Walter J. Salmon

Stanley Roth, Sr. Professor of Retailing, Emeritus

Walter J. Salmon is the Stanley Roth, Sr., Professor of Retailing, Emeritus, at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. He has been a member of the Harvard Business School faculty since 1956. He earned his BBA from the City College of New York and his MBA and DBA from Harvard Business School.

Professor Salmon's major fields of interests are Consumer Marketing and Retail Distribution. His current research concerns trends in distribution, and issues of organization, logistics and multi channel synergies in retailing. He is also studying how to balance consumer interests in breadth of selection with their interest in low prices. Professor Salmon has also researched and written about high/low pricing versus everyday fair and low pricing.

Professor Salmon's teaching assignments at Harvard Business School have included Retailing, Consumer Marketing, the Marketing course in the Advanced Management Program, the Program for Management Development and First Year Marketing. In addition, he has participated, since its initiation, in the School's seminar on 'Making Boards More Effective' and has Chaired or participated in the HBS Top Management Seminar for Retailers and Suppliers since its inception. He also remains active as a supervisor of field studies in the MBA program. Professor Salmon also served in the 70's as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and in the late 80's and early 90's as Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations.

He has served on the boards of Circuity City, Inc, Cole National Corporation, Co., Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., Luby's Cafeterias, Inc., The Neiman Marcus Group, Party City, Inc., PetsMart, Inc., Stage Stores, Inc., Stride Rite Shoes, Zayre Corporation and its then subsidiaries T.J. Maxx and BJ's.  He also was formerly a director of the Quaker Oats Company until it was sold to Pepsico, Inc. in August 2001, and outside chairman of the Board of Hannaford Brothers, a $3.5 billion northern New England based supermarket chain. He was also a director of the Harvard Business School Publishing Company, the Tufts Associated Health Plan Inc., and the National Retail Federation.

Professor Salmon currently serves on the board of Cumberland Farms, a convenience store chain and petroleum wholesaler and retailer; and the MBL, formerly known as the Marine Biological Laboratories. He is also a domain advisor to the Highland Consumer Fund.

Professor Salmon's most recent publications are:

'The Costly Bargain of Trade Promotion,' co-authored with R. Buzzell and J. Quelch, Harvard Business Review. Vol. 68, No. 2, pp. 141-149, March-April 1990, #90201.

'Restoring Credibility to Retail Pricing,' co-authored with Gwen Ortmeyer and John Quelch, Sloan Management Review, Fall 1991.

'Crisis Prevention: How to Gear Up Your Board,' Harvard Business Review, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 68-75, January-February 1993, #93106.

'The Future of Electronic Non-Store Retailing,' co-authored with Peter Miller. Working paper. Fall 1993.

Strategic Retail Management: Text and Cases, David E. Bell and Walter J. Salmon, 1996. South-Western College Publishing, Cincinnati, OH

'Retailing at the Millennium: How Changes in Consumer Buying Behavior are Driving Concentration,' International Trends in Retailing, June 1996, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 41-51.

'Economies of Speed and Retailing: The History, Pathology, and Future of Department Stores,' co-authored with Daniel M. G. Raff. September 1997. Working paper.

'The Economics of Variety,' co-authored with Marci Kosann Dew and Robert S. Kaplan, Food Marketing Institute, Fall 1998.

  1. Retailing: Past, Present, and Future

    Walter J. Salmon is working on several retailing-related research and course development projects, including a study (with Gwen K. Ortmeyer) of the evolution and future of American department stores, and a case book (with DAVID E. BELL) for use in graduate instruction and company education programs. Salmon is co-authoring (with Daniel M. G. Raff) a study that chronicles the plight of department stores from the end of World War II to the1990s. He is also involved with colleagues in the Marketing Group in examining the importance of selection to consumers in choosing among food stores. Finally, Salmon is developing a teaching case that deals with the impact of technology on the balance between centralized and decentralized buying in a large mass-merchandising company.