Merchandise Manager, Wall Tile, Lowe's, Charlotte, NC
Nicolle Thompson's Tippie MBA degree has made a difference in her life. It is an important factor in providing her the opportunity to make a career change from corporate finance to retail merchandising and buying.
After graduating from Cornell College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business, Nicolle accepted a finance position with Marshall Field’s, a division of Target Corporation. Over the course of four years, she rotated through departments and roles within the finance organization. Although these experiences were invaluable, Nicolle knew her passion was retail and the “science” of why people buy.
In 2004, Target Corporation announced plans to sell the division to Macy’s Corporation. Unsure what this meant for her future, Nicolle saw this as an opportunity to pursue her MBA fulltime. At Tippie, she took advantage of opportunities that complemented her marketing concentration and finance background in preparation for a career change. Nicolle traveled to Hong Kong as part of Tippie’s Global Perspective Program, participated in the Cadillac Case Study Competition, and was active in student organizations.
Nicolle began her career at Lowe’s with an MBA summer internship in Financial Planning and Analysis. After graduation she returned to Lowe’s, accepting a position in the Merchandise Manager in Training program. After completing the 6-month rotational program, Nicolle worked in Home Organization. In this role, she was involved with vendor and product development, marketing strategy, financial analysis, in-store merchandising, and growing the online business. Nicolle introduced Lowe’s exclusive products as well as first to market items.
Today Nicolle is the Merchandise Manager for Wall Tile at Lowe’s. Her responsibilities include overall management of Wall Tile business including product selection, promotional and marketing strategy, vendor negotiation, financial analysis, and keeping pulse on industry trends and competitive actions.