Updates of The Week

Supply Chain

Drone delivery is a hot topic in the retail supply chain world.  This "last mile" question has seen a large amount of interest from many companies including heavy weights like Amazon and Walmart.  Drone delivery startup Flirtey, as reported on TechCrunch, is making its own splash in this new area.  Flirtey's drones have already delivered pizzas in New Zealand and Slurpees for 7-11 in Nevada.  Now with a new round of financing, they are getting ready for their next leap.

Drone Delivery startup Flirtey

Retail Technology

Retailers, understanding the driving demand from consumers to make a truly seamless experience with their stores, are rapidly investing in unified commerce platforms for all their purchase points (e.g., store, mobile, web).  Boston Retail Partners recently released a survey that outlines what retailers will be doing in this effort.  A key finding is that 75% of retailers will use Wi-Fi to identify customers in their stores by the end of 2019.  Read the short summary and download the survey at:

Unified commerce and retailing


2016 was a big year for the Retail Industry, a wide range of innovation and marketing strategies drove the change behind consumer's new expectations. Brick & mortar stores may be scrambling to stay relevant but still hold a key component to future success in 2017. Marketing strategies need to evolve with the consumer's expectations by reinventing their channel, service strategies and product mix. 

2017 Retail Trends

Consumer Behavior

The detail age of retailing is impacting bricks and mortar stores in ever challenging ways.  The mall - the location of many of these retailers - are facing equal challenges.  How do they evolve to remain relevant?  McKinsey and Company offers three specific strategies and investment priorities to help malls remain relevant for the new digital consumer.

The Future of the Shopping Mall


Durable purchases and services have dominated online purchases for years.  Fashion products have been bought by 58% of online buyers with travel products (55%) slightly behind.  But consumables have drastically tailed behind.  This wide gap is a place for innovation for retailers particularly given the advent of more flexible and cost-effective fulfillment options being developed.  So the 38% of respondents to a Nielsen "Connected Consumer Survey" who have bought health and beauty products online may just be the trailblazers for an expanding internet.  Read the full summary of the Nielsen survey.

Nielsen Connected Consumer Survey

Walmart announced continued and increased commitment to their sustainability initiatives in a press release today, simultaneously introducing “a new era of trust and transparency”, as noted by Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon. Some high points include a goal to double sales of locally grown produce in the U.S., expanding and enhancing sustainable sourcing to cover 20 key commodities, including bananas, coffee, and tea, and implementing a new plan designed to achieve science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

Sabrina V. Helm is Petsmart Associate Professor of Retailing and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona where she teaches Consumer Behavior as well as Marketing Strategy. She is also the Co-Director of the Consumers, Environment and Sustainability Initiative (CESI) at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining UA, she was Professor of Strategic Marketing at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany’s premier private university. In her research, Sabrina focuses on customer bonding strategies, customer valuation, referral marketing and reputation management. Current research projects also include studies on consumer mindfulness and its effect on pro-environmental behaviors, and studies on consumer perceptions and anxiety with regard to the threats of climate change.
Sabrina received her Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Duesseldorf, Germany. She also holds a post-doctoral degree granted by the University of Duesseldorf. Prior to her academic career, she worked as assistant to the CEO of a mechanical engineering plant and as a specialist in museum marketing.


If you’ve ever been to New York City’s Herald Square, you’ve probably seen or taken a picture by the giant Macy’s Bag on the corner of the original Macy’s store. It’s an area that is known for attracting many tourists and a large audience in general. The Macy’s billboard bag has never featured anything other than the Macy’s logo. That has changed with a new collaboration with DreamWorks Animation.

harold-square-macys-bag  Throughout the month of October, the Herald Square Macy’s bag will feature the new movie DreamWorks’ Trolls, which debuts on November 4th. This is the first time Macy’s has supported an entertainment studio or promoted a theatrical film in such a massive way.

The Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing was able to hear all about Macy’s partnership with DreamWorks Animation through former RCSC student, Bryce Ortega. Bryce Ortega graduated from our program and has worked his way up in the DreamWorks Licensing department.

From an early age, Bryce Ortega participated in sports and when attending the University of Arizona that didn’t change. Bryce started at shortstop and 2nd base on the Wildcat’s baseball team from freshman through senior year. Finding himself with opportunities after athletics, he took a swing at the entertainment industry and landed on a new passion. Since then Bryce has worked in three different capacities at DreamWorks Animation.  He started out in international licensing where he managed agent relationships across markets such as Canada, Latin America and Australia. After mastering these territories, he was promoted into global new business development engaging with companies that have a worldwide scale. Partnering with companies that reach across the globe allows DreamWorks Animation to market and reach a larger audience across multiple regions. In Bryce’s current role as Hardlines’ Licensing Manager, he is now focused on partnerships within the United States across the categories of food, health, beauty, stationery and Party.

Continue reading

I am the Social Media Manager for the Terry J. Lundgren Center For Retailing at the University of Arizona, I also am a Junior in the Retail and Consumer Sciences major at the University. I am what you call a Retail Enthusiast, I am intrigued by the way the retail industry is evolving and what it has to offer the world. I enjoy the outdoors, yoga, and some good music.

I had the distinct pleasure today to visit with Eli and Jen Crane, the founders and owners of startup company – Bottle Breacher.  Two nicer and more genuine people you will not find.  It was absolutely wonderful to visit with them and be introduced to their products more thoroughly and their process from design, operations and marketing.  The passion in both of them is infectious.  It also reconfirms the entrepreneurial spirit that drives this country. Continue reading

I am the Director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona and the PetSmart Professor of Practice. I am very passionate about teaching, being a Dad, barbecue and chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

Terry Lundgren is much more than just the leader of an iconic retail brand like Macy’s.  He is a man with an incredible and genuine passion for the emerging leaders of the retailing industry.  That is not a fact that receives as much recognition but, in my humble opinion, will ultimately be his greatest gift to retailing. Continue reading

I am the Director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona and the PetSmart Professor of Practice. I am very passionate about teaching, being a Dad, barbecue and chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

When one is in college, summer is usually time to sit back, relax, go to beach, get a part-time job and fill up the tank for the next academic year.  That’s what I did except I headed to the mountains in Colorado instead of the beach.  But, for many students in the retailing and consumer sciences program, summer means heading off to a summer internship instead.  This summer, three of our students – Jason Knode, Savannah Whitehead, and Karlie Fisher – will be taking part in three such experiences.  And, for the first time this summer, these three amazing folks will be chronicling their journeys through our website – Continue reading

I am the Director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona and the PetSmart Professor of Practice. I am very passionate about teaching, being a Dad, barbecue and chocolate – not necessarily in that order.