Massey University's Professor Ted Zorn with TW Group chief executive Mark Powell.

TW Group funds retail chair at Massey

The Warehouse Group (TW Group), New Zealand’s largest listed retailer, is funding a new chair at Massey University – the Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management.

The agreement will see the appointment of a Professor in Retail Management within Massey’s College of Business.

This is the first step towards the development of New Zealand’s first retail-focused degree which has widespread industry support and which the university hopes will receive its first intake of students in 2015.

Head of Massey’s College of Business, Professor Ted Zorn said: “The Warehouse Group is a leader in both the retail sector and the community and Massey is extremely pleased to be working with such an organisation to increase the capability of one of the largest sectors of New Zealand’s economy.

“This agreement is another example of the College of Business partnering with industry to ensure its programmes are relevant and innovative. Partnerships like these create fantastic learning and employment opportunities for our students.”

TW Group chief executive Mark Powell believes a strong university degree will raise the profile of retail as a desirable career choice.

“Retail is an exciting industry to work in and the new retail degree will combine general business knowledge with retail-specific content, meaning students will be set up for a wide array of career opportunities, ranging from logistics to supply chain management to running multi-million dollar businesses.

“With global benchmarking, a best in class curriculum and wide spread industry support, I believe the new retail-focused degree will strengthen New Zealand’s business offering in this highly competitive global economic environment,” said Mr Powell. 

Professor Zorn said the search for an internationally respected scholar in retail studies to take up the Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management has already begun. “We are looking for someone who can build on our strong industry connections to develop a world-class retail degree, someone who also has a demonstrated ability to lead a new academic programme,” he says.

The new professor will be tasked with laying the groundwork for launching a successful Bachelor of Retail and Business Management, including building industry support and establishing a research programme that has relevance to the sector.

The new degree will be aimed at those already employed in the retail industry who want to upskill, or secondary school leavers attracted to a professional career in the retail sector.

Key areas of study will include retail marketing, retail buying and planning, logistics and supply chain management, management information systems, human resources, retail strategy and entrepreneurship. An internship programme in partnership with industry is also a key component of the proposed degree.

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