VMSD - September 2020 - 28

Checking Out
Interview bybyCarly
Hagedon
Interview
Matthew
Hall

The native of Limerick, Ireland, has worked at design firms based in The Buckeye
State for the last 26 years, including his current role as Client Leader at BHDP
(Cincinnati) and President of the Ohio chapter of the Retail Design Institute.
You're from Ireland and began your
architecture/design career in London.
How did you wind up in southwest Ohio?

It's a long story - but here's the condensed version:
After spending 10 years in London, where I met
my wife, we felt it was time for our next big adventure. We initially thought that Australia might be
next. But after we honeymooned in New England,
we knew that our next home would be the U.S.
A year later we vacationed in Cincinnati to visit
some family there. That convinced us the Midwest
life was for us. We've been here ever since and truly
love it.
You're also president of the Ohio chapter
of the Retail Design Institute (RDI). How
did your involvement in that group come
about?

Retail really excites me. I love to chat with peers
and share challenges and ideas. With that, the RDI
offers a great forum for me to meet and talk retail
with my industry peers. I also love the notion that
I can mentor and guide future retail leaders and
share my years of learnings and experience.

28

september 2020

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vmsd.com

How do you see the coronavirus and its
associated restrictions/regulations for
masks, social distancing, etc. impacting
retail design in the coming months?

Clearly, dealing with COVID-19 won't be an overnight fix for retail. I believe we're still in the initial solve phase - getting stores back open and
removing some of the anxiety shoppers are feeling
about returning to them. There will be a mid-term,
where we move beyond the band-aid scenario and
start to implement some of the learnings from
the past several months. But I am more focused
on helping retailers plan for the long term (postpandemic), and how we can look beyond the next
several months to implement much-needed new
ideas.
How about over the long run?

Retail is a resilient category. Yes, there'll be some
brand casualties - we've already seen several. But
if there's ever been a time for the category to innovate - it's now. 

McCormack says his earliest career
aspirations were to follow his father's
example and become a musician. "He
was a very talented trumpeter and
music lover, and I was brought up to
appreciate everything from classical to
big band to jazz."
In his early high school years, he
went through a gear-head phase. "I
had a short-term fascination with all
things automotive and thought that
engineering might be my future path."
But that faded and McCormack entered
into a long-term fascination (that's still
with him) for the built environment.
"I went to college in Limerick and
then had to make a tough decision to
move to London in pursuit of career
opportunities in architecture and
design. It was very hard to leave my
family! Working at architectural firms in
London on office development was my
thing. I cut my teeth under the guidance
of some great design and architecture
mentors."
That said, retail wasn't on his
radar until he landed a job with Design
Forum (Dayton, Ohio) in the mid '90s.
"I quickly realized that the tempo and
challenges of retail were for me. That
was more than two decades ago, and
my passion for the category hasn't
waned."

C OUR TE SY OF BHD P, CI NC IN N ATI

Declan McCormack

Passion Project


http://www.vmsd.com

VMSD - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - September 2020

VMSD - September 2020
Contents
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Delivering Design
2020 Retailer of the Year
Setting the Mood
Showroom
Checking Out
Ad Index
VMSD - September 2020 - Intro
VMSD - September 2020 - VMSD - September 2020
VMSD - September 2020 - Cover2
VMSD - September 2020 - Contents
VMSD - September 2020 - From the Editor
VMSD - September 2020 - 3
VMSD - September 2020 - Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - September 2020 - 5
VMSD - September 2020 - The Goods
VMSD - September 2020 - 7
VMSD - September 2020 - 8
VMSD - September 2020 - 9
VMSD - September 2020 - Delivering Design
VMSD - September 2020 - 11
VMSD - September 2020 - 12
VMSD - September 2020 - 13
VMSD - September 2020 - 14
VMSD - September 2020 - 15
VMSD - September 2020 - 16
VMSD - September 2020 - 17
VMSD - September 2020 - 2020 Retailer of the Year
VMSD - September 2020 - 19
VMSD - September 2020 - 20
VMSD - September 2020 - BB1
VMSD - September 2020 - BB2
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion1
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion2
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion3
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion4
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion5
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion6
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion7
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion8
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion9
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion10
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion11
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion12
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion13
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion14
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion15
VMSD - September 2020 - Trion16
VMSD - September 2020 - 21
VMSD - September 2020 - Setting the Mood
VMSD - September 2020 - 23
VMSD - September 2020 - 24
VMSD - September 2020 - Showroom
VMSD - September 2020 - 26
VMSD - September 2020 - 27
VMSD - September 2020 - Checking Out
VMSD - September 2020 - Ad Index
VMSD - September 2020 - Cover4
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