SVP, Experience Design Group
Best Buy, Inc.
As senior vice president of the experience development group at Best Buy, James Damian is responsible for reinventing the experience of shopping in a big-box retail store. He is, in his own words, a “right-brain ambassador for the value of design within the left-brain world of consumer electronics.”
In 2004, Damian led the design of Best Buy’s first concept stores—Studio D and Escape in Chicago—and developed the company’s “new store experience” R&D capability. He continues to lead optimization of the big-box design for a shopping experience that not only answers, but anticipates changing customer desires. He names legendary Tiffany’s window designer Gene Moore as his primary source of inspiration.
Prior to joining Best Buy in 1998, Damian held positions with Howard Sant Partnerships, a London architectural firm; Harvey Nichols, a London-based luxury retailer; B. Altman & Co. and R.H. Macy & Co. department stores in New York; and Hindsgaul Mannequins Worldwide of Copenhagen, New York, and Paris. He also served as president of Damian Randd (Resources Advancing New Design Directions).
In 2005, he received the Markopoulos Award for his many contributions to the design industry; in 2006, DDI recognized him as one of the Design Influencers of the Year. He also recently received Best Buy’s Culture of Innovation Award in recognition of his leadership in concept development and execution. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York City, Damian holds a degree in retail store design, exhibition design and corporate identity.
Damian is a member of the board of directors of NADI, NASFM's visual merchandising division, and serves on the advisory board for DDI magazine. He is also a member of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors. At Best Buy, he is executive sponsor of the employee resource group P.R.I.D.E. (People Respecting Individual Differences Equally).
Biography courtesy of A.R.E.