The retail industry was already facing dramatic disruptions before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the industry, and a new academic institution hopes to help small and midsized retailers survive.
George Mason University’s School of Business has launched the Center for Retail Transformation, aimed at providing research, events and a talent pipeline to the struggling industry, the school announced last week.
The center will be led by Gautham Vadakkepatt, who has spent the last decade in academia focused on marketing and has advised retailers on business strategy. He is putting together an advisory board of 30 retail industry professionals to guide the center.
“We started talking about the center before COVID, but definitely COVID has accelerated the need of a center such as this, focused on small- and medium-sized retailers,” Vadakkepatt said. “They are struggling. The hope is this institution can help in some way.”