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Marvin Traub (May 14, 1925 – July 11, 2012) 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..
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.
Early life and education
Marvin Traub was born to a Jewish family on April 14, 1925 in New York City. Traub's father Sam D. was an executive of a corset company and his mother Bea (née Bruckman), a saleswoman at Bonwit Teller. 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.
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.
While at Harvard, he married Lee Laufer on September 2, 1948. Traub's wife had studied dance under Martha Graham in 1942 and is the chair emerita of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance.
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.
- Jewish Voice New York: "Marvin Traub, Former Bloomingdale’s CEO and Legendary Retailer, Dies at 87" July 18, 2012
- Contemporary Newsmakers 1987, Issue Cumulation. Gale Research, 1988. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
- Clurman, Shirley, "At Yuletime, or Anytime, Bloomingdale's Chairman Marvin Traub Is a Master of Show and Sell", People Magazine, December 22, 1980
- "Graham Dancers Name Lee Traub Board Chief", New York Times, December 18, 1982
- Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
- Ellin, Abby, "With Oscar and Felix as Co-Founders, Does a Company Have a Chance?", New York Times, February 8, 2007