Kohl's Center for Retailing 
Spring 2015 Newsletter 
University of Wisconsin-Madison


The Student Retail Association  provides an environment of activities that enables members to explore many dimensions of retailing and gain an "on-the-job" perspective of the every-changing retail world. The association strives to provide members with opportunities to develop leadership skills, interact with students with common interests as well as hear from and network with professionals in the retail industry. This semester SRA had a busy schedule filled with fun and beneficial events!

Professional Development Events
UW-Madison alum Lindsey Nelson came to represent Macy's and kick off the spring semester. Students learned about exciting new inititatives and internships/career opportunities that Macy's has to offer. In March, Amazon came to talk about innovation and an array of career opportunities both around the US and internationally. Target came with a group of store managers to talk about opportunities within the store, and Trunk Club came to campus for the first time to talk about their unique retail experience and job opportunties. In April students heard from a panel of merchants from Lands' End, and Enterprise spoke to students about a career in management from a company that is known for hiring recent college grads! At the end of April SRA partnered with the School of Human Ecology Professional Development Series (PD Series) to host an etiquette dinner where students were able to sit down to a three course meal as they were coached about professional and social etiquette. Von Maur generously helped SRA and the PD Series by sponsoring Luann Alemao of Luann Alemao & Associates Educator, Speaker & Trainer. This unique opportunity allowed students to learn a life long skill.

Milwaukee Trip
At the beginning of March, 11 students travelled to Milwaukee to tour Target's Distribution Center, Roundy's, and Milwaukee Tool's headquarters. This was the first time SRA visited Target's Distribution Center. Students were able to learn about supply chain and the inner workings of how Target's most productive distribution center works. At Roundy's students were able to hear from category managers about their roles and responsibilities, and were lucky enough to be there during a taste test of a new seafood line. Finally, Milwaukee Tool had product and brand managers talk to students about exciting opportunities in a rapidly growing company. Students also got to take a tour of the office and see where engineers design and test products. This was an exciting day filled with all different aspects of retail, showing students the wide variety of career options in the retail industry.

Community Service and Social Events

The SRA was also able to help around the community participating in the Slow Food preparation, and helping at the All Dressed Up event hosted by the Junior League of Madison. Girls from the Madison area come to this event to shop for prom dresses that have been donated by members of the community. SRA members were able to volunteer on a number of tasks such as registration, personal shopping, and modeling dresses during a fashion show. SRA members were also able to get to know one another at social events such as the Madison Comedy Club, a Brewer's game, and attending our Gold Member Banquet.
Dee Warmath's Consumer Strategy and Evaluation course and the design thinking process have spread to the School of Engineering and other areas on campus. The course offers an immersive, hands-on experience of strategy, planning, implementation and evaluation through real-world cases leading to specific strategic recommendations intended to enhance performance of a selected business or non-profit partner. Acting as a hired consultant for a real client, teams design and propose a strategic plan to their client, implement accepted plans, and evaluate the effect on the client's performance. The course is designed to provide practical insights into the application of course concepts to community, businesses and organizations. Besides learning about strategic planning and design thinking, students are able to practice public speaking and learn how to effectively pitch a business plan. Two seniors in the retail program, Paige Hopper and Kelly McCamley, who have have taken the class in past years assisted Dee with the strategy teams.
On Saturday, May 9th Threads is the annual fashion show showcasing work done by students in the Textile and Fashion Design Program in the School of Human Ecology. Students from all across campus collaborate to put on this great event. Carolyn Kallenborn teaches Design Studies 501 where students do all of the planning and organization for the show. This is an amazing way for students of all majors to get involved with the School of Human Ecology, and a way for the design students to showcase their amazing work!


Dee Warmath and the Robin's Nest has teamed up with the Wisconsin Without Boarders Marketplace (WWBM) to bring products to the Robin's Nest, the Badger Market in the School of Human Ecology. Taylore Ransom, a senior in the retail program, is the Chief Merchant for the Robin's Nest Extended Assortment. She is helping with everything from marketing, buying the merchandise, working with the Wisconsin Union as well as our main vendor Wisconsin Without Borders Marketplace. Currently Taylore is working with Dee's Consumer Strategy and Evaluation class to make a functional website for Wisconsin Without Borders Marketplace as well as planning events to showcase the Robin's Nest. This semester she also focused on buying merchandise and ways to market the store for events such as the Board of Visitors event and the Threads Fashion Show. The extended assortment is working on finding creative ways to share the unique and inspiring stories of the artisans behind the WWBM merchandise as well as looking at other prospective vendors the Robin's Nest may acquire. WWBM had developed a student organization for other students to get involved and help create their brand image.
From left Caroline Kreul, Meghan Mulhern, Martine Reardon,Macy's Chief Marketing Officer, Paige Cero and Mekea Larson
Congratulations Caroline Kreul, journalism major with a focus in strategic communication, Paige Cero, journalism major with a focus in strategic communication, Mekea Larson, majoring in journalism and French, and Meghan Mulhern majoring in marketing, supply chain, and management and HR,
our UW-Madison winning team!

The four seniors created a winning business plan for how Macy's could be the go to destination for Bridal registries. They also focused on how to bring in and keep millennials, who are reaching marital age, as life long customers. 

Each of the five participating universities were able to enter multiple teams' business plans and then one team from each school was chosen to present at Macy's Headquarters in New York to executives within the company. The students who presented also participated in a focus group with Macy's executives about the millennial generation. 

Congratulations to all of our students who participated! 
This March Kohl's held their first case competition. Twelve schools from across the country were asked to pick one team to enter into the Kohl's Invitational. Students spent the next month developing a business plan to help integrate new technology into Kohl's stores, with a focus on engaging Millennials. At the end of the month the teams presented in front of Kohl's executives at the corporate office in Menomonee Falls, WI.


A unique aspect of this competition was the interaction students had with other schools and Kohl's employees through Twitter. We're very proud that UW won "Most School Spirit" for the Twitter contest!

The UW-Madison team with Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell


Congratulations to our team!

Natalie Rondinelli, sophomore majoring in retail, and our three seniors who will be starting their careers at Kohl's in August: Kelly McCamley, Lauren Wellenstein, and Morgan Loomis.




From left: Natalie Rondinelli, Kelly McCamley, Lauren Wellenstein, and Morgan Loomis








Stefan Midford, Natural Insight's CEO, sponsored four students to attend the RMMC hosted by the World Alliance for Retailing Excellence and Standards (WARES) this April in Las Vegas. Stefans' goal was to give students a chance to experience a new dimension of the retail industry not normally taught in the classroom. He also encouraged other companies to support similar programs, in order for other college students and future leaders to learn more about the industry. The students were able to sit in on keynotes and breakout sessions, as well as network with professionals attending the conference. 

The students applied and were selected to attend the conference, and then after interviews while in Vegas one of the four was chosen for an additional scholarship. Congratulations to Lauren Wellenstein, senior majoring in consumer affairs and communication arts, who was the big winner and the other three runner-up finalists Lauren Freedman, sophomore majoring in marketing and management, Kelly McCamley, senior majoring in retail, and Morgan Loomis, senior majoring in retail! 

"We are excited to recognize all four finalist as future retail industry leaders" said Stefan Midford, President and CEO of Natural Insight. "All of them, and especially Lauren our winner, have demonstrated an ability and a desire to innovate within the retail industry and we're pleased to enable their attendance at the RMMC and help further their education."
UW-Madison meets keynote speaker Daymund John The Shark!
From left Morgan Loomis, Angie Badura, Kelly McCamley, Daymund John, Jerry O'Brien, Lauren Wellenstein, and Lauren Freedman



Megan Donovan
Junior Retailing Major
Certificates in French, Business, and Entrepreneurship

I declared my retail major the spring semester of my sophomore year

and since then have gotten very involved with SoHE and various opportunities offered through the Center for Retailing. Last summer, I was able to go on the Trend Tracking and Forecasting trip in Europe where I was able to visit some of the worlds' most famous shopping centers and streets as well as meet various professors and professionals. My first interaction with the Center for Retailing was this past fall when I was selected to be one of the five business students from UW to compete in the Fashion Scholarship Fund case competition. I spent a lot of time working with Jerry O'Brien, other retailing faculty, and UW-Madison's professional mentor Jeff Manby, EVP-GMM at Kohl's, to perfect my case and was selected as one of the scholars to receive a $5,000 scholarship. Through this scholarship I was able to attend the YMA Geoffrey Beene Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala in New York City, where I met the president of the foundation, various Macy's, Men's Warehouse, and Kohl's executives, and even had a run-in with Vera Wang. I was recently selected to be the representative for UW for the next step in the FSF competition, the Geoffrey Beene case competition, where I will be competing for $30,000. I am looking forward to working more with the staff in the Center for Retailing as I work on this project throughout the summer and fall. This summer I will also be interning with Kohl's in the buying office. I have been very lucky with the unique opportunities available through the retailing program and would advise other retailing students to take advantage of these too.


Paige Hopper
Senior Retailing Major
Certificate in Entrepreneurship

I was initially undecided about my major, and it wasn't until sophomore year when I applied to the retail major. What originally sparked my interest was the retail symposium class taught by Jerry O'Brien. It opened my eyes to all of the possibilities the retail industry has to offer. I had no idea certain jobs even existed and I discovered how fast paced the world of retail is, which I love. It didn't take long before I fell in love with my major and all of the people that were a part of it. All of my peers and professors have been instrumental in helping to increase my knowledge and passion for retail.  Last summer I did the Retail Management Internship with my dream company, Nordstrom. I learned the way a store runs and what it takes to be an effective manager. In the fall, I was selected to attend the Student Retail Association's annual trip to the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York over winter break. I got to be in New York, at the hub of retail, and here from some of the major leaders in the industry.  Finally, as I wrap up my senior year I have accepted a position with Bon-Ton at their corporate headquarters in Milwaukee. I will be an Executive Trainee working in the buying and planning sector of the business. I cannot express enough how much the School of Human Ecology and the Center for Retailing have helped me to land a position in the "real world". From mock interviews, resume workshops, recommendation letters, to classes these are the things that helped me to be a competitor among the rest, and a candidate worth choosing.
Nancy Wong
Professor, Faculty Director Kohl's Center for Retailing BBA, MBA, MA, PhD

Nancy Wong was approached by a professor in the computer science department to give her consumer perspective on a student's project. They found many new opportunities to make the app more user friendly and created a new energy-tracking app, "My Earth" to help reduce day-to-day energy usage. The app is a diary format where users can pick activities to reduce their carbon emissions and energy consumption. The app has five main categories: electricity, recycling, travel, food, and usage. A polar bear sitting on an iceberg represents the impact of the chosen activities. The more carbon that is saved the more the iceberg grows. Often people want to be environmentally friendly, they just don't know how their individual action fits into the bigger picture, and the app helps to make that connection. The app was launched on April 20th at the Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference. 

"Carbon units are too abstract for people to understand. Translating conservation behaviors into something tangible, such as a growing iceberg, could help" -Nancy Wong
A huge thank you to Roundy's for sponsoring SoHE's first food and study event. It came to the school's attention that near the end of the semester many students start running low on cash, especially on their Wiscards which allows them to get discounts on food on campus. The School of Human Ecology with the help of Roundy's wanted to give students free nutritional food and a nice place to study. Students are stressed enough about doing well on their finals, they shouldn't be worrying about where to get their next meal. 
T H A N K    Y O U    T O    O U R    P A R T N E R S !