Texas Tech University

Lauren Strain Alumni Profile


lauren strain ttu alumni cohsRetail Management  (RTL) alumna Lauren Strain currently works in her role as Omnichannel Planning and Inventory Analyst at Academy Sports and Outdoors. Lauren gets to utilize her background in fashion merchandising to analyze sales, profit performance, and ensures that Academy's athletic and outdoor apparel stays stocked.

"I provide sales forecasts based on inventory placement decisions and historical trends, and work closely with buying teams to ensure inventory is in the best place for capacity, sales, and profit performance," Lauren said.

Lauren says she always knew she wanted to work in retail, she just wasn't sure what avenue to take. Ultimately, Lauren fell in love with store management, gaining an entrepreneurial foundation through her retail courses at Texas Tech University.

"I felt very prepared and confident in what I learned throughout my retail management courses," Lauren said. "Being in corporate retail has exceeded every expectation I had. I love helping create a positive customer experience and it's always gratifying when I hear people say, 'I love that store!' It's so rewarding to directly influence trends and boost profit."

RTL Program Director Deborah Fowler, Ph.D. remembers Lauren as a dedicated student who possessed a great drive to succeed.

"She was a great student and loved fashion," Dr. Fowler said. "I know she has had a great career since graduating and we are extremely proud of her.

Before Lauren landed her position with Academy she worked for Francesca's women's fashion retailer. Due to her coursework in retail buying and control, Lauren says she was equipped with industry level skills from the get-go.

"I went into the position with fundamental knowledge of retail math, planning, and merchandising. I used what I learned in trend forecasting to present an opportunity for growth within our merchandise assortment that became a million-dollar item that year."

Through her many other courses during her time as a retail undergraduate she felt confident that she could navigate consumer behaviors, shopping patterns, placing products, and what it takes to succeed in an ever-evolving market.

RTL Associate Professor Catherine Jai, Ph.D., is confident Lauren will only continue to succeed in her career.

"With her determination, I believe she can achieve whatever she sets her mind to."

Lauren stresses that it is important for current students in the program to utilize the opportunities available in the College of Human Sciences.

"Meet with your advisers and professors frequently because they are there to help you succeed. It's okay to not have a clear career destination right away. Be open to new opportunities, and take any step that gives you some kind of learning growth because any kind of expansion is progress."