Bloomingdale’s Jack Hruska to Retire
March 9, 2018
Jack Hruska, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president of creative services and one of the industry’s most prominent store designers, is retiring next month after 26 years with the company.
Hruska has been responsible for the design, planning and construction of Bloomingdale’s stores, as well as visual merchandising, special events and creative marketing. He’s also been instrumental in the ongoing renovation of Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship, according to wwd.com.
He will continue to work on projects for the retailer on a consulting basis, including flagship renovations and store openings occurring this fall in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, Calif., and the Sono Collection in Norwalk, Conn., and in Abu Dhabi in 2019 or 2020, which will be Bloomingdale’s third store in the Middle East. He also will be developing concepts to “reimagine” Bloomingdale’s shopping experience and “redefine” the work environment for the Bloomingdale’s team, which will be moving in spring 2020 from Third Avenue in Manhattan to a campus being developed in Long Island City, Queens. Some corporate offices will remain at the flagship.
“Jack is one of the most creative people I have ever met. He has an appetite and curiosity for what’s new and what’s next and he has an incredible history to pull from and knowledge of architecture and design,” said Tony Spring, Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO. “He’s been incredible translating the design of our stores to what is appropriate and relevant to the community they’re in—yet they’re all under the construct of what creates consistency for Bloomingdale’s, whether it’s a store in Glendale, Calif., or Santa Monica, Calif. They all different but they all look like Bloomingdale’s.”
Hruska began his career 47 years ago by creating backgrounds for windows at Hart-Albin Co., a former department store in his hometown of Billings, Mont. Hruska moved to Los Angeles when he was 20, and began working at Bullock’s, which eventually merged into Macy’s. There, he caught the eye of senior management and was tapped to be a visual manager.
Throughout his career, Hruska worked at a handful of department stores including Goldwater’s in Scottsdale, Ariz., and, in Los Angeles, The Broadway and J.W. Robinsons, which are all defunct. At Robinsons, Hruska met Michael Gould, who ran Robinsons for several years and was chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale’s from 1992 to early 2014. Not long after he became Bloomingdale’s CEO, Gould recruited Hruska as vice president of visual merchandising. A year later, Hruska was promoted to senior vice president, adding store design and planning to his responsibilities. In 2007, Hruska was promoted to executive vice president of creative services.
Hruska and Spring presided over the renovation of the 59th Street flagship’s home store, completed last year. “The home store hadn’t really been redone for decades. It’s one of our competitive advantages,” Hruska said, adding that Bloomingdale’s 59th Street continues to renovate with ready-to-wear, footwear and beauty floor projects in the works.
Asked by WWD what’s been his favorite aspect of his job, Hruska replied: “It’s always the next challenge. But what was also most rewarding was my chance for a boy from Montana to meet interesting people, see the world and to be exposed to its diversity.”