Course Description

We cannot afford to let brick-and-mortar models of retail die off. Fellow entrepreneur, researcher and retail strategist Mark Pilkington has written that stores “urgently need to engage [with] brands, in order to fill the space, or face potential extinction.” His argument is reinforced by the behavior of Amazon, which is also recognizing the need to “fill the space” for its own longevity. It’s clear that, in this day and age, brands need to tangibly engage consumers in target markets in order to grow and to retain them. Brick-and-mortar retail is also a crucial part of the social fabric of a city and, perhaps most important, it’s an incredible economic contributor. Nearly 12 percent of all American jobs are in retail, denoting the industry as the largest private employer; and as reported on in the past two years, retail companies generate $1.14 trillion, equaling nearly 6 percent of the nation’s GDP. To sustain and strengthen retail, we need to innovate. We need to riff off existing models and cooperate with one another across industries and interests to do so.

Course Outline

  1. Getting Started
  2. Current State of Retail
  3. Reimagine the store
  4. Merchandising
  5. Inventory Management
  6. Next Steps
  7. Q&A
  8. Wrapping Up

Learner Outcomes

  1. Understand the current condition of retail
  2. Gain awareness of the what is meant by "reimagine retail"
  3. Learn how to implement new merchandising ideas including ecommerce refreshment
  4. Understand the critical nature of inventory management and the best practices around


A Public Service and Outreach Unit of the University of Georgia. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All programs of the UGA SBDC are open to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.
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