USC Upstate News

USC Upstate Johnson College Of Business Partners With Spinx Company To Offer Retail Management Certificate

08- 04- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Under a newly-formed partnership for executive level education between the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate and The Spinx Company, Inc., 20 managers from area Spinx convenience stores will begin a year-long program in retail management this fall. Orientation is Thursday, August 6, and classes begin August 20 at USC Upstate Greenville Campus, located at the University Center of Greenville.

“Retailers have needed a management program for some time and Spinx has been delighted to partner with USC Upstate in this project,” says Spinx CEO Stewart Spinks. “This program will provide core leadership and retail skills. We know first-hand the difference in competence and confidence a quality education makes!”

For three hours a week for the next eight months, these 20 managers will be instructed in four core areas of retail management:

Retail Management will introduce participants to the evolving world of retailing with a focus on the changing characteristics of retailers, building a sustainable competitive retailing advantage, and increasing retail profitability. Emphasis will be placed on recruiting, training and motivating great employees, and creating strategic advantage through improved customer service and information systems.

Communicative Spanish for Retail Personnel will provide a communicative approach to the development of fundamental oral language skills in Spanish. Vocabulary and structures are adapted to situations and circumstances most likely to be encountered by personnel working in retail business. Students develop oral skills in asking and responding to questions, giving directions, and providing information.

The third component of the certificate program is Accounting/Financial Analysis. Managers will learn how to plan, control, evaluate performance and apply accounting principles to problem solving retail issues. This class will also focus on principles of external financial reporting for retail business, including determination of financial position.

Designed to help managers communicate more effectively, professionally, and with an understanding of how their communication choices affect their organization as well its members and customers, the fourth class, Communication Theory and Practice will help students reflect on and develop strategies to improve group communication, leadership communication, presentation skills and intercultural communication.

“The business school is very excited to offer this program to these managers,” says Jim Cappio, instructor of the retail management portion of the program at USC Upstate. “The Spinx Company is a leader in the industry, and they see the financial benefits that further industry-specific education has for its workforce and overall operations.”

This first class will be a diverse group of managers, according to Dr. Darrell Parker, dean of the Johnson College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate, who says there is a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. One thing they have in common is that the managers do not have bachelor’s degrees.

“It is one of our goals, through this program, to encourage the managers to continue their education after they complete the retail management certificate – and we’d love to have them as students in the future at USC Upstate,” says Parker.

Spinx employs over 700 associates through its stores, food operations and related businesses, and enjoys $465 million in annual sales, making it the largest gasoline retailer in the Upstate. Stewart Spinks is the founder of The Spinx Company, Inc., which operates more than 60 convenience stores and supplies over 60 with gasoline in North and South Carolina.

The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics currently enrolls nearly 850 majors and offers programs in business administration with concentrations in accounting, economics, marketing, and management. It is one of 42 institutions worldwide with undergraduate only programs that are fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Few business schools in the nation with a predominantly undergraduate mission are accredited by this prestigious international association.

For further information contact Jim Cappio at (864) 552-4228 or; Dr. Darrell Parker, dean of the Johnson College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5566 or, or Pam Morris, training director for Spinx, at (864) 233-5421 ext. 1348 or