Meriden Lewis visited students in the Retail Leadership Seminar. Lewis has worked with Dillard’s, Newell Brands and most recently accepted a position with Estee Lauder as the Director of Account Management working in Specialty/Multi Channel (Ulta Beauty).
Lewis spoke to students about the importance of consumer insights in the retail industry. Consumer insights are data points that help to explain the emotions of consumers. Lewis’s presentation focused on the consumer insights process that began in 2017 for the 110 year old company Stanley. Students were also able to see how insights were different for Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X consumers. All these customers have different values they feel are important, and companies need to use different methods to successfully target them. At the end of class, students got the chance to ask questions about retailing and the career paths they hoped to take after graduation.
Bealls Real Estate Executive Speaks to Students
Wade Laufenberg came to speak to students about retail real estate and construction. Laufenberg is the Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Construction of the Bealls Retail Group. He had also previously held positions for Salon Lofts, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Lowe’s. Students were able to see into the two sides of this role: real estate and construction. They also got an inside look into how corporations choose areas to place stores through mobile data, loyalty data, financial metrics, and more. Students even got an in-depth look into Beall’s rebranding efforts. Mr. Laufenberg showed seminar participants all the stages of creating a store, from finding a region to building the store. After the presentation, students were able to ask questions about Bealls’ company culture, e-commerce, and competition.