Abbreviated Bio so far....
Linda Cahan of Cahan & Company has been in Visual Merchandising, Store Design and Display for her entire career.
Her experience includes visual merchandising and design for traditional department stores, specialty stores of all sizes and types, and large retail corporations.
She has worked with all kinds of merchandise, from high to moderate fashion, soft and hard lines including gifts, appliances, computers, auto parts, machinery and tools.
Linda’s strengths include all aspects of visual merchandising and display as well as training staff in each discipline through seminars, workshops, walk-throughs, hands-on sessions and manuals. She conducts visual audits/evaluations of all types of stores and malls to help retailers or mall managers improve their image and sales.
Linda has written custom visual standards manuals for many companies including Saks Fifth Avenue, Lancôme Cosmetics, American Express, Singer, United Rentals, The Bowling Proprietors Association of America, Taubman malls, and three large retail companies in South America – Totto and Armi Studio in Colombia and RORI in Venezuela.
William Lorenzen, Assistant Visual Director at Saks Fifth Avenue during the late 90’s wrote the following in the front of the SFA Corporate Visual Merchandising Manual:
“Linda Cahan of Cahan & Company was hired to write and edit the entire work and add her objective viewpoint and ideas as a visual merchandiser but also as someone from the outside who had never worked for Saks Fifth Avenue. No other person who has never worked for SFA knows as much about visual merchandising as she and I doubt anyone ever will.”
Linda lives in the Portland, Oregon area and consults and lectures extensively around the world.
ABBREVIATED EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
BFA Syracuse University, Fine Arts
Display assistant Sibley’s, Syracuse
Visual Merchandising Manager: Carlisle’s, Erie, PA
Visual Merchandising Manager: Bonwit Teller, Short Hills, NJ
Visual Merchandising Manager: Macys, New Haven, CT
Corporate Director of Visual Merchandising for D. M. Reads (Jordan Marsh), Trumbull, CT
Corporate Director of Visual Merchandising for Steinbach’s, White Plains, NY
Full-time visual merchandising consultant to American Express Travel Related Services and Singer
Sewing Machine Company
Corporate Director of Visual Merchandising for P.C. Richard and Son, Farmingdale, NY
Part-time Visual Merchandising Coordinator for Intel, NYC region: 12 years
Instructor: Parsons School of Design, Visual Merchandising, twelve years
Instructor: The Art Institute of Portland, OR, Visual Merchandising, six years
Marquis Spas, Clackamas, OR
Intuitive Alchemy, Gig Harbor, WA
United Rentals, Queens, NY
Boston Society of Architects Bookstore, Boston, MA
GECC Company Store, Stamford, CT
Singer Sewing Machine Company, Stamford, CT (overseas division)
American Express TRS, NY, NY (travel store at World Financial Center)
St. Vincent’s Hospital Gift Shop, Bridgeport, CT (twice)
Hickory Farms - Their first temporary store rollout into mall locations
Melvin Simon - eighteen temporary stores for A&S Plaza, NY, NY
Photo Quick, CT- Prototype store
Consumers Distributing, NJ - Prototype store
MovieTime Video Stores, Wappinger Falls, NY (eleven stores)
Julie's Shoe Box, Westport, CT (two stores)
And many smaller independent retailers in the following categories:
Fashion - all types
Hospital gift shops
Bait & tackle
White goods (refrigerators, etc.)
Tea Store (Stash Tea)
Vineyard supplies (OVS)
VISUAL MERCHANDISING TRAINING PROGRAMS:
Meijer, Grand Rapids, MI
Singer Sewing Machine Company Int.
American Express Travel Related Services
AAA of Oregon and Idaho
Hiper Paiz and Zaz!, Guatemala (full line department stores)
Rori, Venezuela (men’s clothing stores)
Pantaloon, Mumbai, India (clothing stores)
As well as many malls, smaller stores and small chains of stores in the U.S.A.
A FEW PROJECTS:
MEIJER: Developed and taught a comprehensive visual merchandising program to the corporate VM staff at Meijer in Grand Rapids, MI. The program consisted of eight two-day sessions and covered visual merchandising, team building, communication skills, ROI, best practices and many other related topics. It was a very successful program and the team members gained and continue to gain more respect, responsibility and creative control within the company.
MARQUIS SPAS: New store design and rollout for company-owned stores. Presented a seminar on VM at their annual corporate meeting.
UNITED RENTALS: Created a complete Visual Program for the company including a Visual Standards Manual and training sessions for different regions in the US and Canada. Consulted on store image and design at various branches to improve their merchandising program. Gave five presentations at their international meeting.
DANNER: Analyzed their first three stores and suggested improvements to the store design and visual merchandising that were then rolled out into their new stores. The improvements included moving departments, signage, graphics, lighting and some fixturing.
AMERICAN EXPRESS TRS: Complete Visual Program for travel offices, corporate training seminars plus, store analysis of 108 offices, developed/printed Corporate Visual Merchandising newsletter, created corporate visual elements buying program as well as in-store and window graphics.
RORI, Caracas, Venezuela: Consulted on store design, visual merchandising and display. Created visual standards booklet, co-designed a full-line department store and a specialty store, did on-floor training for staff, team-building for the VM team and presented a seminar for the corporate staff. Would still be consulting but the political situation in Venezuela makes it too dangerous.
SOUTHWESTERN BELL: Store analysis, design ideas and window displays for Dallas, Austin and Houston, TX markets. Rolled out complete holiday display program in five days at company's request.
SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY INTERNATIONAL: Traveled around the world, analyzing retail environments and Singer stores. Developed corporate Visual Merchandising Manual that related to and incorporated all cultures. Gave two-day seminars based on the manual in three regions for all Singer managers. Did specific store design and analysis in Switzerland, Thailand and Mexico. Gave seminar at international Paris meeting.
P.C. RICHARD & SON: Total graphics, signage, visual graphics and displays for all thirty-five stores for over two years.
GRUPO ROBLE: Created and presented full day visual seminars to mall merchants in six Central American countries . These included walk-throughs of each mall plus window design competitions with teams made up of the conference attendees.
LAMONTS, Seattle, WA: Prototype store design, prototype visual program, sign program and store analysis for Seattle region while they were in Chapter 11.
THE MILLS CORPORATION: VM evaluations and analysis of major tenants including Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Off Fifth.
A & S PLAZA, Melvin Simon, New York,NY: Design and installation of eighteen temporary stores in vertical mall in NYC on a tight budget and time frame.
HICKORY FARMS: Prototype design for temporary holiday stores rolled out and highly successful.
REMCO, Houston, TX: Analysis of new store design. Developed plan to reduce roll-out costs by 35%.
Stamford Town Center, CT, Willowbrook Mall, NJ: Designs for all new pushcarts/vendors for three program periods.
Roosevelt Field Mall/The Source, NY: Evaluated/ analyzed many smaller stores and cart vendors to improve their overall sales plus many other mall projects of this nature around the country.
“A Practical Guide to Visual Merchandising”, 1984, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY (purchased by Prentice Hall)
“Feng Shui for Retailers”, 2005, ST Publications
“100 Displays Under $100”, self-published 2008
Custom Visual Standards Manuals for: Singer, Saks Fifth Avenue, Taubman Centers, Lancôme Cosmetics, United Rentals, Rori (Venezuela), Totto & Armi Studio (Colombia), Alamar Uniforms and the BPAA (Bowling Proprietors Association of America).
Authored over 400 articles for BtoB retailer magazines including ongoing columns for Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine and Spa Retailer magazine.