item 3 - Dennis Garro interview, 1987 January 16

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Reference code

US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.3.3

Title

Dennis Garro interview, 1987 January 16

Date(s)

  • 1987 January 16 (Creation)

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item

Extent and medium

MPEG file: 39.8 MiB, 28 minutes, 57 seconds. Original media format: Cassette.

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Biographical history

Dennis Garro served as the Senior Vice President / General Manager of the Men's division at Bloomingdale's as well as the Boys division and Young World (kids) division. He worked with Macy's San Francisco for nine years prior, and was with the Macy's organization in Kansas City for a year and a half before that. His career first began in 1970 at Abraham & Straus. His work with the men's division began when he moved to Macy's San Francisco. While at Macy's San Francisco, Garro also worked in general ready-to-wear before becoming the regional director of stores. At the time of this interview, Garro had been reporting directly to Marvin S. Traub at Bloomingdale's for roughly one year. Garro retired from Bloomingdale's in 1989, after roughly four and a half years with the company. This happened amidst the pending sale of Bloomingdale's.

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This interview first discusses Dennis Garro's work experience leading up to his move from Macy's to Bloomingdale's in 1986. Garro briefly presents some of the main cultural differences between Macy's and Bloomingdale's as being inherenet within the California culture of Macy's and the New York City culture of Bloomingdale's. Garro shies from comparing Phil Schann (head of Macy's at the time) and Marvin S. Traub (head of Bloomingdale's at the time) other than to say that they were similar leaders. Garro describes Traub and Schann as being the type of leaders who challenge subordinates to continually look for new ways to make a better store. Traub is presented as having a drive to succeed at all things and he says that this is the same way he approaches his work. Garro discusses the Bloomingdale's business style as being merchandise driven as compared to consumer driven, though he does not consider the two as being so different. A discussion of fashion as being about different lifestyles leads to a discussion on Ralph Lauren's designs being fashionable yet traditional. As this was a period when the baby boomer generation was coming into its professional peak, Garro addresses the laid-back business approach of others in his generation, explaining that he as well as his peers are perhaps exceptions. As Senior VP and General Manager of the Men's, Boy's, and Children's divisions at Bloomingdale's, Garro offers insight into the challenges each department faces. He also predicts huge growth in the infant/ toddler division. Finally, Garro addresses the importance of assigning the right person to the right job and this leads to an exploration on the recruiting and staffing at Bloomingdale's. He describes the ideal recruit as someone who is driven, independent, and quick to respond. Garro states that a "thirst for a cultural background is more important than the actual cultural background."

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Audio is rather quiet, a lot of "air noise" requiring high colume to be audible

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Archivist's note

This was originally part of a larger recording that includes the Alan Reyburn interview.

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