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News and Events

  •  PayPal President Shares His Vision of the Future

    Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011
    Imagine walking into a store without any cash, not a single credit card, not even your wallet. When you go to check out, you pay with your phone number and PIN number. This is the vision of the future that Scott Thompson, president of PayPal.
  •  RCME Presents - John Hamm

    Tuesday, May. 17, 2011
    John will provide both seasoned and aspiring leaders a framework for understanding and a guide for applying the fundamentals of leadership at every stage in their careers.
  •  Hand Made in San Francisco

    Tuesday, May. 3, 2011
    Walking the streets of San Francisco, you'll be sure to see a Timbuk2 bag somewhere.
  •  The Digital Payment Industry

    Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011
    Scott Thompson (President - PayPal) Presents: The Digital Payment Industry: Where It Is & Where It's Going. April 18th
    PayPal
  •  Starting her own business in NY

    Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
    Our very last stop was to see another Santa Clara alum, Chantel Waterbury, who graduated in '97.
  •  NY visit to Calvin Klein

    Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
    On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, we had the pleasure of visiting Calvin Klein's men's sportswear showroom and CRK, which is Calvin Klein's internal advertising agency.
  •  A Day in the Life at Hugo Boss

    Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
    Today we went to the Hugo Boss office to meet with Mark Brashear, CEO and President of Hugo Boss Americas.
  •  M-Commerce at NRF's

    Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
    One of the main topics at the NRF 100th Annual Convention (Retail's Big Show) in New York this past week, was m-commerce.
  •  Retail Studies Students Receive FSF - YMA Scholarship

    Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
    Congratulations to retail studies students Sumeet Chadha ('13) and Bianca Frediani ('12) for winnning the FSF (Fashion Scholarship Fund) YMA scholarship!
  •  Williams-Sonoma VP Shares E-View From the Top

    Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010
    RMI students had a special guest in late October. Angela Caltagirone, vice president of e-marketing at Williams-Sonoma Inc.
  •  Gamage and Gustafson Recognized as Extraordinary Team

    Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010
    Cynthia Gamage, RMI associate director, and Danielle Gustafson, office coordinator, were awarded the LSB Extraordinary Team Award
  •  Never a Better Time for Entering Retail

    Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
    "I believe that the young people of today are at an inflection point & it's a time when this industry needs young thinking and needs people to change it."
    Ken Duane
 
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News and Events

News and announcements from the Retail Management Institute.

  •  PayPal President Shares His Vision of the Future

    Thursday, Jun. 2, 2011

    Imagine walking into a store without any cash, not a single credit card, not even your wallet. When you go to check out, you pay with your phone number and PIN number. This is the vision of the future that Scott Thompson, president of PayPal.

     

  •  RCME Presents - John Hamm

    Tuesday, May. 17, 2011

    "Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership"

    Often, when leaders experience trouble, they look to blame an outside source or expect a small tweak to right their ship. But many times they have actually lost their grip on the basic foundation of their own leadership.

    In this program, John Hamm, author of Unusually Excellent, will provide both seasoned and aspiring leaders a framework for understanding and a guide for applying the fundamentals of leadership at every stage in their careers. The business environment may change, but no management trend can displace the core laws of excellent leadership.

    Leadership expert Hamm explains why leadership can't be mastered as a single concept or tool that can be pulled out of a hat when needed. Excellent leadership is composed of actions, ideas, emotions, cultural forces, history, and expectations that work together in an interconnected system. In this program, you will learn how any manager or leader can excel by consistently putting into action the “Necessary Nine skills”: being authentic, trustworthy, and compelling; leading people, strategy, and execution; communicating, making decisions, and making an impact.


    RCME Speaker Series
    John Hamm - Unusually Excellent
    May 19, 2012
    9:30 a.m. - Noon
    Santa Clara University
    Lucas Hall

    This program will be interactive, with plenty of time for Q&A, and is intended for managers and leaders at all levels.

    (This is a membership program through RCME - http://scu.edu/business/rmi/rmi-retail-consortium.cfm)

    Non-members interested in attending this session, please contact Cynthia Gamage, Program Director. Cgamage@scu.edu

  •  Hand Made in San Francisco

    Tuesday, May. 3, 2011

    Walking the streets of San Francisco, you'll be sure to see a Timbuk2 bag somewhere. Treasured by bikers and commuters alike, the recognizable three-tone style of Timbuk2's messenger bags stand out against all other bags worldwide. Their product line has expanded to include backpacks, larger and smaller shoulder bags, and even cases for computers or products like iPad. Though they may not be the largest brand offering a visit to students in the RMI program, the February tour of Timbuk2's headquarters in San Francisco made for a unique visit and peek into the world of e-commerce for small businesses.



    10 SCU students, including Anthony Prieto, a recent addition to the RMI program, spent the morning touring the corporate offices and manufacturing facility of T2, lead by CEO Mike Wallenfels. Mr. Wallenfels and two members of the online marketing team also presented an in-depth overview of the company's strategy, analytic and social media platforms, and outlook on the future.



    A unique portion of Timbuk2’s business allows for individual customization of each bag that customers or corporate partners order. Customers can pick colors or materials for each of the parts of the bag and decide on different orientations (left or right-handed) for each feature. "Timbuk2's unique style and ability to customize bags online distinguishes them from the competition, and their attention to detail in the manufacturing process allows for a streamlined production timeline," Prieto remarked after the visit. When presenting their social media strategy, the team stressed the importance of tying giveaways to participation in each service, in an effort to improve traffic and increase followers. Their social media platform also publishes pictures of each custom bag, as they are ordered, in an effort to inspire subscribers to pick out their own on an impulse-buy.


    Students were impressed with Vivian Tsai's presentation on Internet marketing and online advertising campaigns. It was fascinating to see how various web analytic tools identify which parts of the website were clicked most frequently and how the site layout was adjusted to maximize conversion rates. The company also recently offered a Groupon promotion to customers in New York City to drive volume and gauge interest for new opportunities in the area. As online discounters and coupon sites become increasingly important in the e-commerce space, it will be important to keep an eye on such trends and apply concepts to other business models in the market.



    Inspired by the incredible value of a peek inside T2's business, some students expressed interest in applying for summer internships with the company. If you're interested in applying, check their website frequently as jobs have yet to be posted.


    For more info on the company or to order a bag, visit Timbuk2 online at their website. You can also visit the company's retail store in San Francisco or inquire with the RMI office to find out about the possibility of future tours for other students

  •  The Digital Payment Industry

    Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011

    The Digital Payment Industry: Where It Is & Where It's Going.

    Presented by: Scott Thompson, President - PayPal

    April 18th
    4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    Lucas Hall 126

    Sponsored by the Retail Management Institute & Department of Marketing

    To register email - dgustafson@scu.edu

    PayPal
  •  Starting her own business in NY

    Friday, Jan. 21, 2011

    Our very last stop was to see another  Santa Clara alum, Chantel Waterbury, who graduated in ’97. Ever since, she has accomplished amazing things. Gail Kirby and Cynthia Gamage had told us about her before our meeting, but hearing her story from her own lips was truly inspiring.

    When she graduated from Santa Clara, she went to work for Mervyns, starting at the lowest level and worked her way up to Buyer in about 2 years, setting the record for the quickest ascent in the company. She then went to Macy’s and worked as a Buyer for several years. She then went on to become the Director of Accessories at Old Navy at GAP Inc. After being at Old Navy for a short while, Chantel became Merchandise Manager of Luxury Jewelry for DFS Inc where she had access to many prestigious brands like Cartier and was able to work with beautiful jewelry. With this job she spent a lot of time in Asia studying the different buying trends of the different sectors of the countries. She then went on to become the Vice President of Kenneth Cole Jewelry at Haskell Jewels where she was able to completely create a jewelry line to match Kenneth Cole’s new clothing line.
     
    When she got pregnant, Chantel needed to leave her job at Kenneth Cole while on maternity leave. During this time she told us that she got bored and decided to write a business plan as it had always been her dream to start her own business. Due to Chantel’s incredible history and her perseverant attitude, I have no doubt that her new jewelry line, Chloe and Isabel, will be a great success. She told us that her movement to the many different companies really helped her to grow and develop, not only in her business, but as a person.
     
    At each new company she learned a new aspect of the jewelry business which only fueled her passion for her work. Chantel gave us some great advice as soon to be college graduates. She told us to always believe in ourselves and to always make sure we are growing in the company we are at. If we feel we are not growing, it’s time for a change, no matter how difficult the transfer may be, as this way, we will always be growing.
     
  •  NY visit to Calvin Klein

    Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011

    On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, we had the pleasure of visiting Calvin Klein’s men’s sportswear showroom and CRK, which is Calvin Klein’s internal advertising agency that manages all of the brand’s advertising and marketing endeavors. We were able to catch up with Ken Duane, the Vice Chairman of Phillips-Van Heusen, Calvin Klein’s parent company, and member of the Retail Management Institute’s Advisory Board. In addition, we met with Molly Yearick, the President of Calvin Klein sportswear. After hearing about Calvin Klein’s wholesale business and how Molly ended up in the industry, we walked down the block to CRK to visit with Michael DeLellis, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Advertising. Michael and his team showed us a video about the history of Calvin Klein’s advertisements and walked us through their new media endeavors, including their recent QR Code billboard where people could take a picture of the billboard with their smart phone and then automatically see the new Calvin Klein video on their phone. The entire experience was beyond exciting, helped us gain a better experience of the Calvin Klein brand, and exposed us to what the company has done to remain one of the most respected and relevant brands in the world for more than forty years.

  •  A Day in the Life at Hugo Boss

    Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

    Today we went to the Hugo Boss office to meet with Mark Brashear, CEO and President of Hugo Boss Americas. We were able to speak with him about his career path as well as one of his colleagues, Chelsea, about what direction Hugo Boss is going in. Mark Brashear began his career working for Macys, followed by working for Nordstrom. He then branched off to work for Facconable when Nordstrom decided to part with the brand, taking him to work in Paris. Two years ago he came to work for Hugo Boss Americas. Mark was also kind enough to offer some career advice. He emphasized that it is important to recognize that you must take wonderful opportunities that you are presented with and that your main goal must that you desire to achieve can be obtained through all of the experience and the path you take that leads up to it.


    Mark was kind enough to give us a tour of the Hugo Boss Showroom as well as a presentation overview on the company. Chelsea informed us that Hugo Boss has a 96% brand awareness in the United States and that they are greatly focusing on e-commerce. They have recently been very much looking into paying a lot of attention to Facebook, Twitter, and Hugo Boss TV. They are looking to target consumers through these channels in order to be able to keep up with the new trend of using mobile phones, as well as being able to target a wider range of consumers and expose the product.


    There are several different lines that they manufacture, including Boss Black, Boss Selection, Boss Orange, Boss Green, and Hugo by Hugo Boss. As we walked around the showroom we were able to see pieces from these collections. Hugo Boss is currently preparing for customers to come in and view the new product in the showroom, so we were able to see how they are preparing to display these items in this season's showing, coming up in a few days.


    The Hugo Boss office was AMAZING. It looks right over the Hudson River, and Mark said that he actually saw the plane when it crashed into the river. It was right after he had moved into the new office. You can see the Statue of Liberty from the other side of his office, and the showroom, though always changing, is also amazing. Mark is SUCH a nice man and is part of our Advisory Board. If you ever get the opportunity to meet him, don't hesitate to take it.

  •  M-Commerce at NRF's

    Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

     

    One of the main topics at the NRF 100th Annual Convention (Retail's Big Show) in New York this past week, was m-commerce. By 2012 more than 50% of all sales will be mobile-enabled in some way. The challenge that retailers have to overcome is how to integrate this new channel successfully.

    In the seminar “Using Mobile Payments to Increase the Base of Contactable Customers” by Richard Crone, CEO& Founder of Crone Consulting argued that the use of mobile payment is the key to connecting to more customers. The rule is- The One Who Enrolls, Is the One Who Controls. The main goal of retailer is to move a customer from anonymous to contactable, to hopefully make them a loyal customer. If you can get customers to integrate your App through their whole shopping experience, they will be contactable for the retailer.

    Customer usually use mobile to locate stores, research prices, or to find coupons and reviews. Mobile is an enabler channel- it is included in almost every other channel. Consumers use it increasingly in their in-store shopping experience.  For example, when shopping in a mall the customer can use his smart phone to locate the store, to compare prices or to read product reviews. Barcode scanning has increased 700% last year. However, once the customer is in a store, Crone argues, that the cross- channel self-service has to be optimized. This is achieved by motivating the customer to pay through their mobile. As the rule is, The One Who Enrolls, Is the One Who Controls, mobile payment increases mobile engagement with that retailer.

    M-Commerce has to be a customer driven model, and redefines the 4 P’s.

    Place- Locator app, In-store locate products

    Promotion- customized to area, demographic

    Preference- customization of recommendations, coupons

    Payment- easy mobile payment!

    The integration of mobile allows the retailer to customize the customer’s shopping process through their whole purchasing journey. They key is to get customers enrolled…which is achieved through mobile payments!

     

  •  Retail Studies Students Receive FSF - YMA Scholarship

    Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

    Congratulations to retail studies students Sumeet Chadha ('13) and Bianca Frediani ('12) for winnning the FSF (Fashion Scholarship Fund) YMA scholarship!

    The YMA Scholarship Fund is a national nonprofit association consisting of influential members of the fashion community, dedicated to promoting the education of the fa...shion arts and business by granting scholarships to talented students and facilitating internships

  •  Williams-Sonoma VP Shares E-View From the Top

    Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010

    Santa Clara RMI students were treated to a visit with a special guest in late October. Angela Caltagirone, vice president of e-marketing at Williams-Sonoma Inc. and an SCU alum herself, talked about her current position, where the industry is headed, and what to expect next.

    “I really encourage you guys to take a look at the Web aspect of retail as an area of interest because that’s where things are going,” advised Caltagirone to her eager student audience. After her junior year at SCU in the early 1990s, she interned at electronic retailer Good Guys.
     
    “I really think it paved the way to get the position at Williams-Sonoma right after I graduated,” she said – a position she took upon graduating from SCU. Caltagirone has been with the company for 18 years.  
     
    The petite and energetic businesswoman described the growth she witnessed at the company.
     
    “I was there in the late ’90s when we launched our e-programs. I think it’s been a fascinating decade – so much has changed at Williams-Sonoma, and so much more is to come.”
     
    The things that have changed include the launch of a sufficient e-mail program that includes a 50 million customer database and an 18 million e-mail address file. Aside from e-commerce, Williams-Sonoma’s other retail channels include stores and catalogs. Instead of isolating each channel with particular market segments, the company tries to get these three channels to work together, as two-thirds of its sales come from multi-channel shoppers. “The more we can get them to cross-pollinate, the better,” explained Caltagirone.
     
    Regardless of change, Caltagirone says the company stays true to one business fundamental.
     
    “We do not blend brands,” she said.
    Williams-Sonoma houses six brands within the company: Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, and West Elm. “Each brand has a distinct customer…to blur them would be poor customer service.” Each endeavor for each brand has three goals: Conversion, Attribution, and Acquisition.
     
    Caltagirone also touched upon search engine optimization, better known as SEO within the industry. She explained the difference between paid and natural search and how to optimize Williams-Sonoma’s presence in the world of Google.
    Natural search refers to a company’s “natural” rankings within the Google results list. “It’s all about winning the popularity contest with Google to get your search result to the top,” she explained. In order to win the contest, a combination of good, descriptive coding and URL names and having your Web site linked on other prestigious sites is needed. “Having our site linked on credible Web sites such as cnn.com, or .gov’s and .edu’s is huge for Google rankings. We should probably work out some sort of link on the Santa Clara Web site,” she said with a wink.
     
    Paid search is a different beast. When it comes to paid search, “We love Google and we hate Google,” Caltagirone said. With a 50-cent charge per click, paid search ads do not come cheap. “We’re always telling our employees, don’t click! don’t click!” she said with a laugh.
     
    Williams-Sonoma does have some advantages in its relationship with Google. Currently, Williams-Sonoma is part of a new local search initiative in which it sends Google daily inventory reports so potential consumers can see what is in stock in their area.
     
    The company has also created its own YouTube channel for the various brands, which was an instant success.
    As far as what is to come for the e-marketing facet of Williams-Sonoma, the future looks bright. Caltagirone and her 15-person team have dabbled in Facebook ads, a fantastic tool that provides a ton of demographic insight given the nature of the social media site.
     
    Additionally, a few months ago, Williams-Sonoma launched mobile sites. The sales aren’t huge – yet.
     
    “We get 5 percent or less of our sales from mobile, but we expect to see it grow dramatically. I’ve heard that by 2015 mobile will completely outpace the desktop.” Caltagirone’s strong leadership can clearly be credited with anticipating the trend and getting in front of it.
RMI 
 
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