British retail guru Rodney Fitch has passed away on Monday, surrounded by his family. The retail design professor, who appeared on RetailDetail Night last year, lost his battle against cancer.
Founder of modern retail design
Rodney Fitch, born in 1938, founded design bureau Fitch in 1972. It turned out to be the first British design bureau that went public, which has made him one of the founders of retail design. The last few years he taught at the Dutch TU Delft, the only Master in Retail Design in Europe.
"I always felt that I had a mission in life to deliver to ordinary people better places to shop. I have little interest in Issey Miyake or haute couture design. The thing that really turns me on is working for Woolworth’s, Marks and Spencer and Boots stores – which touch everyone’s life", he said in an interview in 1996.
Rodney Fitch firmly believed that retailers have a hugely important social engagement. "People come into contact with retail every day. Everyone shops, everyone goes to the supermarket. The previous Tesco CEO once said he knew a woman was pregnant even before her husband did. He meant that with Tesco's Club Card, the chain's loyalty program, he nearly knows more about the British population than the population itself", Fitch told RetailDetail last year.