+ Home
+ Subscriptions
+ Resources
+ Contact Us
+ In The News
+ GAP Home

logo-3.gif (4379 bytes) Click Here For Your Free Subscription

Home +

menu_hr.gif (1966 bytes)

Academic Programs In Retailing

From: Jan Owens <jpowens(at)execpc.com>

I can make a few recommendations for those interested in retailing programs, with the following suggestions, caveats, and over-generalizations.

First, retailing programs are trans-subject areas that can be centered in schools of business or consumer sciences/human ecology. In general, I like to see the opportunity for retail students to take classes from both disciplinary areas. As one might expect, the business programs TEND to be stronger in nuts-and-bolts managerial teaching (including retail/marketing strategy,) while programs in schools of consumer sciences TEND to be stronger in merchandising areas. Both can do very well in courses in consumer behavior, and a good course in this subject is a must. As we all know, both managerial and merchandising skills are critical to retailing in competitive times. Even if a student wishes to specialize in one area or the other, the most successful know the issues in the other school of thought. My own solution is to recommend that students take important courses offered from both schools if one program does not fill the need. Some do -- you have to check out the latest offerings and programs.

Second, recognize that some programs may grant degrees in business administration or another subject area, with a major concentration in retailing. Some grant a degree as "Retailing." The only way to know if the program is suitable for your needs is to look at the recommended curriculum.

Third, some schools may be particularly good in part because of their business contacts in the geographic area, such as Hofstra and F.I.T in New York City and their relationships with fashion retailers and design houses. Portland State (Oregon) has a very close relationship with businesses involved in food distribution, and the U of Oklahoma (Norman) and the U of Wisconsin - Madison have deep expertise in distribution and logistics management. Others are quite good in placing their students on a nationwide basis.

Fourth, there are some individual professors who do an exceptional job in teaching basic retailing courses, or specific courses that are very valuable in retailing, even if there is not a retailing program per se. One example I can think of is Dr. Carol Anderson at Rollins College, a small, very business-focused school in Orlando that does an exceptional job in teaching with state-of-the-art skills and expectations. One could have said the same for Dr. Deborah Dehab at the U of Nebraska, but she is now with a market research firm in Omaha. There are excellent people who teach specialized courses in the use and knowledge to be gained from scanner data (e.g. Jeff Inman at the School of Business at the U of Wisconsin - Madison; other schools are known for excellent researchers in this area that may or may not teach actual classes in the subject, such as Lee McAlister at the U of Texas - Austin and Stephen Hoch, now at Wharton.)

Fifth, the list below is sort of like saying your thank-you's at the Academy Awards -- if I leave an exceptional program out in the heat of the moment, I apologize in advance (I know there are more academics lurking out there, well beyond my level of expertise!). It's probably because I don't know as much about their programs yet as those listed.

Sixth, there is an association, the American Collegiate Retailing Association (ACRA), that includes professors of retailing in schools of business and consumer sciences. There are various ways to contact the organization, including the web site: www.okstate.edu/hes/acra/acra.htm. There MAY be useful information to track down there, depending on your needs.

So saying, the following schools distinguish themselves in retailing expertise and excellent teaching. Some have centers of retail management in one form or another, which provide the schools with much contact with retail businesses (good for placement, continuing education, etc.) The first few also have retailer support in the form of chaired professorships in retailing, which indicates a high level of university commitment to retailing. The contacts I have listed are my best ideas for information, or they may refer you to someone else in charge.


1.    The University of Florida
        Warrington College of Business Administration
        Department of Marketing
        P.O. Box 11753
        Gainesville, FL 32611-7153

        Contact: Dr. Bart Weitz
        Email: Bweitz(at)dale.cba.ufl.edu

2.     Texas A & M University
        Department of Marketing
        College of Business Administration
        College Station, TX 77843-4112

        Contact: Leonard Berry
        Email: BERRYLE(at)TAMU.EDU

3.    University of Tennessee - Knoxville
        School of Retail and Consumer Studies
        Room 230, College of Human Ecology
        1215 West Cumberland Avenue
        Knoxville, TN 37996-1900

        Contact: Ann Fairhurst
        Email: Fairhurs(at)utk.edu

4.     University of Arizona
        Division of Retailing & Consumer Studies
        P.O. Box 210033
        Tucson, AZ 85721-0033

        Contact: Marty Ann Eastlick
        Email: eastlick(at)u.arizona.edu

5.     University of South Carolina
        Department of Retailing
        2026-J Coliseum
        Columbia, SC 29208

        Contact: Richard Clodfelter
        Email: RClodfelt(at)aol.com

6.     Hofstra University
        Department of Marketing and International Business
        222 Weller Hall
        Hempstead, NY 11549

        Contact: Barry Berman
        Email: Mktbxb(at)hofstra.edu

7.     Department of Apparel Merchandising
        Indiana University
        Memorial Hall East
        Bloomington, IN 47405-2201

        Contacts:   Theresa Williams Email: THdwilli(at)indiana.edu
                            Kathleen Rowold Email: rowold(at)indiana.edu

8.    Kelley School of Business
        Indiana University
        Bloomington, IN 47405

        Contact: Dr. Donald Granbois
        Email: granbois(at)indiana.edu

9.     University of Alabama
        Department of Marketing
        109 Alston Hall, Stadium Drive
        P.O. Box 870225
        Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0225

        Contact: Robert Robicheaux
        Email: Rrobiche(at)cba.ua.edu

10.    New York University
        Stern School of Business
        44 West 4th Street Mec 11-66
        New York, NY 10012

        Contact: Avjit Ghosh
        Email: Aghosh(at)stern.nyu.edu

11.    Michigan State University
        School of Human Environment and Design
        Human Ecology Building
        East Lansing, MI 48824-1030

        Contact: Linda Good
        Email: Goodl(at)msu.edu

12.   Michigan State University
        Department of Marketing and Logistics
        305 North Business Complex
        East Landisng, MI 48824-1122

        Contact: Stan Hollander
        Email: (no listing)
        Fax: 517-432-1112

13.   School of Consumer Science
        University of Wisconsin - Madison
        1300 Linden Drive
        Madison, WI 53706

        Contact: Jikyeong Kang
        Email: jkang(at)facstaff.wisc.edu



[GAP Home] [E-Tailer's Digest Home] [Subscriptions] [Resources] [Contact Us] [In The News]

Copyright 1997-2002 GAP Enterprises, Ltd.
Contact webmaster(at)gapent.com with any comments or questions about this site.
Last modified February 23, 2005