Top Latin American Coca-Cola retailers improve their strategies at FIU.

An ever-changing competitive marketplace means that only retailers who stay on top of transitions can continue to succeed. To that end, the Coca-Cola Company invited top retailers from their Latin Center Business Unit for a “Retail Leadership Immersion Program” at Florida International University (FIU), September 28-30, 2011.

The program was in conjunction with RetailNet Group (RNG) and FIU’s Office of  Executive and Professional Education (EPE), part of the College of Business Administration.

Forty staff members from Coca-Cola’s Latin Center Business Unit participated in the “Retail Leadership Immersion Program.”

“We provided the latest insights and strategies to enable these key retailers to continue their winning ways as we move to 2020,” said Karina Ramirez, a Coca-Cola training manager. “Plus attendees networked with each other, another important objective of the program.”

Walfried M. Lassar, chair of the Marketing Department, was program director.

“Coca-Cola’s focus is in sync with the strategic pillars of FIU’s College of Business Administration,” Lassar said. “Our program centered on strategies, tactics and industry transitions for the global marketplace.”

Dan O’Connor, president of RNG, gave important information to the 40 attendees on such topics as store renewal and merchandising vitals.

Serving as FIU’s program faculty were Stephen Barnett, faculty executive director of FIU’s MBA programs, and Dileep Rao, professor in the Department of Management and International Business. All three worked through cases with the attending executives and presented up-to-the-minute retail strategies, including how other brands have attempted to improve sales.

“These case studies were very useful, to learn about marketing and positioning of other retailers,” said Diego Alonso, marketing vice president for Automercado. “The seminar taught me the importance of being on top of future trends.”

Coca-Cola program is a first for EPE.

This was the second program for the retailers of the Coca-Cola Latin Center Business Unit—but the first time it was held at FIU.

Hospitality was an important feature of the event.

“The speakers were experienced and knowledgeable and we received very good feedback from attendees,” Ramirez said.

“Working for the first time in partnership with Coca-Cola and RNG provided FIU with a very valuable opportunity to assist Coca-Cola in their mission to further educate their clients,” said Rosangel Quintero (PMBA ’10), assistant director, EPE. “We look forward to having them return.”

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