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PSU pop-up shop teaches retail to business students

The pop-up only fills 500 square feet but it goes a long way to teaching retail business skills.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A unique collaboration between businesses and Portland State University teaches retail lessons on campus. Inside the Karl Miller Center, a pop-up shop features different retail experiences while teaching students.

The pop-up program is run by the Center for Retail Leadership. It has hosted about a dozen different retailers since it started in 2017.

Currently, longtime Portland retailer US Outdoor is filling the 500-square-foot space. A company employee works at the pop-up, in conjunction with students.

Credit: Tim Gordon, KGW

Jaksen Krahnke is a marketing student who graduates this year. He’s been involved with the pop-up program all along. Krahnke says businesses benefit from exposure to a diverse university population, both in terms of sales and consumer feedback. That feedback can help shape business models, marketing strategies and product development. And he says in turn, it’s good for business students.

“For me personally it’s given me a lot of hard and soft business skills but it’s also given me the chance to develop into an account manager working with these other brands and gaining these skills,” said Krahnke. 

US Outdoor’s pop-up shop is in the middle of a two-week run; the shop is open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Jan. 17.

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