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Inspiring the Future of Retail

From the DIRECTOR It has been a thrill for me to join the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School this past year. My passion for retailing, and for helping to develop the next generation of retail leaders, led me to this role and I could not be more excited to join such a venerable program at this dynamic time in the history of our industry. The Center for Retailing Studies provides our students with a number of transformational learning experiences, from daily interaction with our nationally recognized faculty, to travel opportunities to valuable industry trade events, the opportunity to participate in academic competitions, as well as a number of student organizations and leadership development programs. We are also fortunate that our program benefits from the support of leading retailing organizations from across the country that serve as sponsors of our Center, provide executive speakers, facility tours, and scholarships for our students.

Scott Benedict Director

From our founding in 1983 through to today, our mission remains focused on developing the retail leaders and business knowledge for tomorrow. We are excited about the road ahead for the Retailing industry, and for the great career opportunities it continues to provide to those professionals willing to find new ways to serve consumers in the years ahead.

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State of Retailing Today

Recent headlines have painted a dark picture of the retail industry. To be sure, Retailing is undergoing an enormous transformation driven by advancements in technology, changes in consumer shopping habits, and a legacy of overbuilt retail square footage in the United States. However, Retail remains one of the largest and most successful industries in the U.S. Economy. In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that there are over 1 million retail establishments in the United States alone, and Retailing remains the largest private employer in the nation. Retailing directly & indirectly supports more than 42 million jobs, and contributes over $2.6 trillion to US GDP annually. The Retail Industry has continued to grow at almost 4% annually in the last decade, and between 4-5% in the last few years, according to NRF and government data. Without a doubt, the growth of eCommerce has had an increasingly significant impact on the industry. Direct online sales (purchases made on a computer or mobile device and shipped to a home or office) make up more than 10 to 15% of US Retail Revenue, according to reporting from IHL Group and other prominent sources. However, the impact of eCommerce is even greater when purchases made on a digital device and picked up in a physical store are factored in, as these transactions are typically recognized in physical store revenue in financial reporting and only “tracked” as a digital purchase within a typical retail enterprise’s internal management reporting. In addition, Forrester Research reports the continued growth in “digitally influenced” retail transactions, where a consumer researches a purchase online before consummating a purchase in a physical store, is also becoming increasingly significant. All told, digital shopping influences close to 50% of all US retail transactions currently. In addition to the business impact of retail, the industry has also played a leadership role in areas that are critical to society in general. From environmental sustainability, diversity & inclusion, economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and in philanthropy, retailing continues to be a force for positive societal change. In short, the future of retail is bright, and our mission remains rooted in inspiring the future of retail – a large, growing and exciting industry.

Our MISSION Educating Retail Industry Leaders Our academic mission is rooted in a strong curriculum of classroom study in the core elements of retail enterprise leadership, including fundamental skills such as merchandising, strategy, product marketing, buy planning, forecasting, assortment planning and more. Beyond the classroom, our students are offered transformational learning experiences through involvement in retailing student organizations, executive guest lectures, visits to retail headquarters and major markets, involvement in student programs with the National Retail Federation as well as other respected industry trade groups. Because retailing is a dynamic, fast paced and rapidly changing business, our curriculum is undergoing continuous improvement to assure that we provide our students with the skills employers will need in the future.

Developing Stronger Industry Networks The Center for Retailing Studies serves as a “hub� that connects leaders in both industry and academia, working to create and share industry knowledge, expertise, best-practices and innovation that advances the industry and disseminates valuable insights to the broader retail community. Our flagship event is our annual Retailing Summit, held in October of each year in Dallas, and which brings together leaders from across retail enterprises, trade groups, service organizations and the academic community for a day and a half of informative discussions on the latest trends impacting the industry.

Fostering Industry Research Our award-winning research faculty continues to lead industry knowledge in areas of innovation in customer experience development, marketing in the digital age, and the evolution of retail organizational structures to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment. We partner with organizations from across the retail spectrum to research, develop and share knowledge that advances our industry and prepares us to serve consumers effectively in the years ahead.

Retailing CURRICULUM Housed within Mays Business School’s Department of Marketing, the Strategic Retailing track curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in a retailing enterprise, with particular focus on retail buying and merchandising, marketing, inventory management, demand planning, strategic planning and omnichannel strategy.

Courses Include: MKTG 326

MKTG 325 Services Marketing & Retailing Concepts Study of how service organizations, including retailers, require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy in development and execution; e.g. banks, schools, hospitals, hotels, professional services and transportation companies; specifically applies marketing concepts in service industry setting; opportunities to meet industry thought leaders in retailing and other service industries.

Innovations in Retailing Retail strategies such as channels of distribution, private labels, customer service levels, visual presentation, pricing, and marketing mix that influence a retail business model. MKTG 425 Retail Merchandising Theories, concepts and practices relating to the merchandising of products for enhancing sales and profit growth of retail businesses; emphasis on retail math, purchasing decisions, vendor negotiations, communications skills, assortment planning and competitive analysis.

MKTG 426 Advanced Retail Laboratory Problems and opportunities faced by retailing organizations; development of an effective strategy through applicationoriented seminars and activities, interaction with industry guest speakers and executives; analysis of retail strategies in field settings and completion of a semester long retail audit; participation in a national case competition.

tx.ag/contactCRS | crs.mays.tamu.edu

Transformational LEARNING EXPERIENCES M.B. Zale Leadership Scholars An elite, two-semester long program focused on professional development and leadership skills for top retail students within Mays Business School. Zale Leadership Scholars participate in a variety of learning experiences such as roundtables with retail executives, travel to retail HQ offices and flagship stores, networking, mentoring opportunities, professional development modules, and reflective writing. Students selected to be a Zale Leadership Scholar also help lead the Teens in Retailing Program, centered around mentoring and educating teens in the local area about career opportunities within the retail industry.

Student Retailing Association Open to all majors at Texas A&M University, SRA serves students who are interested in learning more about the retailing industry, while sharpening their professional development and networking skills. Each year, SRA hosts more than a dozen retail executives who discuss topics such as company culture, leadership, and what a day in the life might look like in different retail roles. Students learn about industry trends, challenges, and career opportunities while growing their professional network.

Experiences • New York Fashion Week • Private Label Manufacturing Expo, Chicago • National Retail Federation Student Program, New York City • Retail store & HQ tours to NYC, Austin, Dallas, Houston • Retailing Summit in Dallas • YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund


Sharing INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE Retailing Summit We are proud to host the premier industryfocused retailing conference by a Tier 1 academic institution in the country. The annual Retailing Summit serves the retailing industry by providing cuttingedge knowledge, high-value networking opportunities, and practical business solutions.

The Retailing Summit attracts a diverse audience of retailers and decision makers with executives from established brands; including brick-and-mortar and online companies, specialty retailers, major grocery chains, and more. Interested in presenting a keynote or sponsoring the Retailing Summit? Contact us: crs@mays.tamu.edu


Fostering Industry RESEARCH


We conduct leading-edge research on critical business challenges using state-ofthe-art research methods, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and A/B testing to enable retailers to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

We like to collaborate with retailers, technology firms, and consulting companies on wide-ranging issues, including technological impact, CRM, and retail analytics, to create new knowledge to improve business.


tx.ag/CRSresearch Faculty expertise at Mays Business School includes consumer buying behavior, marketing strategy, retail pricing, supply chain management, e-commerce, innovation, product innovation, among others.

Dr. Venky Shankar Director of Research Coleman Chair Professor in Marketing

Access to FUTURE LEADERS Retailing Career Fair Held in the Fall and Spring and open to all majors, the Retailing Career Fair serves to connect industry partners with students who are passionate about retailing. It is our goal at the Center for Retailing Studies to help company attendees find their next full-time hire or intern here at Texas A&M University.

Seeking new talent? This unique recruitment event connects businesses with students who are enthusiastic about careers in merchandising, buying, supply chain, technology, and other retail support areas such as Marketing, HR, Finance, and Accounting. For information on the next event, visit:


tx.ag/contactCRS | crs.mays.tamu.edu


The Center for Retailing Studies welcomes involvement in our program from organizations that share our commitment to inspiring the future of retail. We offer a number of ways that your organization can get involved, including:

Corporate Sponsorships

Bi-Annual Career Fairs

Retailing Summit

Research Projects

Executive Lecture Series

Facility Tours


Learning Experiences

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The Center for Retailing Studies is funded through sponsorship donations from participating retailers, technology, research, and consulting firms. Through these partnerships, the Center provides hands-on learning opportunities, world-class education, and professional development that not only inspires the future of retail, but ensures that our students have the skill set and preparation to become the industry leaders of tomorrow. We currently offer three corporate sponsorship levels, each providing a variety of benefits:




For more information on how to become a corporate sponsor of the Center for Retailing Studies, please contact us at tx.ag/contactCRS or by calling 979.845.0325.


LeAnn Percivill ‘20 2020 NRF Foundation Next Generation Scholarship winner

When I was announced as the recipient of the NRF Next Generation Scholarship, it felt like every single hour I had worked in my various jobs, academics, and professional development had paid off. It felt like I had just been validated by the retail industry. When I found retail, I found so many influential industry leaders that had the same values and assured me that I was in the right industry. CRS paved the way to ensure I had opportunities to grow, learn, and develop into becoming part of retail’s future.

Program SPONSORS Premier Sponsors




Rob Hall Group Vice President H-E-B

The Center for Retailing Studies does a tremendous job preparing students for the workforce. The experiences, thought leadership, expanded research, and overall education are exceptional. Texas A&M students are well equipped and prepared to make a difference immediately in any organization. We have been impressed with the Retailing Summit that has provided gifted speakers, insightful thought leadership, and the access to meet and get to know top CRS students. Retailing Career Days and H-E-B Day have given our team exposure to top talent across Texas A&M. We have been impressed with our collection of management interns and full-time hires and plan to continue our strong relationship with CRS and Texas A&M.



H-E-B has been involved with the Center for Retailing Studies for decades. The partnership has proven to be very successful, educational and instrumental in finding top quality students that have made huge impacts across our company.

MAYS Business School Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School is a full-service business school that steps up to advance the world’s prosperity. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.

Dr. Eli Jones Dean Professor of Marketing mays.tamu.edu

VISION: to advance the world’s prosperity, providing a better future for generations who follow, including quality of life, environment, and economic systems

MISSION: to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders

A Mays Transformational Leader: • Inspires and influences others toward a common vision • Courageously challenges the status quo to create sustainable value and positive social impact • Fosters development of self and others through reflective learning

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crs.mays.tamu.edu 979.845.0325 crs@mays.tamu.edu


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Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School: Inspiring the Future of Retail  

Learn about the current state of retailing in 2020 and our program that focuses on retail buying and merchandising, marketing, inventory man...

Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School: Inspiring the Future of Retail  

Learn about the current state of retailing in 2020 and our program that focuses on retail buying and merchandising, marketing, inventory man...