November 3, 2010

Peter Monash, the third quarter-century

I’ve just written a long post about the general creative consulting endeavors my late father was involved in. Highlights specific to him included:

Along the way, he did serious work for major retailers around the world — Wal-Mart in the US, Migros in Switzerland, Tesco in the UK, Horten, Karstadt, and Kaufhof in Germany, Ito Yokado in Japan, COIN in Italy, and many others spanning the world, Brazil and South Africa not excepted. Much travel ensued, often for weeks at a time, sometimes including my mother, sometimes not. Trips I myself tagged along on included ones to:

And when he attended the annual convention of the National Retail Federation in New York, he’d sack out on the floor of my Manhattan apartment, and we’d get some quality father/son time together.

Until his death, his email correspondents included people in Germany and France he’d done business with, or their assistants and families.

Much like Oracle was once the client and company that seemed to define me, Peter Monash was most closely identified with Wal-Mart. He advised Wal-Mart in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s alike. Most notably, he was central to the planning of Wal-Mart’s Hypermarket division — i.e., its integration of food and general merchandise retailing into what are now known as Wal-Mart SuperCenters. He played the Wal-Mart card the other way around too, trading on his knowledge as he advised other retailers envious of Wal-Mart’s success. He was, we believe, the first outside consultant Wal-Mart ever publicly acknowledged. He even was an expert adviser on Wal-Mart stock, working through veteran sell-side stock analyst Jeffrey Feiner.

Based on an email chain, I’m hoping for comments from my late father’s coworkers, here and/or on the companion post. I’ll cut this off for now, and perhaps cover his recreational activities and eventual final decline in a post that’s about my mother as well.


5 Responses to “Peter Monash, the third quarter-century”

  1. Jane Homan on November 3rd, 2010 12:06 pm

    Curt, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad and Mom. They were always so proud of you when they spoke about you!

    Peter was, as so many have said, fun-loving and his eyes were full of mischief and that mischief was also in his personality, yet he was so brilliant in his work!! After we left the Doody Company, (I left in September of 1980 and Carol Farmer in 1981) Carol and I would run into Peter and Anita many times over the years, mostly in New York at seminars and conventions. Carol and Peter had a wonderful close relationship as their professional careers developed over the years. Gee, I do wish Carol were here to tell some of the hysterical stories that she told me about, but I fail to remember them now!

    I cannot think of anything else to say except I believe that Peter was a man that never met a stranger! His charm, sense of humor, curiosity and knowledge overcame whatever roadblocks he met. It was delightful and memorable to have Peter cross so many of our paths.

    I am also quite fascinated by the history of your Dad of the pre-Doody Company years that you have written about in the blog. It is so interesting to understand even more about what made Peter the man he was! Everybody has a story and Peter’s is quite the story.

    Curt, you have given all of us a chance to understand not only your Dad but to reflect on a time of our collective and individual lives – a glimpse back to where we came from as well as a chance to reacquaint ourselves with so many other people that were in our lives during that time. Thank you.

    Jane Homan

  2. Brian Shafley on November 11th, 2010 10:43 am

    I was a retail designer at RPA from 1984 to 1991 and remember your dad being around those days, perhaps as a consultant? I remember him as very smart, perhaps a bit mysterious (I was a kid right out of college then)…. I remember him as part of the RPA “brain trust” that huddled in the quiet front section of the building while us wild creatives inhabited the large “Studio” loft area in the back, day and night….occasionally refueling in “The Pipe Dream Lounge” kitchen area. Fresh out of college, I was so impressed with the important, international nature of the work being done by RPA and was fortunate to have experienced projects in Asia, Europe, and Central America and learning the business from so many truly gifted and wonderful people. (including my wife of 22 years, Jodi, who I met there. She worked for Tim Bachman in The Graphic Group…she sat next to a chain-smoking, but lovable Ed Grunewald, as I recall…).

    It’s fun to read the stories from those free-wheeling Doody/RPA days. Thanks for the memories! I’m quite certain Peter had some great times there with that group.

    My best to all,

    Brian Shafley, RDI
    Chute Gerdeman

  3. Tom McCarthy on January 25th, 2011 2:55 pm


    I haven’t met you, but I knew your Father and
    your Mother. I was part of the partnership
    between Walmart and Cullum the late 1980’s.

    I spent many hours with Peter and on occasion,
    Anita when she would travel with him. After all
    the past years I finally decided to see if he had
    a web site and was saddened to read that you lost
    both of your parents in October.

    I am gathering a few articles of history and will
    send them to you by U.S. mail along with a few
    words about our relationship during the three plus
    years of creating Hypermart U.S.A.


    Tom McCarthy
    Formerly, President
    Hypermart U.S.A.
    Cullum Cos. Retired

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