Category Archives: Center for Retailing Excellence

Walton College to Host Retailing Thought Leadership Conference

The Sam M. Walton College of Business will host the Retailing Thought Leadership Conference on the University of Arkansas campus Oct. 11-12. Representatives from more than a dozen companies and nearly 20 colleges and universities will be on hand to share insights on the future of retail.

The National Retail Federation estimates that retail supports 42 million jobs, provides $1.6 trillion in labor income and contributes $2.6 trillion annually to U.S. GDP. The Retailing Thought Leadership Conference will feature retail industry leaders and scholarly experts presenting their views on what’s next for retail. The collaborative nature of the conference, aimed to establish ties between research and practice, will generate fresh topics for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Retailing.

The event will include several keynote speakers and conference breakout sessions. The breakout sessions are by invitation only, but students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the main program on Oct. 11.

Speakers for the main program of the conference include:

  • Cecilia Wu, vice president, customer science at Walmart
  • Erin Campbell, senior vice president at Saatchi & Saatchi X
  • Andres Mejia, vice president, Sam’s Club team lead at the Coca-Cola Company
  • John Karsberg, head of tests and insights at H&M
  • Suzanne Jervis, director, product insights and decision sciences at Sam’s Club
  • Rida Moustafa, distinguished data scientist at Walmart
  • Marcel Uphues, director of finance at Metro Group
  • Rand Waddoups, senior director, Omnichannel at Walmart
  • Renee Brandon, vice president, research and data at Field Agent
  • Tom Duncan, associate brand director at Proctor & Gamble

The event will be informative for students planning for careers in the retail industry involving various aspects such as omnichannel commerce, in-store marketing measurement, disruption through technology and retail formats of the future. Faculty, staff and students interested in these topics are encouraged to attend.

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to sign up for the first day of the two-day event by using the Regular Registration button.

Conference sponsors include the Walton College and its Center for Retailing Excellence, the Retailing & Pricing special interest group of the American Marketing Association and the Retail Supply Chain Institute at Babson College.

Participating companies include Walmart, Sam’s Club, H&M, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Saatchi & Saatchi X, ConAgra, Whyte Spyder, Dillard’s, J.M. Smucker, J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., Metro Group, Field Agent, Elateral, and more.

Participating colleges and universities include the University of Arkansas, Arizona State University, Babson College, Dartmouth College, Drexel University, ESCP Europe, Florida State University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Georgia State University, Indian School of Business, Loyola Marymount University, McGill University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Rice University, Santa Clara University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Tilburg University, University of Bath, University of California, University of Houston, University of Muenster, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, University of Texas, University of Tennessee, University of Tulsa, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Washington.

Registration is at the website of the Retailing Thought Leadership Conference. For more information, contact Dinesh Gauri, professor of marketing and Walmart Chair in Marketing, at dkgauri@uark.edu or (479) 575-3903.

New Student Jobs at the McMillon Innovation Studio

Beginning in fall 2018, the McMillon Innovation Studio will be forming innovation design teams that will focus on prototyping new models of delivery, services, products and policies in the areas of (1) health and well-being, (2) supply chain and (3) seamless commerce. We will be hiring student project leaders for each of these teams, who will have the opportunity to travel, create and innovate for real impact, gain job experience, earn potential credit hours, and receive potential funding to support innovation prototypes. All majors are welcome to apply.

The McMillon Innovation Studio seeks to shape the future of commerce by inspiring students to be catalysts of innovation.

For more information regarding student job opportunities, visit:

Students with creative, innovative ideas in health and well-being, supply chain or seamless commerce are welcome to join a design team being in fall 2018. Contact Rachel Sullivant at rsullivant@walton.uark.edu for additional information.

University of Arkansas Enactus Team Named Regional Champs

The University of Arkansas Enactus team won the regional championship at the Enactus Southeastern Regional Competition and advances to the national competition in May.

The team took the title at the regional competition in Dallas on Monday, April 16. At that competition, the team presented three projects they designed and implemented this academic year. These projects create an impact for residents in Northwest Arkansas fighting issues with homelessness, recidivism among youth and unemployment of disabled adults.

This is the first time in eight years that the University of Arkansas Enactus team will advance to the Enactus National Competition, which will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, May 20-22.

About Enactus: Enactus, an international nonprofit organization, seeks to empower students to make a difference through sustainable, entrepreneurial action. Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable human progress. Through student programs on campuses across the nation, Enactus applies business concepts to develop entrepreneurial projects that transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.