Retail Supply Chain Management

Entrepreneurs, market researchers, managers, technology developers—all could benefit from an understanding of the retail supply chain and how consumer demands and expectations are changing.

The retail supply chain management concentration explores all parts of the retail supply chain. You will explore changing consumer preferences, enhanced sustainability awareness, the integration of online and offline shopping, the impact of changing economic and environmental conditions, and so much more.

Where the Retail Supply Chain Management Concentration Will Take You

With a wide range of course topics, you gain an understanding of how retail establishments function, from human resources to the brand teams. This concentration prepares you for a variety of careers within the supply chain, including buying, merchandising, product planning and allocation, marketing, supply chain management, franchising, brand management, marketing research, and data analysis.

What You Will Study

The retail supply chain concentration includes a required course in Retailing Management and Supply Chain Management and a selection of electives to enhance your education and expand your interests and opportunities.

Required Courses

Retailers lie at the end of the supply chain, interfacing with the ultimate consumer as well as with suppliers. This course appeals to students with varied interests: retailing management, suppliers to retailers (or any business selling inventory), entrepreneurs, retail services, real estate, e-commerce, and finance. You will become familiar with all of the major decisions retailers make, including developing strategies, buying, financing, and locating stores.

Supply chain management (SCM) is an integrated approach to managing the flow of goods and services, information, and financials from the raw materials to the consumer. Demand Chain management (DCM) takes a more customer-focused approach to SCM. This course is designed to provide you with an integrated perspective of SCM and DCM to develop the capability to analyze current supply chain operations, to reconfigure the structure of supply chain, and to develop competitive supply chains. You will identify major barriers to effective supply and demand chain management, recognize best practices in supply and demand chain management, and assess the effect of advanced technologies on supply chain implementation.

Elective Courses

Our retail supply chain concentration offers over 20 electives, including options in marketing analytics, brand management, negotiations, and human resource management. Students will select a minimum of two electives. Explore some of the options below.

Learn about how organizations and their employees can successfully collect, evaluate, and apply information to become better decision makers. This course starts with basic concepts regarding business data needs and ends with hands-on experience using Business Intelligence (BI) tools. At the end of your study, you will be able to become an intelligent gatherer and user of data in your chosen field.

Drawing on research from sociology, psychology, strategy, and economics, this course focuses on the factors that shape consumer needs and influence buying behavior. You explore individual behavioral variables (needs, motives, perceptions, attitudes, personality, and learning) and group influences (social groups and culture) as they affect the consumer decision-making process. The objective is to help you understand how to analyze marketing programs, especially the communications mix and market segmentation, to improve consumer satisfaction.

This course explores the ways individuals think about and practice conflict resolution. You will have a chance to learn more about your own negotiating preferences and the consequences of the choices you make. The course requires both intensive involvement in negotiation and mediation simulations/exercises and thoughtful application of theory through class discussion and written analysis. Class materials will reflect a variety of contexts from the workplace, including interpersonal, global, and cross-cultural interactions.

Explore the entire list of retail supply chain management courses

You Will Learn From the Best

At Babson, our faculty are experts, innovators, and forward thinkers in their chosen fields. Here are just some professors sharing their expertise and support with our students.

Lauren Beitelspacher, Associate Professor, Division Chair

Lauren Beitelspacher

Lauren Beitelspacher’s research interests include: buyer-supplier relationships, retail management, and the retail supply chain. Her research concentrates specifically on the relationships with retailers and manufacturers, with a primary focus in the athletic, outdoor, and sporting goods industry.

Brad Johnson, Assistant Professor of Practice, Operations and Information Management Division

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson joined the faculty as a visiting lecturer in the fall of 2018 and teaches operations management courses. Prior to joining Babson, Johnson was Vice President at Wayfair, where he developed, launched, and managed CastleGate Fulfillment which provides order fulfillment, inventory storage and management, freight pick-up and container induction services, and guaranteed two-day and next-day delivery to customers.

Have Questions?

Faculty Contacts: Lauren Beitelspacher and Brad Johnson
Sponsoring Divisions: Marketing and Operations & Information Management

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