If there's one thing that's consistent in today's business world, it's rapid change. So how do you not only stay steady but actually grow'and quickly enough to stay safely ahead of your competitors? Built for Growth delivers specific solutions to create a brand and presence that generates true customer passion, as you lay a solid foundation for long-term success. Author Arthur Rubinfeld was a major driver in Starbucks' unprecedented retail expansion from 100 stores to more than 4000-- and its transformation into one of the world's most recognized brands. Here he draws on his singular expertise to present a proven, holistic approach to conceiving, designing, and executing your business plan: creating exciting concepts, growing them to fruition in local markets, expanding rapidly, and keeping your brand fresh and relevant as it matures. His revolutionary approach to business strategy embodies strong personal values, promotes exceptional creativity, leverages scientific methodology in finance and market analysis, and brings it all together with 'old-time' customer service.
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Arthur Rubinfeld, the architect behind Starbucks' expansion, helped build Starbucks into one of the world's top brands.
As executive vice president at Starbucks, Rubinfeld built a multi-faceted store development and design organization with the talent, in-house processes, and systems necessary to execute rapid expansion. Under his leadership, Starbucks grew from 100 stores to nearly 4,000 stores worldwide, and established innovative co-tenancy and co-branding relationships with companies ranging from Wells Fargo to Barnes and Noble. Starbucks' store development capabilities remain the standard by which the industry measures brand presentation, real estate site selection, store design, construction management, and asset management.
In 2002, Rubinfeld founded AIRVISION, now emerging as one of the world's leading developers of integrated brand positioning, strategic growth, retail design, and operations. Since its founding, the AIRVISION team has worked closely on the development of many of the nation's most recognized brands including Oakley, Gateway, adidas, and Washington Mutual.He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Collins Hemingway is best known as the coauthor with Bill Gates on the #1 best-seller, Business @ the Speed of Thought, and has worked in the business and technology arena for 30 years. A Microsoft director of business development and international marketing, Hemingway was an integral part of the company that virtually defined the digital revolution. Through his firm, Escape Velocity Ventures, he lectures and writes on topics as diverse as management, aviation, medicine, technology futures, and the importance of conscience in creating profitable enterprises.
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When I was starting out in the retail business a long time ago, first working for my father's clothing store and then starting a couple of retail businesses with my brother, I could have benefited from this book by Arthur Rubinfeld. Built for Growth: Expanding Your Business Around the Corner or Across the Globe is a valuable primer on all aspects of retail: brand, location, people, finance, property management, expansion strategy, and long-term thinking. He understands the difficulty of the small guy getting started and the big guy keeping the brand fresh. This book contains a lot of information that will not be obvious to most people. Even an experienced retailer should stop and reflect on Arthur's insights, which come from many years of experience in every aspect of the business. (Arthur and I first met in the early 1990s, when he directed Starbucks' retail expansion and I was on the Starbucks board.)
At Costco, we follow many of the precepts that Arthur describes here. We are fairly sophisticated about analyzing data versus going with our gut, but senior management is also hands on. We go out to the stores. We try to know as much about what is happening on the stores' floors as our sales associates. We are actively engaged with the people involved in evaluating and selecting our merchandise. I am personally involved in real estate and site selection, which remains one of my primary responsibilities. Of course, Costco has fewer stores than most other retail concepts, so each decision is very, very important to us. I recommend that every senior manager stay in touch with the practical day-to-day functioning of the business, especially site selection. Putting together a great team is also important, as is treating employees well. Our management team has been together since our founding more than twenty years ago, and our benefit package is designed to encourage long-term employee retention. Arthur explains the benefits of such practices to retail businesses of all sizes, particularly how investment in quality can provide a better return on investment than the usual approach of cost cutting.
Built for Growth should benefit a wide audience, especially people who are out of the retailing mold who want to start their own business. The practical advice is good, and the book provides a broad understanding of brand, an insider's perspective on retail strategy, and a professional's approach to structuring the business. Built for Growth is also easy to read, and Arthur's warmth and intellectual curiosity come through. I agree with him that retail is more difficult than it looks. When you're out there on your own, just getting into the business, you don't know what you don't know. Arthur fills in the blanks.
Jeff Brotman Chairman, Costco Corporation
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