Jack Mitchell is Chairman of the Mitchell Stores (Mitchells/Richards/Wilkes/Marios), a three-generation family business that operates men’s and women’s specialty stores in Connecticut, New York, California, Washington and Oregon that are nationally renowned for their personal service touches and strong relationships. Jack himself has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries of his time by the Women’s Wear Daily.
After completing a B.A. at Wesleyan University in 1961 and an M.A. at the University of California-Berkeley in Chinese History, Jack joined the family business, Ed Mitchell, Inc., which was founded by his parents, Ed and Norma, and later became Mitchells of Westport. In 1995, Mitchells acquired Richards, the leading men’s clothing store in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 2005, added Marshs of Huntington, Long Island, to the group. In December of 2009, they also proudly acquired Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California and in October of 2015 they partnered with Marios in Seattle and Portland.
Under his leadership, the Mitchell Stores have become well known for employee engagement and longevity and providing exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise in an exciting, friendly, and visually dynamic atmosphere. Jack is an active leader on the floor listening and learning along side his brother Bill, wife Linda, his three sons and three nephews. Mitchell Stores is a case study at Harvard Business School.
In 2003, Jack Mitchell launched a “second career” as a speaker and author. His first book, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, was a Wall Street Journal best seller and received rave reviews in the New York Times. In addition, it was endorsed by Warren Buffet on the cover with the following quote: “It’s a gem. I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow his advice – we would own the world.” In April, 2015, a revised and updated version of Hug Your Customers was released. In 2008, Jack published his second book, Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees to Achieve Remarkable Results where he illustrates a business blueprint to personalize relationships to drive success and achieve greater satisfaction at work. In 2018, Jack published his third book, Selling the Hug Your Customers Way: The Proven Process for Becoming a Passionate and Successful Salesperson for Life which illustrates how to apply the proven principles of Hug Your Customers to refine selling techniques, boost sales and keep customers coming back for more.
Jack has become known as a passionate enthusiastic public speaker, keynoting at over 200 events for corporations including Merrill Lynch, Pitney Bowes, Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Luxottica and Harvard University addressing audiences of all sizes and reaching over 50,000 people globally with Hug Your Customers/Hug Your People presentations. Jack has appeared on The NBC Today Show, and Kudlow & Cramer TV show as well as numerous radio interviews and online and print articles. Jack has been quoted in national magazines as a customer service and management leadership expert. In April 2005, INC Magazine listed Jack as one of the 26 Entrepreneurs We Love. Jack also offers hugging workshops for corporations.
Jack shares with his family a number of Community leadership Awards from the Anti-Defamation league, The Menswear Division of UJA-Federation of New York, and Sacred Heart University. Jack is on the Yale Cancer Board, a Trustee at the Greenwich Hospital, and is an Executive in Residence at the Columbia University School of Business.
We are humbled as a company that we had the opportunity to hear part of ‘The Mitchell Family Story’ from Hugger Jack Mitchell at our annual meeting in Madison, WI. We had 350 people in attendance, and while our industries are different, the core values centered around customer service and ‘caring’ about the customer are the same. Let’s just say that Jack was amazing. His stories, his key points, and his humble nature all came to the forefront of his amazing presentation. The audience quickly felt comfortable; as was evidenced by the array of open-ended questions at the end of his presentation. We are grateful to have listened to Hugger Jack - he was fantastic. He is now part of our Fairway family - no question!!!”
– Steve Jacobson, CEO, Fairway Independent Mortgage
“’We focus on our customers’ has become such a cliché that it is rare to find the company that doesn’t say it today. However, even rarer is the company that is able to deliver on its customer focus. And that’s where Mitchells Family of Stores comes in. Jack Mitchell and ‘Hug Your Customers’ is more than a must-read, it’s the blueprint for how to do it right and mean it. Listening to Jack brings it all home. His energy, enthusiasm and experience transformed our 800+ attendees into immediate huggers - writing handwritten notes, acknowledging customer birthdays and anniversaries, all while coming up with new examples of ’Hugs’. Thank you Jack for sharing your message and your passion. It is permanently embedded in our culture!”
– Jeff Tinker, Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager, Wells Fargo Treasury Management
“I’ve never seen a class hug a lecturer the way they hugged Jack. He’s as wonderful a speaker as he is a writer, as wonderful a writer as he is a camping companion, and as wonderful a camping companion as he is a human being. I wish he’d been my employer - at any age - and I am proud to be his pal."
– Stephen Trachtenberg, President Emeritus, George Washington University
“Jack Mitchell is a gem. His genuine passion for providing world-class service to his customers comes through on every level. He openly shares the secrets to his family’s multi-generational success and connected with our team, from executives to sales consultants, to deliver a memorable and actionable keynote presentation at our National Convention. I am proud to say that Jack and his inspirational ideas and concepts are not only part of our culture now, but that he and the Mitchell family have become part of our extended “Luxottica family”. We believe that service is the key differentiator for us in the future and look forward to keeping the HUG spirit alive within our culture for decades to come.”
– Holly Rush, Senior Vice President, Sales, Luxottica