79. Rick Barrack

Chief Creative Officer of CBX, How To Make Retail Exciting Again

79. Rick Barrack
Illustration by Zoran Lucic

Rick Barrack is the chief creative officer at branding firm CBX, which recently helped Duane Reade do the impossible: execute a redesign to become cool (at least, as much as any drugstore can be cool).


“The dynamics of e-commerce, as it has evolved, created a new shopping behavior. People demand more information. And now, outside of e-commerce, we have to provide that as well,” Barrack says. “… E-commerce has provided exclusivity, and people want that in retail stores. Duane Reade narrowed offerings to make it feel more relevant–and exclusive–to New Yorkers: At the Wall Street location, the sushi bar is called Up Market and there’s a stock ticker; in Williamsburg, there’s a growler bar. It’s telling the consumer, We understand the way you live, where you live, and what you need from us.”

Click here to read the conversation about making retail exciting again between Barrack and Story founder Rachel Shechtman, No. 80 on our Most Creative People list.


  • 1973

    Attends his first Indianapolis 500; hasn’t missed one since in 39 years

  • 1987

    Purchases first X-ACTO knife, which has survived for more than 25 years

  • 1988

    Secures first design internship with Connie Birdsall

  • 2000

    Gets engaged

  • 2003

    Establishes CBX with three people; the team has now grown to 140

  • 2003

    Welcomes daughter Lily

  • 2007

    Welcomes daughter Sadie