Jie Zhang

Jie Zhang

Jie Zhang is a Professor of Marketing and the Harvey Sanders Fellow of Retail Management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at NorthwesternUniversity. She was a faculty member at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan prior to joining the Smith School. Her general research interest is to apply advanced econometric and statistical models to study consumer purchase behaviors and retail strategies.

Amazon Deal Stirs Things Up for Blue Apron

For Blue Apron, Amazon's blockbuster deal to acquire Whole Foods couldn't have come at a worse time, says Smith School marketing professor Jie Zhang. The New York-based meal-kit delivery service was just beginning the marketing for its initial public offering, in which it hopes to raise more than $500 million, when Amazon.com Inc. announced the $13.7 billion deal that could upend the food-retail industry. Suddenly, all the talk among analysts and prospective investors has turned to Amazon, the 431 Whole Foods locations, the grocery chain's distribution network, and how CEO Jeff Bezos might reshape how Americans shop for food. Read more...

Are U.S. Grocers Headed for a Price War?

The U.S. grocery industry is bracing for a shakeup, and a potential price war, as one German supermarket chain seeks to make its debut and another looks to expand its reach. German grocery chain Aldi says it will invest $3.4 billion to broaden its U.S. footprint, adding 900 new stores by 2022. German rival Lidl, meanwhile, is opening its first U.S. stores this month, with plans to open 100 by next summer. The added competition in the low-margin world of grocery sales comes as food prices for the U.S. are under pressure, falling for 17 straight months. And it comes at a time of continued price-sensitivity for many Americans. Experts from the Smith School explain how Aldi and Lidl and their "no frills" hard-discount business model might impact American grocery getters. Read more...

Fearless Idea 29: Rethink Online Shopping Carts

Have you ever filled your virtual cart while shopping online only to leave it without completing the purchase? Retailers have long considered this a huge problem, figuring trillions of dollars are lost due to abandoned online shopping carts. Now new research co-authored by Smith School professor Jie Zhang shows that these numbers are substantially overblown. And she says many retailers are focusing on the wrong thing: They should be trying to get consumers to spend more at their stores instead of just recovering virtual carts left behind. Read more...

Victoria’s Secret Millennial Problem

Victoria's Secret models Stella Maxwell (L) and Romee StrijdCan Victoria's Secret get her groove back? Faced with fundamental shifts in customer preferences, rising online shopping and fading shopping-mall traffic, the queen of lingerie has reported a slowdown in sales and is cautioning that this year's revenues won't be among its perkiest. Now experts are wondering whether the brand will be able to bounce back. Smith School professors Jie Zhang and Yajin Wang say it won't be easy. Read more...

12 Big Things That Will Shape Business in 2017

It's nearly New Year.It's almost a new year, and across the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, some prognosticating has begun. We asked a group of professors to look ahead at the trends and developments we might see in the next 12 months. They turned their focus to the stock market, tax policy, Amazon, McDonald's, finance, real estate, Obamacare and more. Here's what they said. Read more...

The Biggest Holiday Shopping Day You've Never Heard Of

Black Friday is old hat. Cyber Monday is passe. The most interesting shopping day of the year is the one you haven't even heard of: Green Monday. It's the day each year when the Internet saves Christmas — the Monday after the final shopping weekend of the season, when frazzled consumers hit the web to snap up the final few gifts on their list before the window closes on the all-important free-shipping offers. Read more...

Amazon Lockers Turn Maryland Shoppers Yellow

Walls of yellow lockers have popped up at Shoppers grocery outlets around Maryland, dwarfing the Redbox machines that customers have grown used to seeing near store entrances. The lockers belong to Amazon, which is giving the option of ordering online and then picking up in store. Smith School marketing professor Jie Zhang says the strategy helps address key limitations of online retailing. Read more...

Good move? Budweiser is now ‘America’

Social media is buzzing about Budweiser. Just in time for the Summer Olympics and Trump v. Clinton, Anheuser-Busch will temporarily change the name of its flagship brand to “America.” Ironically, the Belgian-owned beer maker will roll out its new cans on Canada's Victoria Day, asserting Budweiser’s place next to baseball and apple pie until after the presidential election in November. Five Smith School marketing professors weigh in on whether the move is smart or foolish. Read more...

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