Sioux Falls has a Top Ten Downtown

Bob Gibbs was interviewed by CBS-affilliate KELO-TV about his impressions of Downtown Sioux Falls, ND during a recent retail workshop conducted through Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc.

Village Squares are Models for New

Shopping Centers

The sleek modernist lines of Town & Country Mall, surrounded by acres of parking lot, are gone, and in their place is a contemporary version of the village square.

It's now called CityCentre - a place where mothers push baby carriages and little boys chase each other across a plaza, surrounded by cafes and shops on a warm February afternoon.

The bustle is reminiscent of courthouse squares in small towns across Texas, or the cobblestone high streets found in most European cities. But it's a privately owned and operated development, with carefully chosen tenants. Everything is meticulously planned, from the evening concerts to the quarterly fun runs. And it just might represent the future of brick-and-mortar retail in the age of internet shopping. Read more...


Your guide to an insider's  perspective on urban retail

Undoing the 'catastrophic mistake' of Pontiac's Woodward Loop

Some think of it as a noose around the neck of Pontiac. Most agree it's got to go. Metromode's Patrick Dunn tells us how that might happen...

Three Ways to Survive a Retail Meltdown

Cities and suburbs are getting clobbered by the collapse of the retail sector. But there are ways to use the crisis as a way to speed long-overdue land use reforms. Read more...

New Urbanist Communities Still Run into Roadblocks

Robert Gibbs discussed new urban communities with The Columbus Dispatch in conjunction with his consulting work with Evans Farm, a new urban community near Columbus, Ohio.

Anthropologie is in Search of a Clear

Brand Identity

For troubled women’s clothier Anthropologie, the first warning flags went up back in 2015. Sales were lackluster in the first quarter of the year, a slip that executives chalked up to a weak selection of dresses: Some of the silhouettes were wrong, and so were the fabric choices and price points.

Simply put: It made an unforced fashion error. And now, Anthropologie seems locked in a pattern of making the same mistake over and over again.


Why Free Parking is Bad for Everybody

America is built around cars. And most of us expect that we'll be able to park our cars for free, pretty much anywhere we go.

But economist Donald Shoup of UCLA has made a name for himself by advocating an alternative scheme: charging for street parking anywhere there are more people with cars than spaces to park. Read more...

Whole Foods to Shrink Store Count for First Time Since 2008

"Whole Foods Market Inc., facing its worst sales slump in more than a decade, is taking a step that would have been unthinkable in its highflying days: shrinking the size of the chain," reports Craig Giammona of Bloomberg News.

Upcoming Events

Urban Retail: Essential Planning, Design and Management Practices Robert Gibbs' annual Harvard GSD Executive Education class, will be held this year on July 15-17, 2019. This seminar examines the planning approaches, retail design and merchandising principles necessary for the creation of place-based commerce. This includes tactics used by premier retail and mixed-use developers and considers how they can be applied to a variety of urban settings. Class description can be found here. Registration is now open!

City Building Exchange Urban Symposium

March 8-10, 2017 New Orleans

Featured speakers include: Andres Duany, Galina Tachieva, Joe Minicozzi, Scott Ball, Nathan Norris, Steve Mouzon and Robert Gibbs. Tours of New Orleans included. Information and Registration can be found at their website:

Retailworks Newsletter

Retailworks, Inc. publishes an online newsletter that  follows trends in retail design, store planning, branding, and visual merchandising.