade secret misappropriation and contract violations to benefit Crate & Barrel.

“The Crate and Barrel family of brands has seen a strong turnaround in the past two years and I firmly believe the best is yet to come,” said Montgomery. “Our vision of delivering great design for inspired living and providing best in class service to each and every customer remains strong.”

Founded in 1962 in Chicago, Crate and Barrel operates more 110 store locations under its own banner as well as CB2 and The Land of Nod, across North America. The company is owned by Otto Group, a global retail and services group based in Hamburg, Germany.


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And the Store of the Year is…


A premium brand born from the celebration of colder climates, Mackage (Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto) was named Store in the Year in the Retail Design Institute’s 46th annual International Store Design Competition. The awards were presented during a gala celebration on Wednesday, May 24, in New York City.

Designed by Toronto-based Burdifilek, Mackage was honored for overall concept and also innovation in lighting design. The collaboration between the Burdifilek design team and Mackage drew inspiration from the urban sensibility of a modern ski chalet, with the environment offering a calm respite from the traditional harried shopping experience. The 2,600-sq.-ft. space reflects the sexy, modern edge of the Mackage brand — a brand that, after gaining a cult following for its outerwear, has evolved into a lifestyle brand.

Subtle sculptural references to snow, ice and nature are expressed in noble materials that resemble a warm cocoon from the elements. From the backlit image of the Rocky Mountains to the iceberg-shaped service counter, the environment brings forth notions of nature, winter and the landscape.

In all, the Institute’s annual international store design competition honored 42 projects representing the work of 32 firms (10 international and 22 North American design consultants). In addition, special Innovation Awards were given in 11 categories, from artistic expression to technology integration.

All winners are listed below:

August 8, Brampton, Ontario

Design: dialogue 38, Toronto

B&B Italia, New York City

Design: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Interiors, Milan

Bergdorf Goodman, New York City (Innovation Awards for fixtures, finishes and visual merchandising)

Design: MNA, New York City, and Bergdorf Goodman

Best Buy Tech Home, Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.

Design: Chandler Inc., Afton, Minn.

BonLook, Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Design: Aedifica, Montreal

Brothers Marketplace, Weston, Mass.

Design: BHDP Architecture, Cincinnati

Cadillac House, New York City

Design: Gensler, New York City

Calgary Co-op, Calgary

Design: Shikatani Lacroix, Toronto

Cheflavor, Temecula, Calif.

Design: Retail Habitats, San Diego

The Clinic, Denver

Design: JGA Inc., Southfield, Mich.

Desjardins (mobile branch), Montreal

Design: Aedifica, Montreal

Desjardins Service Signature, Montreal

Design: Aedifica, Montreal

EAST Izakaya, St. Catharines, Ontario

Design: dialogue 38, Toronto

Fabled By Marie Claire, London

Design: gpstudio, London

Farmacia Lloris Gonzalez, Burriana, Castellon

Design: Marketing-Jazz

Golden Harvest, Fanling, Hong Kong

Design: ARTTA Concept Studio, Hong Kong

Herman Miller, New York City

Design: Herman Miller; Vincent Bandy Architect

Hickey Freeman, New York City

Design: Two One Two Design, New York City, R H Sweers Architect

Hyper-Mart, Hunan, China

Design: rkd retail/iQ, Bangkok, Thailand

Hyundai Department Store, Pangyo, South Korea

Design: JHP Design, London

Indigo, Toronto

Design: Burdifilek, Toronto

Interceramic Showroom, Dallas

Design: CallisonRTKL, Seattle

La Sirena, New York City

Design: TPG Architecture, New York City

LeEco Experience Showroom, Beijing

Design: CallisonRTKL, Seattle

Level Kids, Dubai

Design: Fitch, London

Lloris Gonzalez Farmacia, Castellon, Spain

Design: Marketing-Jazz, Madrid)

Mamas & Papas, London

Design: Dalziel & Pow, London

Masseria, Toronto

Design: Burdifilek, Toronto

Metropole, Sydney

Design: Otto Design Interiors, Summer Hill, Australia

Missguided, London

Design: Dalziel & Pow, London

Nordstrom, Yorkville Shopping Centre, Toronto (Innovation Award for storefront)

Design: Nordstrom Store Design and CallisonRTKL, Seattle

Penguin Shop, Toronto

Design: figure3, Toronto

Pirch, New York City

Design: Fitch, Columbus, Ohio

Pizza Pasta Please, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
Design: Otto Design Interiors, Summer Hill, Australia

Rent the Runway, New York City

Design: Heitler Houstoun Architects, New York City

Saks Fifth Avenue, Toronto (Innovation Award for artistic expression)

Design: FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati

Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s, Toronto

Design: GH+A design studios, Montreal

Silver Deer, Mexico City

Design: Materia Groupo Forma Arquitectos, Mexico City

Sport Chek, Toronto (Innovation Award for digital integration)

Design: Ruscio Studio Inc., Montreal, and Stoever Jones Design; Sam Silas Architect

Teavana, Palo Alto, Calif.

Design: Starbucks Coffee Co. and ArcVision

Vision Source, Kingwood, Tenn.

Design: RetailOne, Atlanta

YU Seafood, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Design: dialogue 38, Toronto

The honored projects were selected by a panel of judges that included Judy Bell, founder and chief energetic officer, Energetic Retail, Minneapolis; Dan Berg, creative director, Shea Design, Minneapolis; James Damian, principal, James Damian Brand Integration Services, Minneapolis; Maureen Mitton, CID, professor, Design Department Director, Interior Design B.F.A. Program; University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wis.; Jeremy Nelson, principal, Little Box, Minneapolis; Reginaldo Reyes, VP, Brand Experience, Knock Inc., Minneapolis; Jamie Sneed, director, global store design, planning and visual merchandising, Aveda, Blaine, Minn.; and Sanford Stein, principal, Stein LLC, St. Paul, Minn.


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Blowout quarter for Costco

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco Wholesale Corp. came roaring back in its third quarter as it topped analysts' earnings and sales expectations amid strong U.S. sales.

After missing Street estimates for earnings and revenue in its second quarter, Costco returned to form in its third quarter. The warehouse club giant's net income jumped 28%, to $700 million in the quarter ended May 7. Earnings per share of $1.59 topped analysts' predictions of $1.31 per share. Excluding items, Costco earned $1.40 per share, still more than expected. The company recorded a tax benefit of 19 cents per share related to a special cash dividend announced in April.

Net sales rose 8% to a better-than-expected $28.22 billion in the quarter. Total same-store sales rose 5%, with a 6% increase in the United States, also more than anticipated.

Total membership fees collected rose 4%, to $644 million, which was down slightly from the second quarter. Some analysts had expected a bigger lift since the retailer is set to increase its member fee come June 1.

For the six months ending May 7, Costco's net sales were up 5.6% year-over-year to $84.8 billion. The company's half-year diluted earnings came in at $3.99 a share, a 12% increase year-over-year.

Costco opened four new locations in the quarter, including its first-ever outpost in Iceland. It ended the period with 732 stores worldwide.


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Do you think retail brands should steer clear of taking a stance on social and political issues?