MAR 2290 - Sears Holdings Retail Management Seminar

Each semester, the Miller Center for presents an exciting line-up of speakers from positions in retail Store Management, Buying and Planning. Weekly lectures feature a different executive making a presentation in his/her area of expertise. Topics may vary each term based upon what's hot in retailing. Discussions of career opportunities and career paths in retailing are included. Students also have the opportunity to share a lunch with one of the featured speakers.


MAR 3231 - Introduction to Retail Systems Management

This course offers a comprehensive view of retail from general information about retailers, consumers and buying behavior to specific management, buying, systems and retail strategy.

The Retail Management course is a senior level, elective course offering an intense overview of the retail industry. The course covers material related to all of the decision areas of retailing including retail strategy, location, human resource management, supply chain management, information systems, customer relationship management, merchandise management, sourcing, buying, communications, pricing, store management, visual merchandising, and customer service. Lectures are supplemented with industry speakers, field trips, comparison shopping exercises, and case studies. Students are taken on retail store tours of the local Dillard's and Sears stores to understand the importance of visual merchandising and its direct relationship to sales. Students also visit the distribution center for Dollar General located in Alachua, Florida and the Nordstrom distribution center here in Gainesville, Florida.

MAR 4232 Retail Consulting

This course is designed to provide upper-level business students with an opportunity to practice strategic decision makings based on market research through hands-on experience in approaching real retail problems. Each team of five students will work on projects specified by the client. Student teams are responsible for designing and executing all phases of the project. By working closely with retail clients, students will gain practical insight into actual retail business operations while performing problem identification, exploring opportunities, collecting data and developing strategy. This course is intended for highly motivated students who want to have practical experience through solving retail firms’ challenging problems.

Course structure and benefits

2012 Class
  • Brian Foos
  • Caitlyn Edwards
  • Jeremy Hough
  1. Spring 2009 Projects

    The Villages, Crossman & Company

    "Future Retailing for Baby Boomers" | Video Presentation
    The Villages, located in Ocala, FL, will have over 4,500,000 SF in retail when complete. Investigate what should be retailing business models/strategies for retired baby boomers. The challenge was to assess the potential for commercial growth within The Villages.

    Body Central

    "Improving Body Central web/catalog performance" | Video Presentation
    Body Central is a clothing retailer consisting of a catalogue, a website, and 178 stores nationwide. The challenge was to study, analyze, and compare Body Central's website to competitors' websites and make recommendations on how to improve.


    "Explore who should be the target market and why and what should be channel strategies to grow?" | Video Presentation
    Naturalizer is a women's shoe company that produces shoes that are traditionally known as "grandma shoes." The group was given the project of revamping Naturalizer to target a more fashionable, trendy consumer.

    Brown Shoe Company

    "How to curb unwanted turnover?" | Video Presentation
    For the Brown Shoe Company project, the goal was to reduce manager turnover at Famous Footwear stores. This is a challenge that many retail companies face, and it is difficult to find the root cause.

    HESS Corporation

    "How to bring gas pumpers into stores?" | Video Presentation
    The group was challenged to develop a marketing plan that bring customers inside stores so that HESS can increase opportunities for selling more food and other merchandise items that have higher profit margins.

  2. Spring 2010 Projects

    Sweetbay Supermarkets

    Sweetbay Supermarket Inc. has a chain of 107 supermarkets located entirely in Florida and is headquartered in Tampa and a part of the Delhaize Group (Belgium-based).

    1. Group A: SWOT analysis and Corporate strategy
    2. Group B: Deli marketing and visual merchandising strategy
    3. Group C: Improving the performance of Gainesville Sweetbay Supermarket
  3. Spring 2011 Projects

    Win Dixie Supermarkets Inc.
    1. A Consumer-Centric Understanding of Freshness in Key Perimeter Fresh Departments (Customer Insights Team)
      Students conducted store observations, focus group interviews, and online panel surveys. Many of findings confirmed and justified their store renovation directions that Win Dixie is planning. Students developed action programs at stores and design issues that improve the position of Winn Dixie in consumers’ mind.
    2. How to Integrate Social Media tools into the Corporate Communications Mix (Winn-Dixie Marketing Department)
      The project is to recommend how to create a corporate social network for all associates that can enable departments to bridge five-state geography and connect cross-functional teams, share knowledge, develop closer connections, and drive significant business impact. The challenge is to figure out how to harness the benefits of increased employee participation through social media while mitigating the inherent corporate risks. Students conducted interviews and online surveys of Win Dixie employees. Based on the assessment of current employees’ attitudes and usages of social media, strategic action plans were recommended to transfer current internal communication, which is one way, limited, and separated, into interactive, multi-channel, and united communication.
  4. Spring 2012 Projects

    Bealls Inc.

    E-commerce team (

    1. How to increase conversion rates by utilizing action-oriented aesthetic designs?
    2. Online navigation strategies that improve merchandising efficiency and shopper experience (with the consideration of shopper segments)

MAR 4945 - Retail Management Internship

This Retail Management Internship course is designed to include an internship in retail. Retail Management Internship students work from an activity book each week during their internship and forward materials to the University. During the semester, students are supervised, visited and guided by Miller Center staff. They are also invited to take part on the annual Retailing Smarter Symposium.


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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