Dr. Cynthia Easterling, University of Southern Mississippi senior associate provost, has watched a fledgling resource idea for marketing students become a genuine “must-have” across a wider scale with the fifth-edition printing of “Merchandising Mathematics for Retailing.” Printed by Pearson Publishing, the book serves as a guide in a merchandising and mathematics course taken by students majoring in retail management or merchandising. Such courses are also appropriate for students majoring in apparel design or manufacturing, interior design and marketing.
The first edition was printed in 1984 with Easterling serving as principal author. North Texas professor Ellen Flottman, who was also a buyer for Macy’s at the time, and Texas Women’s University professor Marian Jernigan co-authored the initial book. Flottman and Jernigan have since died. Texas State University professor Beth Wuest assisted Easterling on the fifth edition.
Today, the publication is used as the primary textbook in merchandising and retailing programs in approximately 100 colleges and universities worldwide. The book is also used by retailers in merchandising and retail training programs. Editions have been printed in Russian and Japanese.
Interestingly, the latest edition of “Merchandising Mathematics for Retailing” coincides with the return of Dr. Aubrey K. Lucas to Southern Miss as interim president. Lucas served as full-time president from 1975-1996 and posed for a photo with Easterling in 1984 to celebrate the book’s initial printing.