Ignaz Gorischek

Neiman Marcus veteran Ignaz Gorischek, who as vice president of store design and visual merchandising was integral in setting the look of the luxury chain’s 42 stores, has joined the Dallas office of Callison RTKL.

Gorischek joins Callison RTKL’s retail design group as a vice president. Gorichek has been involved in Neiman’s store and visual planning and was part of the team opening numerous Neiman Marcus stores around the country including Coral Gables, Fla.; San Antonio, Tex., Natick, Mass., King of Prussia, Pa.; Walnut Creek, Calif., and last month’s opening in Garden City, N.Y., in the Roosevelt Field Mall.

Gorischek was involved in a range of activities from window display to in-store visuals, special exhibits, as well as the Neiman’s extensive art collection. In 2012, he was recognized as a “design luminary” by design:retail magazine.

“It’s not just art for the sake of art,” Gorischek once told WWD about the practice of adorning the stores with artwork. “We choose pieces to hang in areas that reflect the mood and attitude of product. It supplements the mood of the area and creates an attitude or environment that supports that product. We plan walls specifically to hang art, so it doesn’t interfere. We plan the physical footprint of the sculpture. It’s not an afterthought.”

High-end decor and design, from the contemporary paintings and sculptures to expensive wall finishes and marble floors, have long been the Neiman’s DNA, to create the proper environment for its high-end designer apparel and accessories. The formula for visual merchandising has been intricate, yet Gorischek maintained a philosophy that the end result should appear simple, to make shopping comfortable in an elegant, spacious setting that didn’t overshadow the merchandise.

Seven years ago, in one of his more unconventional projects, Gorischek had the window panes removed from the Neiman Marcus Dallas flagship for the holiday season and created a tube so children outside could crawl into the store and progress through the tube past displays on energy innovations.

Last October, Neiman’s cut 500 jobs at stores, divisions and facilities to bring expenses more in line with sales trends and put more resources into customer-facing initiatives. Several staff members that had reported to Gorischek were let go, including an art curator.

In addition to hiring Gorischek, Callison RTKL has made other staff changes to expand its retail practice. Leigh Dennis, formerly global vice president of brand experience at Samsung, joined the London office. Prior to Samsung, Dennis, whose career spans more than 20 years in branding and retail design, was Callison RTKL’s managing principal in London and New York.

In addition, Doug Shaw relocated to the firm’s Dubai office and Shirley Cheng relocated to Hong Kong.

“Today’s retail landscape is not only more complex than ever before, but it’s also changing rapidly,” said Eric Lagerberg AIA, Callison RTKL’s executive vice president and global practice group leader for retail stores. “It’s digital, it’s experiential and it’s global. With these strategic moves, we now have the experience and creativity to meet the new demands of the market anywhere in the world.”

Callison RTKL listed several of its clients including Bloomingdale’s, Harrods, Nordstrom, Shinsegae, Burberry, Hublot, Hugo Boss, Watches of Switzerland; AT&T, Cole Haan, Sandro and Williams-Sonoma.