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From the Editor

Dawn of a New Day

As IRDC draws near, VMSD welcomes the new Editor-in-Chief of SmartWork Media’s Merchandising Group




THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER will mark my 10th year at VMSD.

When I first started at the publication as an Assistant Editor in 2012 under Anne DiNardo as Editor-in-Chief and Robin Donovan as Managing Editor, retail was still bouncing back from the 2008 recession, albeit with flying colors. I’ll never forget our former company president asking me on my first day what I knew about the industry. My answer? “Nothing, but I’m ready to jump in feet first.”

And feet first it was. This industry has experienced many, many ups and downs since then, but one thing that’s stayed consistent is the abundance of creative, engaging and downright artistic folks who make up this eclectic industry – one reason that’s made it truly impossible for me to ever really leave the exciting world of retail and design. I mean it wholeheartedly when I say it’s been a true honor to serve you all this past decade through writing and reporting on retail, and I look forward to continuing onward in this dynamic marketplace.

Total stagnancy is detrimental to any organization, and here at VMSD and SmartWork Media, we aim to embrace change as it hits us head on.

That’s why we’re so excited to officially introduce Phil Dzikiy as our new Editor-in-Chief of SmartWork Media’s Merchandising Group. (You may have noticed his name in our masthead and at the top of The Goods section for the last several issues.)

In addition to overseeing projects for VMSD’s print and online products, Phil is also heading up and working on initiatives for Shop! Association, including helming the content for the upcoming Shop! MarketPlace event taking place in Austin, April 25-27, 2023.

Many of you will be reading this onsite at the 2022 International Retail Design Conference (IRDC), Oct. 26-27, in Columbus, Ohio – or earlier at Shop! Ideation, Oct. 23-25, also in Columbus. Whether you’re at either event, be sure to come say “hello” and welcome Phil to our industry. We’re so excited to be expanding our staff and looking toward the future of creating a unified vision between VMSD magazine and the storied Shop! Association.

Post-IRDC, we’ll be gearing up for our exciting November/December “New York” issue focusing this year on VMSD’s 125th anniversary in print. You can look forward to a comprehensive timeline and article written by our longtime contributing writer and New York Editor Eric Feigenbaum, as well as insights and musings derived from our 1500+ past issues.

Meantime, we’re looking forward to meeting you all in Columbus. Onward and upward!

Dawn of a New Day


Carly Hagedon is the Managing Editor of VMSD magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she studied Journalism—Magazine Writing and American history. She also currently serves as a board member for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).



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