Texas State, Dillard’s team up for retail merchandising laboratory

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 8, 2009

The Fashion Merchandising Program in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University-San Marcos will launch a new Retail Merchandising Laboratory in the fall of 2009.
The laboratory will provide students experience with cutting-edge retail inventory technology and the latest merchandising presentation modes and techniques. Students will gain hands-on experience in merchandising a retail space, develop and implement plannograms, and become proficient in signage and presentation technology.  The facility positions the fashion merchandising program as a leading retail education institution. Only one other program in the nation has a comparable facility.
Dillard’s has agreed to equip the laboratory with a variety of contemporary presentation fixtures and resources and has committed to an on-going dialogue with the fashion merchandising program to provide continuous professional input for the purpose of assuring program relevance.
Members of the fashion merchandising faculty consulted with David Kilborn, district visual manager of Dillard’s and Rochelle Kammer, regional contemporary manager of Dillard’s and alumna of the fashion merchandising program at Texas State, to assess the recently remodeled lab space. The Dillard’s executives determined the content of the initial equipment donation scheduled to arrive in mid-summer. The executives also discussed on-line resources, the potential to develop podcasts originating in Dillard’s stores, and the use of corporate internal files and visuals for educational purposes.
The Dillard’s collaboration is the result of a long-term relationship with the retailer and the company’s positive experience with interns and graduates of the fashion merchandising program. Texas State fashion merchandising graduates make up the largest percentage of young executives retained by Dillard’s after completion of their highly competitive manager-in-training program.
The retail merchandising laboratory is an excellent example of positive interaction between education and the corporate world. This creative collaborative effort advances standards, practices, and expectations for the academic preparation of the retail executives of tomorrow.
For additional information, contact Ann DuPont, fashion merchandising program coordinator, at (512) 245-2444.