Retail design veteran Denny Gerdeman to retire

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture
Denny Gerdeman
Denny Gerdeman

Denny Gerdeman is stepping down.

Gerdeman, co-founder and chairman of Chute Gerdeman and a widely respected leader in the retail design industry, has announced his retirement from the firm he founded with his wife, Elle Chute in 1989.

Chute Gerdeman has won more than 200 awards for innovative store design, restaurant design, branding and packaging design, including multiple Store of the Year and Designer of the Year honors. Among his long list of client engagements are Hanesbrands, Mars/M&M’s World, FAO Schwarz, Footlocker, Wendy’s, HEB, Woolworth’s South Africa, Macy’s, Barbie Shanghai, Hamley’s and Eddie Bauer. 

Gerdeman led the agency through a revolutionary era of change in retail and restaurants. In 2017, he oversaw the acquisition of Chute Gerdeman by FCB North America, part of Interpublic Group. This strategic integration into a larger agency network has allowed for new opportunities and growth across new categories.

Gerdeman leaves the business in the hands of his executive leadership team, consisting of Jay Highland, chief creative officer & director; Wendy Johnson, COO & executive VP program management; and Christopher Barcelona, chief innovation & growth officer. 

“Denny’s lasting legacy will be building Chute Gerdeman into a top-ranked design firm, but also forging an entirely new industry,” said Tina Manikas, president, FCB/RED. “His vision as one of the vanguard of leaders who saw the potential of retail design as a viable and necessary capability has forever changed creative services for brands and retailers. His tenacity, grit, and leadership will be missed, but we will carry on his efforts.”