I was saddened to hear of the passing of Marvin Traub, who died on July 10 at age 87 from bladder cancer. The longtime Chairman of Bloomingdale’s was a pioneer of merchandising who no doubt inspired many of the best in our business, either directly or indirectly.
He has been credited with the entire concept of “retailing as theater,” thanks to over-the-top “happenings” he created to surround new product promotions. He elevated the collective shopping experience along with the stature of his department store. Even after his retirement in 1992, he continued to consult for luxury brands worldwide.
Something else he contributed to our industry is his daughter, Peggy Traub, President and CEO of Adesso. Peggy was also a founder of WithIt, the Women’s Leadership Development Network, a dynamic organization that supports women in the home furnishings industry. It was touching to see that WithIt created the Marvin Traub Memorial Scholarship Fund as a way to support their efforts and honor the memory of this marketing maverick. These tax-deductible donations go to the WithIt Foundation and Peggy will even receive a note to acknowledge each gesture.
It’s actually the 15th anniversary of WithIt this year, and the group plans to celebrate with a pre-show gala just before the Las Vegas Market. The event will take place on Saturday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Parisian Palace. It will include wine tastings and food pairings by celebrity chefs, a champagne VIP room with casino gaming, featured celebrity designers, a silent auction and more. And you don’t have to be a WithIt member to participate.
Kudos to WithIt leadership for enabling a way to pay oh-so-appropriate tribute to Marvin Traub, and for celebrating their own milestone in a way that would likely make the showman proud.