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Brick-and-Mortar Is Alive & Well

New York

Every retailer has to become a merchant, says LA’s Caruso Affiliated CEO Rick Caruso, in town to keynote the National Retail Federation’s 2014 conference at Javits. Among his properties is LA’s The Grove, which gets more foot traffic than Disneyland (though we'd rather see Mickey than a TMZ reporter). We chatted with him after his speech—and before his interview today with CNBC. The ability of staff to help and connect with the customer is brick-and-mortar’s big advantage, he tells us. What does this Californian connect with in NYC? He always makes sure to grab dinner at 21 and to walk Madison Avenue and SoHo.


Rick spoke on a panel with CNBC Power Lunch’s Sue Herera, Nordstrom president Blake Nordstrom (whose store will enter NYC in 2018 in Extell’s 217 W 57th St), Cupcake Wars’ Candace Nelson, and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff. Rick's focus has shifted from getting customers to enter a store, buy, and leave to getting them to stay as long as possible. That includes, perhaps, keeping the husband and kids happy so the woman of the house (understood to be the primary shopper) can proceed uninterrupted. Rebecca’s playing with brick-and-mortar experiences, looking into nighttime parties with drinks and shopping, stocking fitting rooms according to a shopper’s online preferences, and pop-up stores.