Marvin Traub

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Marvin Traub (May 14, 1925 – July 11, 2012) was an American businessman and writer. He was a prominent business executive in the retail sector known for his impact on merchandising and marketing. Traub was CEO and President of Bloomingdale's for twenty-two years leaving in 1992 to found his own consulting firm, Marvin Traub Associates. Between 1994 and 2000, Marvin Traub Associates participated in a joint venture with retail-focused investment banking firm, Financo, Inc..

Bloomingdales American department store chain

Bloomingdale's Inc. is an American department store chain; it was founded by Joseph B. and Lyman G. Bloomingdale in 1861. It became a division of the Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores in 1994, through which it is affiliated with the Macy's department store chain; the holding company was renamed Macy's, Inc. in 2007. As of February, 2019, there are 35 full-line stores, 3 home, clearance and specialty stores and 17 outlet stores with the Bloomingdale's nameplate in operation throughout the United States. Its headquarters and flagship store are located at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in the New York City borough of Manhattan.


Traub is the author of two books. In 1993, Traub wrote Like No Other Store...:: The Bloomingdale's Legend and the Revolution in American Marketing about his tenure at Bloomingdale's. In 2008, he wrote Marvin Traub: Like No Other Career, a coffee table book that also profiles his works since leaving Bloomingdale's.

Coffee table book large illustrated hardback book

A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose purpose is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one entertains guests and from which it can serve to inspire conversation. Subject matter is predominantly non-fiction and pictorial. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick up the book for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term "coffee table book" can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject.


Early life and education

Marvin Traub was born to a Jewish family [1] on April 14, 1925 in New York City. [2] Traub's father Sam D. was an executive of a corset company and his mother Bea (née Bruckman), a saleswoman at Bonwit Teller. [3] Traub graduated from Harvard University in 1947, although his studies were interrupted by service in Europe during World War II. He then attended Harvard Business School, from which he graduated in 1949. [4]

American Jews Ethnic group

American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity or nationality. The current Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Bonwit Teller former luxury department store in New York City

Bonwit Teller & Co. was a luxury department store in New York City founded by Paul Bonwit in 1895 at Sixth Avenue and 18th Street, and later a chain of department stores. In 1897 Edmund D. Teller was admitted to the partnership and the store moved to 23rd Street, east of Sixth Avenue. Bonwit specialized in high-end women's apparel at a time when many of its competitors were diversifying their product lines, and Bonwit Teller became noted within the trade for the quality of its merchandise as well as the above-average salaries paid to both buyers and executives. The partnership was incorporated in 1907 and the store made another move, this time to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 38th Street.


In 1978, Traub was named CEO of U.S. based retailer, Bloomingdale's, where he remained through 1992. After leaving Bloomingdales in 1992, Traub founded his own consulting firm, Marvin Traub Associates. Between 1994 and 2000, Marvin Traub Associates participated in a joint venture with retail-focused investment banking firm, Financo, Inc..

Other affiliations and awards

Traub was a Trustee of the American Health Foundation (AHF) between August 1975 and February 1978. He was the President of Bloomingdale's from 1978 to 1992, and Vice Chairman of Federated Department Stores from 1988 to 1992. He served on the Visiting Committee of the Harvard School of Public Health. Traub was also the Chairman of SD Retail Consulting, which is a unit of The Hilco Organization.

Traub was the recipient of The Gold Medal of the National Retail Federation in 1991 as well as the Légion d’Honneur and Ordre national du Mérite from France and was awarded the Commendatore de la Republic by Italy.

Personal life

While at Harvard, he married Lee Laufer on September 2, 1948. Traub's wife had studied dance under Martha Graham in 1942 [5] and is the chair emerita of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. [6]

Traub had three children; Andrew (formerly an executive at Macy's), James (a journalist) and Margaret (who founded and runs the lighting company Adesso). [7]

Further reading

The book Kindred Spirits: Harvard Business School's Extraordinary Class of 1949 and How they Transformed American Business by David Callahan profiles the Harvard MBA class of 1949 and its impact on business in America. Traub is profiled in the book for his role in the development of Bloomingdale's from the late 1970s through the early 1990s.

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  1. Jewish Voice New York: "Marvin Traub, Former Bloomingdale’s CEO and Legendary Retailer, Dies at 87" July 18, 2012
  2. Contemporary Newsmakers 1987, Issue Cumulation. Gale Research, 1988. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
  3. Clurman, Shirley, "At Yuletime, or Anytime, Bloomingdale's Chairman Marvin Traub Is a Master of Show and Sell", People Magazine, December 22, 1980
  4. "Graham Dancers Name Lee Traub Board Chief", New York Times, December 18, 1982
  5. Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance Archived 2008-06-16 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Ellin, Abby, "With Oscar and Felix as Co-Founders, Does a Company Have a Chance?", New York Times, February 8, 2007