STORES Magazine - July 2010 - (Page 16)
EXECUTIVE SUITE / RETAIL PEOPLE
Designed to Transform
Joseph Bona President, Retail Division CBX New York City
e w Yo r k n a t i v e J o s e p h Bona studied architecture at Fullerton (Calif.) College and later took advanced classes in classical architecture at New York City’s National Academy of Design. Out of school he landed at Hickory Farms as a retail planner and project manager and has remained in retail design ever since.
space? How do we communicate the point of difference we offer? CBX was able to transform Petro-Canada’s Neighbours concept into something that looks and feels more like Panera Bread than a typical c-store. As a result, Neighbours is much more of a destination for planned purchases versus impulse-driven ones. It’s a warm and inviting blend of both convenience and experience that’s between a corner store and a café.
What’s behind CBX’s recent expansion?
With more than 30 years’ experience, much of it within the grocery, drug and c-store segments domestically and internationally, Bona oversees New York City-based CBX’s expansive retail division. He heads an experienced team of retail designers, project managers and business development executives that creates solution-driven concepts for apparel and lifestyle merchants and brands. The company also maintains offices in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seoul, South Korea, and CBX Worldwide Partnership has offices in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Melbourne, Shanghai, London and Amsterdam.
You’ve worked with brands and retailers on six continents over three decades. Has anything really changed in retail design?
Power of Retail Design” at NRF’s annual convention in January. What’s happening in that area?
In some ways nothing, and in other ways everything has changed. At its simplest, having the right product at the right price in the right place remains the formula. Figuring out the ever-changing needs and demands of discerning shoppers remains the art and science for how you deliver better than your competitors.
You talked about shaping consumer behavior during a panel titled “The
16 STORES / JULY 2010
Pressure is being created on all fronts — from traditional online shopping to retail-focused iPhone apps to Amazon’s Kindle — and who knows what else in the future. Sales and profit will come to those focused on shaping consumer behavior and attitudes through honesty, transparency and adherence to core values. Customers are demanding authentic and transparent messaging as never before. It’s a bit of a backlash in the wake of the housing collapse, Wall Street bailouts and trends like greenwashing. It’s easy to get caught up with the current hot button of the day, but remaining true to your corporate values and delivering against your own unique and ‘ownable’ positioning is what allows brands to stand out from their competitors. The danger is trying to be something you’re not. With information traveling at the speed of thought, consumers can gauge pretty quickly which brands are real and which ones are not.
So how does this all play into store design?
Our practice is multi-dimensional and we can now assist any retail format, from c-stores to couture. The depth and breadth of our design capabilities covers everything, from what sits on the shelf to the complete environment in which the shelves live and influence what and where consumers buy. We complement our creative services with a wide range of analytic, strategic and consulting activities … These disciplines and expertise allow us to get closer and deeper with our clients’ business activities while at the same time providing us the flexibility to expand in any one direction as the economy and business climate dictate.
Who has most influenced your career?
Gerald Lewis was my mentor and teacher for more than 21 years. Gerry was CEO of CDI Group, my former company. He took me under his wing and taught me the art of marketing and the business of design. He also helped me mature as a person while nurturing and developing my professional skills.
On the personal side, tell us about some recent purchases.
A beautiful pair of Italian shoes, a new Ping driver that must be broken because it didn’t work this weekend and a box of fine chocolates for my mother.
On your wish list?
It’s all about the end-user. How do we communicate from the exterior? How do people interact with and within the
A project in Italy. I’ve never had the fortune of working in the country from which all four of my grandparents emigrated. StORES —Janet Groeber
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2010
Top 100 Retailers
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
STORES Magazine - July 2010