A retail visionary on retail vision

When Bernie Marcus talks, people listen. That’s one reason you can catch him on the television business news programs.

Home Channel News spoke to the co-founder of The Home Depot for the purpose of promoting the 30th anniversary of the City of Hope research and treatment facility. Of course, the conversation strayed to home improvement. One of his lessons to retailers of any stripe: Keep your eyes open.

“I visit all stores. I visit Lowe’s. I visit everybody. Walmart, Costco, I go to Menards when I’m in Chicago. It’s good to know what’s out there,” Marcus said. “One thing you have to know is nobody has a lock on brains. There are a lot of people around who have a lot of brains, and when somebody comes up with something that’s smarter than what you do, you have to adjust your business and your thinking.”

While The Marcus Foundation, his Atlanta-based charity, keeps him busy every day, Marcus said he still enjoys keeping in touch with his Home Depot executives and even walks stores with them. “I love to share with them, and they do listen to me when I’m right,” he said. “Sometimes some of the old things still work in the new world.”