5th chapter

You can be TOO FAR AHEAD with predictions

It’s 1987. BEFORE the internet dominated shopping. However, we felt the retail landscape changing, which we explained in the ad copy. We were looking for a company leader who felt the same things.

That led us to run two ads in Women’s Wear Daily. Brash statements, which we felt deeply, but the world had not yet had the same realization. And, I’ve got to say…fashion retailers had their eye more on beating LY sales than seeing into the future. 

Two ads we ran in 1987, in Women’s Wear Daily.

What could we do with these beliefs? We created the MYA Store concept link to post which was one way of looking at retail in a different way. But it was still almost impossible to get a company leader to go all in.

What even we didn’t see, at least in its magnitude was the INTERNET. It took several years for it to catch on, but by 2005 the trend was clear, and rising (dramatically) every year. That got people scrambling, and experimenting all along the way.

The ironic thing is that I never got to address this seismic shift in retailing, except to watch it from the sidelines. Deborah’s sudden death, in 2005, shifted my life entirely, as characterized by the split between chapter’s 8 and 9. (More on that in a later post.)

We saw all this coming, only 15 years or so too early. Too early to get significant support, and even too early to remember I said it way back…when????

By |2023-01-23T12:07:35-06:00September 2, 2022|5th chapter, history, inspiration, rethinking retail|

Before the internet a store concept that simplified a woman’s shopping experience.

The internet changed everything about shopping. But before it was ubiquitous, I, along with my partner Deborah Exum, came up with a store concept as a way to shop for a woman who was interested in fashion, but with family and work obligations had little time to actually shop. See what we did to RETHINK shopping.

MYA ads

How many clothes really need to be in a store

From my time with The Limited stores, and my “chapter 5 experience in retailing, I knew that clothing presented as outfits sold better than individual items. Working with merchandise expert Dennis Horstman, we crafted a complete collection of a wardrobe using 20 items.

In MYA store, how many items?

In MYA store, how many items?

Focus the customer

To focus the customer on our offering we redesigned the typical mall store to have 15 complete different outfits clustered in the “3rd window”/AKA the front of the store. Even walking by, a woman could scan our offering and see if something caught her eye. If she was interested enough to come in to the store, information tags told her what items made up that outfit. Those individual items were clearly displayed on the nearby wall, with additional colors to offer the customer more selections.


Mya store layout

Mya store layout

MYA merchandise identification system

MYA merchandise identification system


Acceptance of the concept.

Focus groups we did gave rave reviews for the concept. Mary Lou Quinlan, who had been CEO at N. W. Ayer Advertising, then led a woman-centered marketing agency JUST ASK A WOMAN, singled out the concept with the quote, “No other store talks to women this way.”

MYA no other store talks to women this way

What happened to it

Timing. Our first store was set to open in Spring of 2002.The terror attack of 9/1/2001 essentially stopped any new business concepts while we all readjusted our priorities. Our backers decide that they would not be willing to test this concept in that environment, so MYA never got to see the light of day and be tested.

I still believe it would have revolutionized shopping. But then that was just before the internet started to be the tidal wave that would truly revolutionize shopping.

By |2022-09-02T12:24:59-05:00July 26, 2022|5th chapter, rethinking retailing, Tom thoughts|
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