Retail NaviGator

The Retail NaviGator - our communication to you about our research on retailing issues and the activities of the David F. Miller Center. This ongoing media change creates a direct connection to the retailing community in a way that keeps information current, direct and GREEN!

In this issue:


Opportunities in Retailing

By Jordan Chang

On September 14, the Miller Center hosted the Careers in Retailing workshop, where students learned about what careers in the retail industry really look like. Students had the opportunity to hear personal experiences and background from Macy's Regional Manager of College Relations Bernard Worthy, and from Scott Boyer, the store manager at our local jcpenney in Gainesville.

The speakers highlighted the abundance of opportunities that are available within the retail industry, the nation's leading employer. They elaborated on the three main sectors of the industry: Store management, buying/planning and support. Scott gave his insights on the many different roles he has to play on a daily basis, from merchandise placing, to setting sales goals, to motivating and coordinating a team to meet its goals.

In addition, students learned more details about the internship opportunities that both Macy's and jcpenney's have to offer students this upcoming summer. Both internship programs give students the opportunity to get a better understanding of how these multi-milliondollar companies are run from the management side.

With the Career Showcase just around the corner, Bernard and Scott were asked to give some advice for finding success with recruiters and potentially landing an internship. They emphasized the importance of making a good first impression with a short "elevator speech" prepared, as well as being well-researched about the companies. Finally, students were encouraged to have high energy and be confident.


Hyunjoo Oh, Research Director, Miller Center for Retailing, Marcel Cherto, President, Franchise Stores in Brazil, Steve Kirn, Executive Director, Miller Center for Retailing and Mary Risner, Associate Director Outreach and Latin American Business Programs, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida.

Brazil, the country of today! Are you ready?

By Gloria Docilait, B.S.B.A - Marketing

The David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research recently invited Marcelo Cherto to speak to students at the University of Florida. He is a well-respected lawyer, author, CEO, and professor from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is retail specialist who has written many books on the subject of retail marketing and franchising. He is recognized for helping American Franchises become successful in the Brazilian market.

Mr. Cherto spoke to Professor David Denslow's International Business class about the importance of understanding how to effectively conduct business in Brazil. He spoke about the three essential concepts for anyone who wants to understand Brazilian culture in order to be successful. First, "jogo de cintura" which loosely means "be flexible and willing to adapt." This helps explains the mindset of which one should have in business. The next concept is "queimar o filme," which roughly translates into "to burn the film." This phrase emphasizes the importance of relationships and not burning your bridges do nothing to damage your image or anyone else's image. The last concept is "Jeitinho" which means "a little way" or "to find a little way." A nice way to think about this concept is to where there's a will there's a way.

For decades, Brazil has been known as "the country of the future," and the future is now. More and more opportunities for growth and expansion have been happening in various sectors all over Brazil. In the recent years, 45 million Brazilians that were living in poverty have now become consumers. Business in Brazil is booming and if you haven't been paying attention to what's happening over there, it's time. Why?

Because Brazil loves American brands. Also, this is a country with 13 percent of the world's renewable water resource. Most recently, Brazil has discovered large oil reserves off its coast. In 2014, Brazil will be hosting the World Cup which will definitely bring more prospects to Brazil. In 2016, Brazil will host the Summer Olympics providing more opportunities for growth. Needless to say, all eyes are on Brazil and with good reason.

I visited Brazil last year and was blown away. I fell in love with the food, culture, people and uniqueness of this country. I was amazed at the beauty of such a diverse and vibrant community of people who varied across the region, but were very much Brazilian.

The future of Brazil is promising. This is a country that can no longer be ignored, and the U.S. should be paying close attention to it.


Entrepreneurial Spirit within Sears Holdings

By Alison Clark

Jamie Brooks, Senior Vice President of Sears Retail Services, spoke to the Retail Seminar class on Sept. 2 about his path in the retail world, tips on having a successful career and how advances in technology have impacted the corporation.

Brooks said: "I didn't always want to work in retail, but my entrepreneurial spirit led me to having a managerial position for a great company!" In fact, Brooks spent 11 years as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Navy, and said that the experience helped mold him to be the successful businessman he is today.

Brooks' uncle, a Navy veteran also, once told him, "a firm handshake and a smile will take you a long way." While serving, Brooks had to relate to people so he could build a successful team. And that's very similar to what he does today with Sears. In his position, he is responsible for the team development, customer experience and financial performance of all Sears' Full-line stores. Brooks is a part of the Senior Leadership Program, which is an accelerated career track for senior leaders. He started out in Logistics Services and has held positions of increasing responsibilities within Sears Holdings, most recently Vice President and President for Sears Outlets.

"One great thing about retail is that it accepts all different backgrounds," Brooks said. "There's no set path you have to take to get where you want to be," Brooks said. He pointed out three important tips he feels will make students a better candidate in the job market.

First, whether it's retail or not, visit the business. Get a feel for the culture and the experience you get from being there. He finds it disappointing in interviews when students will say all the right answers, but have never been to a store.

Next, research the company. Visit the company's web site and learn about its vision and mission, as well as its background and annual statements. The more knowledgeable a candidate is the more passionate they seem about the company. Finally, students should envision their future to have a better idea of where they would like to be in the next five years.

Brooks went on to address how Sears is "keeping up with technology." One thing this generation is going to be remembered for is the great advances in technology. Not only has it been a booming phenomenon, but it's impacted the way "businesses do business." Sears plans to roll out handheld devices and iPads to some of their stores in order to update their point-of-sale and allow cashiers to be more involved on the floor.

Sears also plans to include Quick Response (QR) codes which allow readers to scan and read reviews on a certain product. With these changes, Sears hopes to make shopping a more interactive and positive experience for the consumer.


Is Leadership Learned?

By Bijan Banapoor

Mr. Rich Guidotti, Vice President and General Manager, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets for South Florida.spoke with students about the importance of leadership and how to become a great leader.

In an extremely interactive session, Mr. Guidotti continually asked students for their input on different aspects of leadership. He shared with the class AT&T's definition of leadership: Inspiring and engaging others to overachieve the stated and shared objectives. Leadership is an extremely important characteristic that can differentiate you from other job candidates in the near future. But is leadership learned or innate? Mr. Guidotti states that it is both. He supported the fact that leadership is learned by telling the audience: "There is not one person in this room that cannot become a great leader." He also explains five key characteristics of a great leader: Character, interpersonal skills, personal capability, focusing on results, and leading change. One of the main differences between a good leader and a great leader is that great leaders engage and inspire others while excelling in all these key areas. He finished the session explaining to students that there is so much more to business then what you learn in marketing, finance, or management classes. In order to be successful in business you need to be an effective leader. He challenged the students to get involved and become great leaders, not just good managers.

Firestone Doesn't Hire People…They Select Them!

By Bijan Banapoor

Michael Lemus, Southeast Zone Recruiter for Bridgestone, spoke to students about the importance of recruiting, development and retention. Mr. Lemus mentioned that the landscape of recruiting changes every single year. In the last several years, social media has been a huge driver of these changes. Mr. Lemus describes social media as "freedom of speech in its purest form" and defines it as "people talking. Period." He explained to the students that word of mouth advertising is the cheapest and most effective way to market products. Social media has had an enormous effect on word of mouth advertising. Once a consumer shares an experience or opinion on Facebook, this post is immediately available to the more than 500 million Facebook users.

Mr. Lemus then focused the discussion on the importance of the recruiting/retention of great employees. One of the most interesting things he said was that Bridgestone "does not hire people, they select people." Rather than trying to sell someone on the company, his job is to support the company, and find employees who are a great fit. In his opinion, teammates are the most important part of the company. If you have the right teammates, they will take care of the customer, which will result in the company being successful. In addition, the cost of having high turnover is extremely high, so retention is very important in keeping costs down. Recruiting, development and retention are three essential parts of a successful company that often get overlooked. Throughout the presentation, Mr. Lemus did a fantastic job of stressing how important these functions are within an organization.

Pathways to Retail Success: The Mall at Millenia - World Class Shopping Center

By Jonathan Mayen

Steven Jamieson enjoys working as a general manager of The Mall at Millenia because he feels a sense of pride working with great people along with acquiring rewarding experiences with satisfied shoppers.

Jamieson first started his career in the retail industry at a Bloomingdale's store in Minnesota, where he became a customer service-training manager. Later, Jamieson became a retail consultant and worked in this capacity for 11 years. He grew within the business after learning from his mistakes and developed new ways to prevent similar mistakes. He emphasized that when your manager allows flexibility and empowers you to make decisions; you are bound to make mistakes. In addition, his experiences taught him to work with different types of people by understanding the different personalities and being able to work as a team. These experiences led him to his current position in which he works closely with retailers and the community.

Today, Jamieson still looks for ways to exceed customer expectations, to work effectively with vendors, and to develop new ideas he can implement to the retail industry. Some skills he discussed are necessary to work as a property manager. Budgeting, forecasting financial plans, daily operations, and property management are all skills he utilizes often and are skills he acquired from years in retailing. Jamieson oversees all retail center operations at The Mall at Millenia, which offers a high luxury unique shopping experience. The Mall at Millenia offers high class specialty stores, well-recognized department stores, as well as exclusive restaurants. Jamieson explains that mall centers will always have a place in the retail business because they date back to the beginning of time and Internet sales will never offer such a wonderful shopping experience. The best advice he gives to students is to experience retail because of the wide variety of experiences it can offer.


Jennifer Xie with Bernie Machen, President, University of Florida.

Florida Opportunity Scholars President's Reception

At the Florida Opportunity Scholars President's Reception on September 15, the Miller Center's very own Jennifer Xie was selected among her graduating class to be one of the two keynote student speakers who set exemplar models for new and current scholarship recipients to become future leaders. The Florida Opportunity Scholars is a program that provides first-generation college students with the necessary resources to be successful at the University of Florida.

During her time here at the University of Florida, Jennifer has undertaken a wide range of experiences. Besides being actively involved with student organizations such as the Cantonese Interest Group and the Benton Engineering Council, Jennifer also took advantage of several internship opportunities. Some of these include working at Dunkin' Donuts, the Peninsula Hotels, the Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the Brown Shoe Company. She is also currently working on the International Retailing Education and Training (IRET) project as a research assistant in the Miller Retail Center.

Jennifer will be graduating this fall with a bachelor's degree in marketing, and minors in entrepreneurship and leadership. We are so proud to have her as part of our Retail Center team, and it will be bittersweet to see her graduate. Nonetheless, we are excited to see what new experiences and opportunities lie ahead of her.


Retail Navigator

This electronic newsletter from The David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research is issued throughout the year to provide updates on what is happening in retailing at the University of Florida. Information regarding student outreach, jobs, internships, research and retailing connections throughout the country will be included. We hope you enjoy seeing what Gators are doing in the retail industry!

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