Category Archives: Retail

High School Students Learn Retail and Supply Chain Management

Thirteen rising junior and senior high school students participated in the Retail Supply Chain Management Camp hosted by the Center for Retailing Excellence and the Supply Chain Management Research Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Continue reading High School Students Learn Retail and Supply Chain Management

Tournament Highlights Vendors FORE Education

Event raises scholarship funding for university business students, women golfers.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Golfers from across Northwest Arkansas raised $70,000 to support students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Program through the Vendors FORE Education golf tournament held Friday, July 15.

The tournament, sponsored by Walmart vendors, was held at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville. Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence, working in partnership with Erik Wolff of E-Wolff Sales Solutions and Russ Heithoff of Strategic Retail Solutions, hosts the tournament each year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the tournament. In celebration of this milestone year, Vendors FORE Education held a special prize drawing for a 1997 30th anniversary edition Chevy Camaro convertible. Continue reading Tournament Highlights Vendors FORE Education

Camp Introduces Retail Careers to Incoming Freshmen

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Retailing Excellence at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted 17 incoming freshman students from Arkansas, Texas, Illinois and Peru during the Business Leadership Academy held June 5-10. The summer residential program creates an awareness of retail career choices and opportunities that exist for Walton College business majors.

The camp exposed students to business and cultural aspects of Northwest Arkansas. The week kicked off with a tour of a Walmart distribution center in Bentonville. Students also visited Crystal Bridges Museum and participated in a retail scavenger hunt at Pinnacle Promenade shopping center and the Northwest Arkansas Mall. In addition to the tours, students participated in training workshops on social and business etiquette, business presentation skills, the McMillon Family Retail Innovation and Technology Lab and the Jane Gearhart Food Pantry.

This year, the students were challenged to launch a pop-up store in the McMillon Innovation Lab, located on the University of Arkansas campus. Each student team had to create a business plan, a strategic marketing plan and a budget for launching a business. The three teams proposed ideas for a 24-hour school supply concierge, an after-hours food delivery service and a frozen yogurt bar and bakery to a panel of judges from Walmart, S.C. Johnson, Shopper Marketing and the Walton College.

Walmart, Dillard’s and Sam’s Club Executives to Speak at Conference

The Center for Retailing Excellence at the Sam M. Walton College of Business is hosting the 16th annual Emerging Trends in Retailing Conference on June 14 to highlight retail trends and transformations.

Keynote speakers include David Glass, former Walmart chief executive officer and current owner of the Kansas City Royals, who will examine past changes in Walmart; Tony Rogers, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S., who will discuss the marketing transformations; and Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S., who will discuss future changes for the retail giant. Featured speakers also include senior executives from Dillard’s, Sam’s Club, Disney Retail and Academy Sports + Outdoors.

“So much is changing with delivery models, sourcing and customer expectations,” said Claudia Mobley, managing director of the Center for Retailing Excellence. “To be successful in today’s online and brick-and-mortar markets, retailers must be adept at change and react quickly.”

CRE Emerging Trends Conference
The Center for Retailing Excellence’s Emerging Trends in Retailing conference is set for June 14.

A panel discussion, led by moderator Rob Rivenburgh, chief executive officer for The Mars Agency, North America, will focus on retail transformation and innovation with senior retail executives serving as panelists. The Mars Agency, a fully-integrated shopper marketing agency, serves as the lead sponsor of the conference, along with Helen of Troy, a global housewares, healthcare/home environment, and personal care consumer product company; Stratacache, a industry leader in digital signage, and Salesforce, the fastest growing top 10 software company in the world.

The conference will be held at the John Q. Hammons Center, Grand Ballroom V, on Pinnacle Parkway in Rogers, Arkansas. Event seating is limited. Preregistration is required. For conference cost and registration, visit

About the Center for Retailing Excellence: The Center for Retailing Excellence was established in the Walton College in 1998 with a portion of the $50 million endowment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The center focuses on developing future leaders and serves as a bridge between academics and the retail industry.

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 only 2 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.

University of Arkansas Graduates First Students with Virtual Reality Expertise

Students at Sam M. Walton College of Business to graduate with certification in InContext Solutions’ ShopperMX™ platform

Virtual reality is taking over the world, with industries tapping into its power to uncover innovations and opportunities. With the retail industry being well positioned to harness the power of virtual reality, the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas announced today the first class of graduating virtual reality-trained students. Their training came via the college’s unique partnership with InContext Solutions, the leading provider of virtual reality solutions for retailers.

“At the Sam M. Walton College of Business, we pride ourselves on being leaders of breakthrough retail innovations and educating the next generation of ingenious retail leaders,”  said Sue Sedberry, managing director for the McMillon Innovations Lab at the Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence. “We are thrilled to offer a certification program so students can enhance their academic experience through virtual reality simulations and develop a strong foundation on which to build their future career endeavors.”

Through a partnership with InContext Solutions, students who are interested in merchandising and marketing products in a retail store environment have the opportunity to become certified in ShopperMX™, a proprietary software that allows retailers and consumer product good companies (CPGs) to ideate, evaluate and activate new concepts using 3D virtual store simulations.

“Our academic partnership further demonstrates the growing trend in retail of using virtual reality technology to make faster, smarter and more profitable business decisions,” said Mark Hardy, chief executive officer of InContext Solutions. “We are incredibly excited to have had a hand in creating the first class of ShopperMX-certified graduates, and believe these students will have a leg-up on the competition when it comes to their future career pursuits. ”

The ShopperMX certification program, created at the Walton College, is offered through the college’s Center for Retailing Excellence, an internationally acclaimed center for retail studies. Students can obtain their certification by completing a virtual reality shelf management boot camp or by enrolling in the college’s Category Management Special Topics course.

In an effort to support the Center for Retailing Excellence’s primary mission of bridging the gap between academics and retail industry professionals, the ShopperMX certification program aims to educate and play a role in shaping the retail leaders of the future.

“By having the ShopperMX certification, I feel I have a competitive edge over other college graduates that are vying for a career as a retail professional,” said Alejandro Zeballos, a Walton College senior majoring in retail. “The certification has given me the advanced knowledge I need to be of value to organizations that have a desire to use technology to be more forward-thinking and maintain or present themselves as a leader in the retail industry.”

With 50 graduating seniors certified in ShopperMX and positive feedback from students and professors alike, the Center for Retailing Excellence has re-upped their contract with InContext Solutions, with plans to train at least 70 more students in the 2016 – 2017 academic school year.

“The Walton College is continually looking for new ways to encourage innovation, which is something we are continuing to do through the help of our Center for Retailing Excellence,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “It is because of the dedication by our board members, professors and partners that we are able to better prepare students to achieve their academic and professional goals.”

For more information on the ShopperMX platform, please visit

About InContext Solutions
InContext Solutions was founded in 2009 with a vision to revolutionize how virtual simulations could be used by leading businesses across the globe to research the placement of products in a retail setting. InContext Solutions provides a unique, in-depth perspective on what consumers see on the shelf, how this drives their purchase behavior and why.

About Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas
Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state’s premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school.  The Walton College combines excellent academic programs with a wide range of experiential learning to help its more than 4,000 students connect scholarship with real business practice. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in International Business in seven disciplines. Learn more at

Retail Supply Chain Management Summer Camp Available to High School Students

The Supply Chain Management Research Center and the Center for Retailing Excellence at the Sam M. Walton College of Business are hosting the Retail Supply Chain Management Summer Camp July 17-20, 2016, on the University of Arkansas campus. The program is a residential summer camp for high school students entering the 11th and 12th grades in fall 2016.

The 4-day camp will introduce students to supply chain management, logistics, retailer and supplier-related industries topics. Campers will tour nearby companies, hear from industry leaders, learn from Walton College faculty and present solutions to a business case study.

The camp is limited to 25 students. The cost is $650 per camper. Applications must be received no later than May 20. A limited number of need-based scholarships may be available.

For more information or to apply, visit

Summer Student Internships: Starships, Robots and Research

The Sam M. Walton College of Business is seeking student summer interns to assist with a robotics research project that will require travel in Fayetteville and on the East Coast from May through August.

Walton College is seeking student interns to test Starship, a ground delivery robot.

Known as Starship, the robot is a self-driving drone, which delivers packages and/or groceries. Created by Starship Technologies, the robotic ground delivery service will require two to three operators and handlers to oversee the delivery process and monitor the success of the project.

A representative from Starship Technologies, an Estonia-based technology company, will be on campus in the coming weeks to discuss the testing project and to conduct internship interviews.

All students interested in learning more about the Walton College internship should email Sue Sedberry, managing director of the Innovations Lab, Center for Retailing Excellence, at no later than Friday, March 18.

All University of Arkansas students are invited to apply.

Walton Students Participate in Retail Conference in New York

Four Walton College students traveled to New York with Center for Retailing Excellence staff members to attend the National Retail Federation 2016 Big Show Student Program Jan. 14-17. They joined nearly 500 students representing more than 50 universities around the country for the retail conference, which provided students opportunities for internships, employment, training programs and networking.

Kelsey Casey, Jack Scaccia, Jessica Fuentes and Hoang Le Dang
Walton students (left to right) Kelsey Casey, Jack Scaccia, Jessica Fuentes and Hoang Le Dang visit Rockefeller Center in New York during their recent trip to the National Retail Federation’s 2016 Big Show Student Program Jan. 14-17.

Students Jessica Fuentes, Hoang Le Dang, Kelsey Casey and Jack Scaccia attended the conference with Center for Retailing Excellence staff members Claudia Mobley, director, and Pam Styles, associate director.

Conference attendees heard from senior retail leaders from Belk, HSNi, Nike, Williams-Sonoma, The Home Depot, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Walgreens, Walmart, Kohl’s Corporation and more.

Four years ago there were seven university members of NRF, with the University of Arkansas serving as a founding member of the student program. In 2016, there are now 67 university members.

Fuentes and Dang earned a conference scholarship through participation in STORE, Students in Retailing Excellence, a registered student organization. In addition, Fuentes received a travel sponsorship from National Retail Federation as the University of Arkansas NRF Rising Star; Dang was the NRF Student Ambassador for recruiting more than 25 members.

Fellow students Casey and Scaccia represented Enactus, a registered student organization that promotes entrepreneurship as a way to create a better world. Their travel was sponsored by the Center for Retailing Excellence.