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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management


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Center for Retailing

Retailing is the largest employer in the United States, second only to the U.S. Government.

"Retail" simply refers to the selling of goods to consumers, and the power of retailing lies in the fact that it exists everywhere, sustaining the economy with a diverse range of goods and services.

Whether an organization is a small, locally owned shop or a national franchise, retail businesses ⎯ large and small ⎯ fuels the world's economy. In fact, the industry crosses over into multiple fields including fashion, entertainment, sports culture, literature and medicine.

Who We Are

Author, lecturer, researcher, consultant and retailer, Marianne Bickle, Ph.D. is the director of the Center for Retailing at the University of South Carolina. Her academic and professional experiences with brick-and-mortar retailing, direct marketing, internet retailing, category management, distribution and marketing provides her with an uncommon perspective on and familiarity with the industry. 

Dr. Bickle has conducted research in cross-channel shopping behavior, internet shopping, social responsibility, fashion marketing, effectiveness of visual merchandising techniques, category management and consumer behavior decision making in a tourism environment. Her professional work includes market analysis, survey research, corporate training and participation on retail boards of directors.

Dr. Bickle has been cited as an expert on retailing and the retail economy by the following organizations:

  • Coastal Observer — Pawley's Island, SC Newspaper
  • The Sun—Myrtle Beach, SC Newspaper

  • NPR (National Public Radio) Radio Station

  • South Carolina Radio Network

  • The State Newspaper
  • WACH FOX—Television Station

  • WIS-TV—Television Station