Category Archives: Retail

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.

Walton College Engages Students Through Summer Programs

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted four residential summer camps in June to introduce high school students to the University of Arkansas and Walton College.

The four camps introduce high ability minority students to career options, campus resources and campus life.

“Introducing college life to high school kids who may not otherwise have this opportunity is life changing,” said Barbara Lofton, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for Walton College. “Through our summer camp programs, these students meet faculty and staff, stay in dorm rooms and eat meals on campus, participate in research and learn about academic and career opportunities available to them.

“It changes their perception of college and makes them feel at home here.”

The Business Leadership Academy, held June 9-13, introduced newly admitted freshmen to campus life. The students enhanced leadership skills through team projects and met Walton staff and faculty. The program also told students about career opportunities in retail and marketing.

The Fleischer Scholars Program, held June 16-21, hosted two camps for low income high school juniors and seniors whose parents did not attend college. Fleischer Scholars Program I was for students new to the program. Fleischer Scholars Program II welcomed back students who attended the camp previously.

The weeklong camps taught students how to research, develop and present a business plan and helped them transition from high school to college. The Fleischer Scholars Program provides a four-year partial college scholarship to participants.

The Accounting Career Awareness Program was held June 23-28 for underrepresented high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in accounting. Students attended undergraduate classes and networked with accouting professionals. Workshops focused on basic skills needed for accounting careers, business etiquette and requirements for certified public accountants.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established in 1994 to support, advocate and assist Walton College in developing plans for diversity and supporting students throughout the college. It is the oldest office of diversity at an Southeastern Conference business school and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. For more information regarding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, visit walton.uark.edu/diversity.

 About the University of Arkansas:The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

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.

U of A Retailing Research Initiative Finds Consumers Have Distinct Perceptions of Walmart, Amazon, Target

Dinesh Gauri, a professor in the Department of Marketing and head of the University of Arkansas Retailing Research Initiative, today announced the results of his survey that found distinct consumer perceptions of Walmart, Amazon and Target. Continue reading U of A Retailing Research Initiative Finds Consumers Have Distinct Perceptions of Walmart, Amazon, Target

Google, IBM and SamsClub.com Executives to Speak at Trends in Technology Conference

Leaders from Google, IBM, SamsClub.com, QVC, Starship Technologies and useAIble will be featured at the 2017 Trends in Technology Conference on Wednesday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers.

The conference, hosted by the Center for Retailing Excellence and the Supply Chain Management Research Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, will present technology trends affecting retailers and supply chains.

A highlight of the conference will be a conversation between Nathalie Walton, strategic partnerships lead, Google Shopping/Emerging Business Development at Google, and Jamie Iannone, president and chief executive officer of SamsClub.com.

“I am excited to discuss trends in e-commerce, online growth and other technology challenges with Jamie Iannone of SamsClub.com,” Walton said. “Brands like SamsClub.com continue to lead the charge with data analytics, business strategy and business execution.”

Iannone brings a wealth of insight to building an online presence and enhancing the retail experience. Also featured at the conference is Ben Emmrich, strategic partner developer at Google, who manages strategic partnerships with top-tier retailers utilizing the online marketplace Google Express.

Brigid McDermott, vice president, Blockchain Business Development at IBM, will deliver the conference’s keynote address on driving the growth of emerging technologies to improve banking, supply chains and innovation, all while reducing costs and risks. Other speakers include Linda Dillman, chief information officer, retired, at QVC; Nick Handrick, head of operations at Starship Technologies, and Rix Ryskamp, chief executive officer and founder of useAIble.

Registration for the event is $750 for the general public, with group rates available, or $250 for Walton College MBA students or alumni.

For more information and to register, visit cre.uark.edu/2017-conference.php.