CBRE Graduates Inaugural Class From University-Level Retailing Course

80 CBRE Professionals Complete Intensive, Four-Month Course on Inner Workings of Retail, Such As Supply Chain, Sourcing, Product Assortment

Los Angeles – February 2, 2017CBRE Group, Inc., has graduated its inaugural class of 80 of its professionals from an intensive, college-level retailing course created for the company by the University of Arizona, equipping these professionals to understand the rapidly-changing intricacies of retail business models and how they influence real-estate selection.

CBRE’s Retailing University, designed and instructed by faculty and advisors of the U of A’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing, entails four months of instruction on retail business practices and strategies such as product assortment, customer engagement, supply-chain management, merchandising and sourcing for all channels. CBRE intends to enroll another 100 professionals in the exclusive course with U of A this year.

The aim of the correspondence course is to provide CBRE professionals an even better understanding of the inner workings of retailers – such as how they forecast demand for certain merchandise, how they route it to and from their stores and how they guide their mix of online versus in-store sales – and apply that knowledge to finding for retailers the ideal store sites for all aspects of their business. 

“Retail has evolved so much that the point of sale is so dramatically different now that it was even five or 10 years ago,” said Mickey Ashmore, Chairman of CBRE Retail Services in the Americas. “The multiple channels that retailers now work through have changed the industry, and that influences retailers’ site selection. We can best stay attuned to clients’ changing needs by maintaining a deep, up-to-date knowledge of retail operating models, which this course provides. There is always something new to learn.”

In fact, the retail industry now is evolving so quickly that U of A offers similar curriculum to retailers themselves to stay abreast of new strategies and innovations.

For long-tenured professionals at CBRE, the course uncovers the latest advancements in retail operations. For new professionals, it delivers insight that previously took years of in-the-field work to glean from retailers. The 80 CBRE professionals who completed the course work in markets across North and South America.

“To be able to ask a client the question of how a given market influences their supply chain takes the conversation to another level,” said Tiffany Barrier, a Senior Associate in CBRE’s Raleigh, N.C., office and a graduate of the program. “They see that we are working for them as their advisor to understand the most profitable and strategic move for them.”

Said Scott Siegel, a Vice President in CBRE’s office in Ventura County, Calif., “Retailers now are combining their online operations with their brick-and-mortar operations so quickly and thoroughly that it has become an arms race to move merchandise through the supply chain as quickly as possible. To stay ahead of such a fast-moving market, you need to know the fine details of how a retailer’s operation works. That’s why continuing education beyond the scope of transacting is a critical tool for us.”

Scott Hessell, director of U of A’s Lundgren Center for Retailing, designed the correspondence course’s curriculum and delivered its online tutorials. Serving as advisors to CBRE’s enrollees were retired executives with lengthy careers at leading retailers such as Home Depot Inc., Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., PetSmart Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Assignments included field study and group examinations of retail business models.

“It’s not unusual for an executive-education course to focus on an industry in which the students are working, but it’s rare and more progressive for the course to focus on an industry that they’re serving,” Mr. Hessell said. “CBRE professionals who graduate from this course will ask their retail clients targeted questions such as why they need a given store and what they need it to do rather than just how much space they want and where.”

​About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2015 revenue).  The Company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 400 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide.  CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.  Please visit our website at