WFU’s Center for Retail Innovation – a great resource for retail marketers

Lowes Foods is partnering with the Center for Retail Innovation by letting some of their stores become retail learning labs.

North Carolina has one of the nation’s most renowned education systems, and in addition to providing employers in Charlotte with a pipeline of skilled men and women, it also offers Charlotte marketing agencies the opportunity to participate in world-class continuing education provided by these nearby institutions.

Wake Forest is just down the road in Winston Salem, and also has a Charlotte branch a few short blocks from our office. Last Friday, with the sun shining and a hint of spring in the air, we walked down to the WFU Charlotte campus  to attend the most recent Lunch and Learn: Unlocking the Mysteries of Shopper Marketing. This event was hosted by Roger Beahm, who in addition to a multitude of other impressive titles, is a professor at Wake and the Executive Director of The Center for Retail Innovation.

Wake Forest’s Center for Retail Innovation is using new mobile technology to better understand a shopper’s path to purchase in store.

With its focus is on the rapidly evolving retail marketing model across the physical and digital space, the CRI is especially interesting to us here at birdsong gregory. As marketers and retailers, it is invaluable to have insights into how consumers shop and what motivates them along the entire path to purchase. Unfortunately, brands and retailers are often blind to the customer decision making process in aisle.

Currently Lowes Foods is partnering with The Center and allowing some of their stores to become retail learning labs. Not only does this provide the CRI with a prime retail environment to test, but it also provides Lowes Foods with access to never before seen research that will help them improve the shopping experience for their customer base.

The Center is working with a wide range of impressive companies and continuing to be an industry innovator as it aligns with the three pillars of its mission:

  • Education for students and companies
  • Innovation and finding new ways to add value
  • Collaboration opportunities with retailers and marketers


We’re always excited to see new ideas and excitement within our industry, and have loved to be able to connect with Roger Beahm, a true thought leader on the subject. We plan to continue to follow The CRI, potentially partner on upcoming events, and even bring some of our clients into the process. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted too.



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