As the Executive Director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), Mary Purk leads the academic outreach and research center focused on the development and application of cutting-edge analytic methods across multiple industries.   Ms. Purk is a marketing and analytics executive with over 20+ years of retail, consumer packaged goods and academic experience.  Ms. Purk has developed and implemented enterprise-wide analytic platforms that inform clients how to win customers.  Her expertise includes: competitive assessments, sales forecast models, consumer segmentations, pricing and digital strategies, product assortments, and marketing mix models.

Her most recent role as Principal of Retail Insights at IRI and Director of Retail Analytics at Nielsen focused on understanding shopper and retail behaviors using integrated data sets (i.e. POS, panel, shopper, media) and analytic platforms to create successful growth strategies for shopper retention, brand and corporate positioning, loyalty and activation promotions, and efficient merchandising and vendor collaborations.

Ms. Purk has collaborated with senior executives across various retail channels. Previous clients include: Walgreens, Whole Foods, Lowes, Blue Apron, Family Dollar, McDonald’s, and Kroger.  Other work experience includes the Director of the Retail Research Center at the University of Chicago Booth and consulting roles with Accenture and AT Kearney.

Ms. Purk earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Illinois.  While at Booth, Ms. Purk designed and instructed executive education courses focused on merchandising and pricing strategies.  As an industry speaker, Ms. Purk has presented at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

Ms. Purk has published papers in the Journal of Marketing and Journal of Retailing and a Category Management publication for FMI.

Other Interests Include:

  • Category Management
  • Analytic Training
  • Optimization Strategies