Black Friday, consumer behavior next up in Mercantile Bank series

Contact: Michelle Shember

KALAMAZOO—An expert in the extreme consumer behaviors and management strategies surrounding Black Friday shopping will share his research, findings and insights on the annual consumption craze at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series.

Dr. Robert L. Harrison, associate professor of marketing at Western Michigan University, will discuss "Black Friday Shopping: Understanding and Managing Extreme Consumer Behavior" at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in 2150 Schneider Hall. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at Free parking is available.

Photo of Dr. Robert L. Harrison


Dr. Robert L. Harrison

Harrison is an associate professor of marketing in the Haworth College of Business and has been working for seven years to understand the social science behind the holiday shopping spectacle. His presentation at the breakfast speaker series will focus on his research and findings surrounding the Black Friday culture and predictions and trends concerning Black Friday shopping rituals.

"I find Black Friday interesting because it is a multifaceted phenomenon, unlike any other retail or consumption experience," says Harrison.

Harrison has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in marketing and computer information systems from Western Michigan University, in addition to a doctoral degree in marketing from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His Black Friday research has been presented at several national conferences, including the Association of Consumer Research and American Collegiate Retailing Association conferences.

Harrison was a contributing author to the research article "Mixed Method Research Designs in Marketing," which was recognized by Qualitative Market Research as one of the most downloaded journal articles in 2013.

Upcoming speakers

Other upcoming dates and speakers in the series include:

  • Nov. 21: Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach "An update on the Business Technology and Research Park"
  • Jan. 30: Chris Harris, director of Seita Scholars Program, WMU Center for Fostering Success, "Seita Scholars Program"

Breakfast Speaker Series

The Mercantile Bank of Michigan Breakfast Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.

For more information or to register, contact the Haworth College of Business at (269) 387-6059 or at

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