​Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Keeps on Delivering with 2016 Program in Williamsburg, Virginia

​The Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program was conducted in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business of the College of William and Mary in May 2016. This offering represents the 34th year the program has been conducted, a significant milestone. It is currently offered twice in North America (at Babson College and at William and Mary), once in Australia, and once in Singapore (hosted by the Retail Academy of Singapore).

The program is next scheduled to be offered September 17–23, 2016, at Babson College. Those interested are encouraged to apply early. Learn more about the program​ or contact us at exec@babson.edu or 781-239-4354.

The Williamsburg program kicked off with “The Eight Ways to Win in Retailing,” and featured cases on Target Stores, Burberry, T.J. Maxx, Sephora, and Home Depot. The Burberry case, in its second year of use, coincided with major press announcements that week concerning the key issues in the case. The case included the company’s award-winning use of digital technology in its stores. The Home Depot case series charted the strategic evolution of the company from its founding in 1978 up to 2016.

The T.J. Maxx case included a perceptual mapping exercise that allowed participants to visualize the U.S. fashion-apparel market and see the perceived positioning of more than 50 retail companies, including department stores, discounters, specialty stores, and off-pricers. In addition, the faculty delivered lectures and exercises on financial and productivity analysis, strategic thinking and planning, category scorecards and merchandise management, customer-relationship management, and customer and associate satisfaction. Students participated in a multichannel beauty-product shopping exercise as part of the Sephora case discussion, which included visits to both the websites and the brick-and-mortar stores of Sephora, Ulta, Dillard’s, and Macy’s. The Sephora case also focused on the use of social media in marketing.

On Wednesday afternoon at the Williamsburg program, the group participated in a store tour with visits to Wal-Mart Supercenter, Target Greatlands, Costco, Lowe’s, World Market, Whole Foods Market, Ulta Cosmetics, hhgregg, PetSmart, Toys “R” Us, T.J. Maxx, Party City, and others, finishing up at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. In addition, the group went on a guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg, followed by dinner at Shields Tavern in the restored colonial area.

Participants in the program represented 11 countries: the United States, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. They came from companies in a wide variety of retail sectors, and the class was composed of senior-level executives representing all the functions of a retail organization. Professors Larry Ring, John Strong, and Ron Hess were the primary program faculty for the program. Ellen Sutton served as program manager and house mother, and looked after all members of the diverse group of participants at William and Mary.

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