By  on October 30, 2006

NEW YORK — Marvin Traub is broadening his universe of consulting.

The former chairman and chief executive officer of Blooming­dale's has been named chairman of SD Retail Consulting, a new position, and will continue as president of Marvin Traub Associates.

The consulting activities of SD Retail are centered on financial, operational, strategic and supply-chain issues. The firm was formerly called Senn-Delaney Retail Consulting and is a unit of the Hilco Organization in Northbrook, Ill.

Marvin Traub Associates mostly consults on merchandising, marketing, media and branding issues for retailers and consumer goods companies, as well as licensing and merger and acquisition activities. Traub also has been active in developing global strategies for companies. He has a staff of seven and a pool of 15 former principals that he's arranged to be available on a freelance basis.

Traub said he will be working with Gregory Rubin, the president and chief executive officer of SD Retail Consulting, which has a 22-member team. Rubin will maintain space at Traub's Man­hattan offices.

"Our skills are very complementary," Rubin said in an interview.

The two firms will share clients to expand their consulting practices, domestically and overseas, and collaborate on certain projects. One of them is Toronto-based Holt Renfrew. Part of the assignment involves helping the luxury chain manage its workforce more cost-effectively and maximizing the scheduling. Holt Renfrew uses consultants even though it's a profitable, growing company that is expanding and renovating stores and upgrading offerings. The chain is also planning a replacement store in Vancouver.

"Consultants can be very helpful to healthy businesses," Traub noted.

Traub's consulting clients have included a range of retailers, brands and consumer products companies, from American Express, Ralph Lauren and Jones New York to Saks Fifth Avenue, Linens-n-Things and the Al Tayer Group in Dubai. He also has been involved in mall projects in Panama City, Athens and the Time Warner Center here and helps clients develop overseas distribution and expand across borders.

Traub believes it is particularly important for domestic suppliers to consider overseas distribution. "Major retail consolidations have made it more difficult for some suppliers," he said. "The retail business is healthy, while wholesale is mixed."Added Rubin, "Retailers have become more vertical and have more clout."

Among other assignments, Rubin recently has been working with Office Depot on inventory issues, including presenting and handling stock on the selling floor and storage areas and making the store easier to shop. He has consulted for companies such as Harrods, Footlocker and Toys ‘R' Us and has had a long relationship with Target. Rubin became acquainted with Traub years ago while on consulting assignments at Federated Department Stores and its Bloomingdale's division.

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