Bernard B. Zients

BS ’33

President; Gimbels New York


Bernard B. Zients, a member of Rutgers Business School's first graduating class, had a distinguished career in retailing. A former president of the Metropolitan Retail Merchants Association, Zients started his career at Abraham & Straus, where he was a buyer, and then became a divisional merchandise manager for Associated Merchandising Corporation, a leading research and buying office. In 1947, he took a position as general merchandise manager of City Stores Mercantile Corporation, and in 1955 became vice president of the corporate buying office Gimbel Brothers. In that capacity, he overhauled the company's purchasing practices, reduced the number of suppliers, and increased its net profit. In 1962, was appointed president of Gimbels New York, a position he held until his retirement in 1971. During his tenure, he doubled the volume of his stores, emphasizing better quality goods and showmanship presentation.

Recognized: April 27, 2005