Our History

In 1980, Donald Zale, son of Morris B. Zale, founder of the well-known jewelry chain Zales, challenged three business schools to “do something for retailing.”

Mr. Zale observed that the retailing industry was undergoing tremendous change, innovation and increased complexity, and believed that Retailing needed university educated leaders who understood how to run retail businesses, drive financial results and motivate teams.

Texas A&M University responded to Mr. Zale’s challenge and Mays Business School became the first business school in the country to make a formal commitment to retailing education.  The school recruited and hired Dr. Leonard Berry from the University of Virginia to be the first Director of the Center for Retailing Studies.

Since opening our doors in 1983, the Center for Retailing Studies has been respected throughout the world as a leading source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing future retail leaders.

In collaboration with the outstanding performance of the faculty at Mays Business School and excellence in student education programs, each year, more than 150 students complete coursework, internships and leadership programs that prepare them for professional careers within the industry in store management, buying, merchandising, planning, business analytics and supply chain.