Harvard Business School Launches New Program For Senior Leaders In Retail

BOSTON, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — From May 31 to June 3, 2016, Harvard Business School (HBS) Executive Education will host the Retail Forum for Senior Leaders (RETF) on the HBS campus in Boston. This new program will examine the developments reshaping the retail ecosystem and will help senior executives develop effective strategies for responding to change and maintaining competitive advantage.   

The evolving retail industry challenges even the most successful companies to constantly rethink their strategies. Retail Forum for Senior Leaders is designed to help senior executives improve their company’s ability to stay one step ahead of changes. The program will examine responses to industry challenges such as omnichannel shopping and the blurring of online and offline channels, the rise of digital technologies and payment methods, and cybercrime’s impact on industry standing and the bottom line. 

“The pace of change in the retail industry is extremely high,” said Professor Das Narayandas, Senior Associate Dean and Chair of Executive Education and Harvard Business Publishing. “Senior executives need to understand how to lead in a constantly evolving landscape. Through interactive case studies and in-depth analysis, this program provides executives with the perspective they need to rethink how they engage with customers and shape their organization’s strategy for long-term success.”

The program curriculum will focus on how the world’s leading traditional and online retailers remain competitive through successful marketing and operational strategies. Executives will consider topics including increasing odds of brick-and-mortar survival, applying big data, and expanding overseas successfully. The program will also cover topics such as combating cybercrime, employing smart strategies for long-term success, digitizing the retail experience, and lessons learned from retail in developing markets. 

“Although the retail industry is a major component of the world’s economy, there is a global graveyard of failed retailers that have made critical mistakes,” said John R. Wells, Professor of Management Practice and faculty chair of RETF. “It’s more important than ever that senior leaders are equipped with the right skills to confront today’s industry challenges. That’s why we train executives to create and implement big-picture strategies that will have transformative impact in their organizations.”

Retail Forum for Senior Leaders is designed primarily for the C-suite and other senior leaders within global or large regional retail organizations responsible for the execution of retail strategies. Executives within the strategy, marketing, operations, supply chain, merchandising, IT, and HR functions, and their direct reports, will also find value in the program. 

As with other HBS Executive Education offerings, Retail Forum for Senior Leaders will rely on research from leading HBS faculty, discussions with industry peers, and learnings from real-world case studies from successful global companies. 

Program Details:   
Retail Forum for Senior Leaders will be hosted from May 31 to June 3, 2016, on the Harvard Business Schoolcampus. Please visit http://www.exed.hbs.edu/programs/retf/ for complete curriculum and to apply. 

Retail Forum for Senior Leaders 
(May 31 – June 3, 2016, Harvard Business School)


David L. Ager, Senior Fellow, Senior Director, Executive Education.

Benjamin G. Edelman, Associate Professor of Business Administration.  

Rajiv Lal, Stanley Roth, Sr. Professor of Retailing.

Ananth Raman, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics.

John R. Wells, Professor of Management Practice and faculty chair of Retail Forum for Senior Leaders.

About Harvard Business School:  
Harvard Business School Executive Education, a division of Harvard Business School, is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston, Massachusetts. In fiscal year 2015, HBS faculty developed and delivered 73 open-enrollment Executive Education programs and 50 custom programs for leading organizations worldwide. More than 10,000 business executives attended programs held on campus in Boston as well as classrooms in Mumbai, and Shanghai. With global research centers in eight key regions, HBS faculty continue to develop groundbreaking research, forge powerful alliances with global organizations, and fulfill the mission of educating leaders who shape the practice of business and innovation. Learn more at www.exed.hbs.edu.

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