UNT students win third in retail industry competition

Left image: Hailey Turner and Sarah Muller (left to right). Right image: Sarah Muller and Hailey Turner (left to right).

Photo: Michaela Bull

DENTON – Two University of North Texas students were one of the top-three finalist teams competing in one of the retail industry’s biggest events of 2017, the National Retail Federation Foundation BIG Show. The results were announced at a gala in New York City Jan.15.

Sarah Muller of Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, and Hailey Turner, of Flower Mound, Texas, won the third-place prize of $1,500 each in the National Retail Federation Foundation Student Challenge.

The challenge was to present a business plan for STORY, an innovative retailer that reinvents itself every few weeks. The store has the look and feel of a magazine, but changes design like an art gallery and sells merchandise like a boutique. Competitors could choose from three emerging trends in retail: Travel, Made in America or Sensory.

The students, both majors in the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retail in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, selected the travel theme.

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UNT’s pitch spotlighted why and how their STORY should be brought to life and included a mock website, a 20-page presentation, a budget, a video and ideas for social media and events.

“When you travel, you’re going for the experience. Our STORY is about the emotional journey you go on and the memories you make.” Muller, a junior, was quoted as saying in a UNT news release.

“We’ve learned so much more this semester because it’s the real-world application of the knowledge we’re gaining in the classroom,” Turner was quoted as saying.

– FWBP Staff