Kohl’s Center for Retailing

Kohl's Center for Retailing Logo

Located in the School of Human Ecology, the Kohl’s Center for Retailing works to promote retailing as a top career choice for UW-Madison students. It connects those with a passion for the industry, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and other professionals, as a way to spark inspiration on all. We hope our students find a niche for a career, our employers and industry partners find new solutions for  big business questions, and that faculty and staff find research, advising, and collaborative opportunities through our center.


To create a synergistic relationship between the retail industry, their partners and the world class faculty, staff and students of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This relationship is to be built on the highest ethical standards and dedicated to improving the lives of consumers by fueling innovation and competition in the market place.

Meet our core staff
More about us
Kohl’s Naming Gift

In 2005, School of Human Ecology Dean Robin Douthitt convened a committee of retailing executives to determine how best to propel the Retailing program to be among the most prestigious in the country.  The committee surveyed industry leadership and determined that the creation of the Center for Retailing was a necessary step.

The overarching message from retailers was: The requirement that students possess professional abilities, including strong communications skills (oral and written), basic business etiquette and ability to network.

Chairman and CEO of Kohl's, Kevin Mansell and Dean Emerita Robin A. Douthitt- the visionaries of the Center for Retailing

Kohls Logo

In fall 2007, Kohl’s Department Stores provided a major gift of $3 million to provide space in the School of Human Ecology’s Nancy Nicholas Hall and to provide operational funding for the Kohl’s Center for Retailing. Over the past 10 years, Chairman and CEO of Kohl's, Kevin Mansell and his leadership team have continued to be fantastically supportive of our program and we would not exist today without their willingness to support students, faculty, and staff with both expertise and financial resources.

This marks the largest corporate gift to the School of Human Ecology.

Our Partners

Our impressive list of industry-leading partners work with us to guarantee that our programs are the best at preparing University of Wisconsin-Madison students to lead and innovate the future of retail.

Interested in Becoming a Partner?

Reference our sponsor packet and please contact the Center for Retailing directly via phone 608-263-7996 or email Executive Director, Jerry O’Brien at gobrien@wisc.edu.

Newsletter Archive

Wisconsin Grocers & UW-MadisonCheck out our latest news, including stories, student blogs, research, and events through the Kohl's Center for Retailing.

Newsletter Archive

We have a lot to brag about! Peruse our newsletter archive for an inside look how our center  brings together students, retail professionals, federations, and employers. To receive updates and news straight to your inbox, sign up for our bi-annual newsletter.


Follow us on social media

instagram icon@uwretailcenter


Twitter icon@uwretailcenter


Linkedin iconUW “Badgers in Retail” private group for center activities, job opportunities, and stories!


UW-Madison School of Human Ecology
1300 Linden Drive
Office 4285 Nancy Nicholas Hall
Madison, WI 53705