“You know what makes a store special?” says legendary retailer Michael Gould, when he’s asked to spill his secrets. “It’s the energy, the DNA, the beat! Everything that makes us feel good!” Gould certainly knows about the “beat” of a great store, as he calls it —since the 1970s, he has been responsible for generating that most elusive quality—excitement—in the many venues that have been lucky enough to employ him. The roster includes Abraham & Straus (his first gig), Robinson’s in Los Angeles, Giorgio, Beverly Hills and his crowning achievement, Bloomingdale’s, from which he retired as Chairman and CEO earlier this year.
Asked what advice he would give industry fledglings, he says that first off, you must always work for an ethical company –a place with high moral values and integrity, a business that believes in growing you as a person. Then, when you are in a position to hire, surround yourself with the absolute best folks you can possibly find, and, if you really want to be like Mike, never shut your door. And one more thing–maybe the most important one– “You have to do something you feel passionate about!”