OWU Home

News Release

Retail Industry Expert Explains How to Connect With Consumers
Ohio Wesleyan University’s Woltemade Center Sponsors Free Nov. 8 Event

October 30, 2007

DELAWARE, OHIO – For nearly 20 years, Mary Brett Whitfield has helped retailers and consumer-goods companies to improve their businesses. During that time, she has worked with firms ranging from Saks Fifth Avenue and Speedway SuperAmerica to Pier 1 Imports and Pepsi.

On Nov. 8, Whitfield will bring her insight to Ohio Wesleyan University, where she will present “Connecting with Consumers: Retail Formats for the Future” at 3:10 p.m. in the Bayley Room of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave. The event is free and open to the public. Whitfield’s presentation also will be streamed live at stream.owu.edu.

Whitfield is the senior vice president of Columbus-based TNS Retail Forward, Inc., a global management consulting and market research firm that specializes in retail intelligence and strategies. She also serves as director of the company’s Retail Forward Intelligence System™, a syndicated research and executive development program.

As part of her presentation, Whitfield will examine such questions as:

  • Why is the retail landscape different today than during the past few years?
  • How will the retail landscape evolve between now and the end of the decade?
  • What must retailers do to find growth in a challenging environment?
  • What growth strategies are leading retailers pursuing today?
  • What global retailer is operating today with a business model that will be adopted by many other leading players in the next few years?

Among her responsibilities at TNS Retail Forward, Whitfield oversees the development of nearly 200 research publications annually, covering the gamut of retail industry issues. She also writes about consumer shopping behavior, softgoods retailing, and e-retailing. During her career, Whitfield’s work has appeared in trade publications including Supermarket News, Chain Store Age Executive, and Women’s Wear Daily.

Whitfield holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College in Massachusetts and an MBA from The University of Oklahoma.

Her presentation is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship. Founded in 1985, the center helps students to integrate business theory and practice, and provides lectures and other resources to benefit the business community.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.