Advanced Retail Strategy

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience – Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions – Ideal for professionals in the retail industry, especially those individuals in marketing, strategy, innovation, and/or customer relationship roles
  • Prerequisites – Intended for anyone who wants to stay on the cutting edge of the retail industry, enhance their customer experience and drive growth and innovation

About the course

In the current retail climate, companies must evaluate and implement new technologies at a rapid pace in order to satisfy their customers’ desires for an increasingly sophisticated retail experience, both in-store and on eCommerce sites. The goal of the Advanced Retail Strategy program is to provide retail professionals with the tools and strategies to navigate these shifting industry standards with confidence.

Participants will discuss customer acquisition and retention, retail marketing communications, and consider ways to leverage digital marketing and social media for their brand. This course also touches on cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and will provide a foundation for participants to assess the potential value of these innovations for their business.

Taught in collaboration by Stern professors and industry practitioners, this short course aims to provide an immersive learning experience for retail professionals, and incorporates a variety of learning formats including lecture, group work, and panel discussions. This course also includes a walking tour of several retail locations in SoHo, New York City’s premiere shopping neighborhood. During this experiential learning session, participants will be able to examine how different retail companies are innovating the in-store experience for their customers.

Program Takeaways

Consumer Communication Strategies

  • Apply tools to assess path-to-purchase, strategic focus and communications objectives in order to make more integrated and effective decisions regarding consumer communications

Current Retail Technologies

  • Gain a nuanced and up-to-date understanding of the current retail context, including the most important innovations and strategic opportunities, both in-store and on eCommerce

Investment Opportunities

  • Build frameworks to make more informed investment decisions regarding new technologies and AI/ML-based innovations


Day 1

Session 1: Consumer Path to Purchase: The Role of Retail

  • When and how the consumer interacts in the retail environment
  • How effective interactions lead to customer acquisition, retention and, ultimately, sustainable growth
  • Consumer touchpoints and key strategies and tactics to maximize efficiency and effectiveness

Session 2: Retail Communications Strategy

  • Leveraging direct, person-to-person contact with the consumer to support and enhance your advertising and social media channels
  • Lessons learned from B2B and integrated marketing communications
  • Developing an effective and cohesive communications strategy across all channels - traditional and online advertising, social media and in person

Session 3: The Future of Omni-Channel Retail

  • Using AI and mobile to monetize the retail sector
  • Lessons from mobile targeting in a global context
  • The role of blockchain in digital marketing

Session 4: Panel Discussion: Retail Analytics

  • This panel of practitioners will discuss how to derive maximum impact from your retail analytics efforts, and explore the most pressing questions relating to incorporating data in your business.
  • How do you organize analytics in a retail environment? Where can you apply analytics to have the most impact? How do you start or reboot analytics minded practices?
  • Panel Members:
    • Archimedes Stuk, Senior Director of Retail Analytics, Walmart
    • Julianne Kennedy, Director, Customer Growth North America, Edge by Ascential
    • Anindya Ghose, Heinz Riehl Chair Professor of Business, NYU Stern
    • Laura Shanley, Head of Central Marketing, Amazon Prime Now + Amazon Fresh

Networking Reception

Day 2

Session 5: The History of Retail in America: How Our Past Informs Our Future

  • How retail strategies operate within a broader societal context
  • The socioeconomic realities and cultural movements that have significantly impacted the retail industry and molded the current environment, including WW2, the Sexual Revolution, urbanization and digitization
  • Major failures and successes of companies throughout history in the context of these events

Session 6: Retail Walking Tour

  • Tour of 2-3 retail locations in Soho to witness firsthand how different retail companies are innovating the in-store experience for their customers

Session 7: The Emperor's New (Personalized!) Clothes? AI/ML Demystified for Executives

  • Intro to the core concepts behind new technologies such as AI, machine learning, and deep learning, and how they can be applied in business
  • Gain a foundation to assess the potential value of these types of innovations for your business

Session 8: Panacea & Panic: Tech Investment Strategies for Executives

  • Technological advancements that have resulted in new opportunities - machine learning, chatbots, artificial intelligence, etc. - that have highly variable or potentially uncertain effectiveness
  • How do we think about making effective decisions with our technology investments?
  • Selecting the right opportunities for your company in a time- and resource-constrained environment
  • Technological and industry realities to consider to place your organization in the best position to succeed

Program Conclusion and Evaluations


Christie Nordhielm

Christie Nordhielm is a world-renowned consultant and speaker in the areas of Strategic Marketing and Advertising. She is a founding partner of Big Picture Partners, and consultancy that works with companies worldwide to implement the Big Picture Framework. Her clients include GE, Johnson & J...

Anindya Ghose

Anindya Ghose is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences and a Professor of Marketing at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is the Director of the Center for Business Analytics at NYU Stern, and the co-Chair of the NYU-AIG Partnership on Innovatio...

Derek Dykens

As a trusted advisor, Derek partners closely with some of the biggest and most innovative names in retail on their evolving business priorities. He is focused on improving the customer experience through digital, empowering store associates with the right technology and enabling retail teams to d...

Jack Hanlon

Jack Hanlon is Adjunct Professor of Retail Strategy & Analytics as part of NYU Stern's new one-of-a-kind Fashion & Luxury MBA, as well as the traditional MBA program. He is also teaching intro classes in "The History of Retail" and "Retail Valuations." Prof. Hanlon is also the VP of Anal...

Videos and materials

Advanced Retail Strategy at Leonard N. Stern School of Business

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