IRET Initiative

International Retailing Education and Training

Global scope in retailing, from sourcing to competition in new international markets, is continuously changing business landscapes for both US and international retailers. The International Retailing Education and Training initiative (IRET) aims to build global competence in international retailing by providing instructors, students, and corporations with access to multi-media learning modules, interviews with executives, cases, reading materials, and retail study tours. Considering the growing spending powers of middle-class consumers and increasing competition in the economies of China and Brazil, special focus was given to cultures, consumer behaviors, and retail marketing strategies that address challenges and solutions in pursuing international retail operations in these two countries. The Miller Center's IRET project is funded by the US Department of Education – Business and International Education (BIE) and the UF Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

IRET - China

Learning Modules:

To help understand the challenges and requirements demanded for sustainable growth in China, the learning modules are offered on the following 7 topic areas. Each module is accompanied by PowerPoint slides, suggested reading materials, cases that represent a mix of successes and failures among companies that have expanded to China, and supplementary multi-media materials. All materials are available for free upon registration on the IRET site.

  • Background (e.g., China's commercial history, regional differences, tier system, retail industry structure and format, government regulations);
  • Chinese Culture and Shopping Behaviors;
  • Retail Market Entry Strategy;
  • Retail Marketing Management (Merchandising, Pricing, Advertising & Promotion, Visual merchandising, Customer Service;)
  • Locations in Chinese Retail Industry
  • Retail Supply Chain Management;
  • Ethical Issues; and
  • Retail Human Resource Management.
Retail Study Tour in China:

The 2011 China Retail Study Tour included visits to companies and government officials in Beijing, Yingkou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Hong Kong (May 9th – May 29th, 2011) to learn about China's business practices and challenges. These cities were selected with the purpose of learning the diverse consumer demands in a variety of economic and regional environments. The 2012 program visited companies and government officials in Beijing, Yingkou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou. The study tour program will be repeated in May, 2013 (May 10th – May 30th: Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Yiwu, and Beijing) with further enhancement. Please see the flyer for details.

IRET - Brazil

IRET-Brazil addresses the need for enhanced international retail training in Brazil, with a special focus on franchise operations. Program outputs will be multimedia modules on retailing in Brazil, which is appropriate for inclusion in marketing/retailing courses, and a short term study abroad course to start in 2013. Further, the Miller Center aims to develop linkages with Brazilian firms and Brazilian subsidiaries of multinational companies by collaborating with the UF Center for Latin American Studies.

Franchise Expert in Brazil Visits Miller Center

The Miller Center invited Mr. Marcelo Cherto (President of Franchise Stores, pictured here on the left) to International Marketing and International Business classes to expose students to promising opportunities in Brazil retail businesses. To learn about Brazilian culture and the background for business practices and consumer behaviors, please view his presentations below.

Mr. Cherto's Bio:

Mr. Cherto is a well-known retail specialist who contributed to the development and growth of franchise operations in Brazil. He is the author of various books on the subject of retail and franchising. Mr. Cherto has taught in retail graduate programs at some of Brazil's best business schools such as USP and FGV. Mr. Cherto is currently the president of Cherto Consulting, a company that he founded in 1986; President of Franchising Store, an innovative retail business concept that represents and negotiates franchise licenses for 72 different brands; and sits on the Global Advisory Board of Endeavor Institute. Over the years, Mr. Cherto has worked with a wide variety of clients, helping them develop sales channels solutions. Companies such as Unilever, Coca Cola, Havianas, Timberland, Dunkin' Donuts, Avon, Johnson & Johnson, Natura, Colcci, Levi's, Lacoste, and Victor Hugo are just a few world known brands that have benefited from Mr. Cherto's knowledge and expertise.

Mr. Cherto inspired students to learn more about Brazil and business developments. Read the student responses...

"Your discussion left us all with a smile and a desire to learn more about Brazil. I can personally identify with many of the things you talked about, especially the Brazilian mentality. I find myself utilizing techniques like jeitinho, "why not", and joga de cintura. As it stands now, I will be in Sao Paulo for the month of December in order to make a personal connection with the region's culture, people, and business atmosphere. You said that entrepreneurs across the globe are the same. I do believe the key to success in this environment is adaptability, ingenuity, and understanding."

- Aaron J. Simek

"Thank you for that great presentation on Wednesday in International Marketing class. As I commented to you afterward, it was great to get a lot of my research and insights confirmed by you on how to effectively do business in Brazil. In our industry, Brazil is such a great prospect for business that now it's nearly impossible to ignore. I also took your advice and looked further into BHG and Accor's operations in Brazil. If you know of any potential contacts Brazil related to the hospitality industry, it would be welcome news. I will keep in touch with you as time passes. Thanks once again for your participation with our class."

- Carlos Iniguez, UF- MA Latin American Studies 2012

Synergy across programs and centers

The Miller Center will take part in developing future leaders in business developments between Florida and Brazil. This initiative starts with a meeting of major programs and centers to share interests and resources related to Brazil programs and business development: the Miller Center, the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, and the Center for the Latin American Studies, Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), Master of International Business (MIB), and the Undergraduate International Study. Further collaboration will be sought out. The Portuguese language will be advantageous for people who pursue business opportunities in Brazil and Florida. To learn about a graduate certificate in Latin American Studies and language program, please visit the Center for Latin American Studies Graduate Programs page.

U.S. Study Tour for Brazilian Supermarket Executives

For the third consecutive year, the Miller Center will host a study tour for supermarket executives from Brazil. In 2010 and 2011, the sponsoring organization was ABRAS – the national supermarket trade association for Brazil. In January 2012, the study tour will be sponsored by AMIS, a large, regional trade association for supermarkets, based in Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL. With approximately 25 participants planned, the tour will begin with three days in New York, timed to coincide with the National Retail Federation annual convention, and will include tours of New York food retailers. It will then move to Orlando for three days of classroom presentations and further tours of a wide range of supermarket and other food retailers.


College Info

Warrington College of Business
BRY 100
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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