Retailing Newsletter

The Raymond A. Mason School of Business Hosts the Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program to Kick Off 2017.

July 2017 | By Lawrence J. Ring

Estimated reading time: 2.5 minutes

Key Takeaways

  1. The Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program comes to Babson September 9-15, 2017
  2. The program began in 1983 and has been operating for 35 years

The Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program was offered in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business of the College of William and Mary in May 2017. This offering represents the 35th year the program has been conducted, a significant milestone, begun in 1983. Currently, this program is offered twice in North America (at Babson College and at William and Mary). The program will be offered next the week of September 9–15, 2017, at Babson College. Those interested are encouraged to apply soon. For more information, please visit or contact us at or 781-239-4354.

The May program kicked off with “The Eight Ways to Win in Retailing,” and featured cases on Uniqlo (Fast Retailing), Burberry, T.J. Maxx, Sephora, Ulta, and Home Depot. The Burberry case featured 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 2017.

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 and Ulta case discussion, which included visits to both the websites and the bricks and mortar stores of Sephora, Ulta, Dillard’s, and Macy’s. The Sephora case also focused on the use of social media in marketing. The Ulta case (1.7 MB pdf) was new and features the rapidly growing beauty retailer.

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, PetSmart, Toys “R” Us, T.J. Maxx, Party City, and others. The group also visited the Williamsburg Premium Outlets to complete the store visits. In addition, they were given a guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg, followed by dinner at Shields Tavern in the restored colonial area.

Participants in the program represented seven countries: the United States, Australia, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Poland, and South Africa. The participants 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. Martha Orr Sutton was program manager and housemother, and looked after all members of the diverse group of participants at William and Mary.