I’m Nicole Cox, an instructor in the Marketing Department at the Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas. I’m also co-author of the “Retail Math Workbook” which is being published by Pearson this summer. It’s a short little book written by myself, Carole Shook (also an instructor at the Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas) and Charles Halliburton (Senior Planner at Walmart Stores, Inc.)
You might wonder why a book on Retail Math. In reality, the credit for this book should probably go to two people who aren’t mentioned anywhere in it: Dr. Tom Jensen and Ms. Cindy Sims. In 2003 I was retired from working as Director of Marketing Research at Walmart Stores, Inc. and looking for something new to do. Dr. Jensen, chair of the Marketing Department at the UofA, rescued me by hiring me to teach Category Management for the summer. It was a fairly new course, and there were no existing textbooks on the topic. I did pretty well at finding case studies and other materials until I reached the section on “Category Scorecards and Retail Math.”
Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a book, article, case study, or website that was appropriate for this section. Desperate, I called an old friend at Walmart named Cindy Sims. Cindy said “I know exactly who you need to talk to. His name is Charles Halliburton and he is the god of retail math.” Charles and I met a week later, and the idea for this workbook was born.
Now for the serious stuff. During the writing of this workbook, we learned a lot about teaching both Retail Strategy and retail math. And, I still have a lot more to learn. I’m writing this blog with the hope of sharing some of the things I have learned. And, maybe some of you will be kind enough to share your ideas as well.