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Digital retail center opens think tank

Ten executives in the growing field of digital retailing have been named to the inaugural Think Tank for UNT's Global Digital Retailing Research Center.

Established during the 2013 spring semester and housed in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, the center is the first interdisciplinary center in the U.S. with a complete focus on digital retailing. Researchers in the center, some of whom are visiting faculty to UNT, address trends and issues for retailers whose consumers are increasingly connected through the World Wide Web, social media, smartphones, tablets and other technology, collaborating with industry professionals. 

The center also offers an Executive + Scholar Lecture Series and a Consumer Experience Symposium for UNT students and a Digital Executive Education Program for professionals who need to broaden their understanding of digital retailing for their companies and prepare for career growth.

Richard LastRichard Last, right, senior director of the Global Digital Retailing Research Center, said the Think Tank members will identify and develop points of view on trends, business models, technologies and strategies that will shape the future of digital retailing as an industry and a field of study. The members will communicate long distance during most of the year, and meet in person on the UNT campus every April.

The Think Tank includes four retail founding members, whose companies provide financial support to the center, and six other thought leaders invited by Last. They are:

  • Troy Brown, vice president of retail practice for Demandware, an enterprise cloud commerce solutions company based in Burlington, Mass.
  • Carolyn Corporon, vice president of marketing for CosmoProf, which is a division of center founding member Sally Beauty Holdings
  • Garrett Eastham, co-founder and chief executive officer of Edgecase, formerly Compare Metrics, an Austin-based software provider of personalized and adaptive product discovery solutions for online retailers.
  • Josh Friedman, vice president of e-commerce and digital operations for center founding member JCPenney
  • Brett Hurt, founder of Bazaarvoice and Coremetrics and co-owner of Hurt Family Investments, which invests in seed-stage companies primarily in Austin.
  • Shah Karim, chief executive officer of Saferock, a Dumont, N.J.-based company that advises retailers on strategies to improve shareholder value and develops analytics to improve return on investment.
  • Stacey Renfro, vice president of e-commerce for center founding member Pier 1 Imports
  • Vicki Spencer, vice president of e-commerce for center founding member Zale Corp.
  • Craig Wax, chief executive officer of Invodo, an Austin company that creates visual commerce applications for retailing and product websites
  • Scot Wingo, co-founder and chief executive officer of ChannelAdvisor, a North Carolina-based provider of cloud-based commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to increase global sales.

—Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions

Posted on: Thu 06 November 2014

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