UNT Global Digital Retailing Research Center: Blazing a Trail to Empower Retail Workforce & Impact Digital Evolution

Posted by Garrett Eastham at 6:06 am in Research, What’s New at Edgecase

Deep in the heart of Texas, great things are happening!

I am proud to be a part of the University of North Texas’ (UNT) Global Digital Retailing Research Center (GDRRC) – located in Denton, Texas – where my colleagues and I work diligently to prioritize global retailing discovery and industry research, with the goal of building a stronger talent pool for retailers looking to enhance their digital footprint. As a member of the center’s Think Tank and College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism Board of Governors, I am honored to work alongside my peers at JCPenney, Pier 1, Sally Beauty and other technology leaders to make positive changes for today’s digital retail workforce development.

At a recent Advisory Board and Think Tank meeting in Denton, we discussed the changing role of the merchant, a trend attributed to the digital revolution retailers are currently experiencing. The world of merchandising is rapidly evolving due to the shift in consumers’ buying patterns and transaction methods. For the Board of Governors at UNT, our goal is to stay at the forefront of conversations on how the industry can pivot during this transitional phase in retail, as well as develop top talent to solve the problems every retailer is facing.

My colleague, Richard Last, leader of the Digital Retailing degree program at UNT, Chairman Emeritus of and founder of, believes that students, retailers and educational initiatives across the country benefit from the influence of programs like those at UNT. According to Last, the retailers that engage in the research center’s programming and research are able to stay ahead of their competition. For students, the program builds and hones valuable skills that retailers need in the next generation of digital retailing problem solvers.

At Edgecase, we are well aware of how these changing digital shopping behaviors are impacting the way retailers engage with their customers and vice versa. Shoppers will continue to expect more and more from retailers, and retailers will continue to expect more and more from us in the technology world. How do we all keep up? Three words: Talent, talent and even more talent. At the end of the day, the organizations with the best, brightest thinkers and always-on problem solvers will take our industry to the next level.

I thoroughly enjoy working with my peers at the Global Digital Retailing Research Center to do our part to ensure that we keep pushing the innovation line. Stay tuned for additional updates on my work with the GDRRC.

For more information on how to join retailers like JCPenney, Zales, Pier 1, Sally Beauty and others in their partnership with UNT’s Global Digital Retailing Research Center, please visit the website, and check out the full list of experts on the Global Digital Retailing Research Center Advisory Board and Think Tank.

Garrett Eastham

Garrett is a marketing technologist with a knack for helping leading brands create, capture, and deliver value from their digital consumer experiences. He played a key role in developing the big data and analytics initiatives at Bazaarvoice as the Data & Analytics Product Manager. There he led the development of a groundbreaking new tracking methodology for user generated content, allowing clients to understand the financial impact of specific review content on consumer purchasing behavior. As the founder and CEO at Edgecase, he drives overall business and product strategy while also leading the day-to-day execution of the company’s vision.

Follow Garrett Eastham on Twitter @gstam

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