Retail Management Program Curriculum

Our comprehensive Retail Management program covers the important concepts and key hands-on skills you must have to succeed as a store manager. Whether you plan to manage a small boutique, division of a large franchise or open your own store, we'll show you what it takes to be a professional.

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Lesson 1: Learning at Ashworth  

The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.

Lesson 2: Concepts in Small Business and Self-Employment  

Evaluating your business idea; setting yourself apart from the competition; market testing; investment funding and donation funding; qualities of an entrepreneur; crowdfunding and angel investors.

Lesson 3: Setting the Foundation and Customer Service  

Defining retailing; traits of successful retailers; the retail organization; management positions; departmental personnel; management training; motivating employees; components of customer service in the retail environment; training employees in good customer service practices.

Lesson 4: Success as a Large Retail Store Department Manager  

The corporate mission statement; management strategies; target and niche marketing; department manager responsibilities; store set-up; department layout; personalization; buyers and vendors; business meetings; business analysis; controlling department performance.

Lesson 5: Success as a Small Retail Store Entrepreneur  

Specialty retailing; capitalization; location; market analysis; traits of a successful entrepreneur; steps to launching a small retail enterprise; competing against large retailers; store design; principles of store set-up; store aesthetics, fixtures, and colors; incremental and impulse sales; customer loyalty programs; multichannel retailing; Internet opportunities for small businesses.

Lesson 6: The Exciting World of Retailing  

The economic significance of retail sales; retail employment; the top 25 global retailers; structure of retailing and global distribution channels; retail management and entrepreneurial opportunities; decision making; implementing retail strategy; trends in retailing; retailer characteristics; food, general merchandise, non-store, and services retailing; types of ownership.

Lesson 7: Multichannel Retailing and Consumer Buying Behavior  

Retail channels for interacting with customers; trends and implications; electronic retailing: multichannel retailing; shopping in the future; types of buying decisions; the buying process; social factors influencing buying decisions; market segmentation.

Lesson 8: Retailing Strategies: Strategic Planning and Financial Performance  

Definition of retail market strategy; target market and retail format; building a competitive advantage via location, human resource management, unique merchandise, distribution and information systems; vendor relations and customer service; market penetration, expansion and diversification; global growth opportunities; the strategic retail planning process; the strategic profit model: sales, margins and expenses; the turnover path; return on assets; setting performance objectives.

Lesson 9: Retailing Strategies: Retail Location and Site Selection  

Retailing centers; city or town locations; freestanding sites; location and retail strategy; economies of scale versus cannibalization; demographics; business climate; accessibility; locational advantages within a center; trade area; methods of estimating demand.

Lesson 10: Human Resource Management, Information Systems, and Customer Relationship Management  

Gaining competitive advantage via human resource management; organization of a single store, regional department store, and other types of retailers; coordinating merchandise with store management; building employee commitment; managing diversity; legal issues; supply chain management; data warehousing; electronic data interchange; logistics of distribution; implementing CRM programs; collecting and analyzing customer data; market segments.

Lesson 11: Merchandise Management: Merchandise Assortment, Buying Systems, and Vendor Relations  

Organizing buying by categories; the merchandise plan; margins, sales and inventory turnover; sales forecasting; assortment planning; staple merchandise-buying systems; fashion merchandise budget plan; open-to-buy; allocating merchandise to stores; analyzing merchandise performance; branding strategies; international sourcing; negotiating and partnering with vendors.

Lesson 12: Pricing and the Retail Communication Mix  

Pricing strategies; setting prices; price adjustments; using price to stimulate sales; building brand equity; personal and impersonal methods of communicating with customers; planning, implementing and evaluating retail communication programs.maybe two weeks ago

Lesson 13: Store Management  

Key management duties; recruiting employees; training, motivating and managing new store employees; compensation; controlling costs; reducing inventory loss; elements of good store design and layout; space planning; presenting merchandise; atmospherics; customer service strategies; customer evaluation of service quality; meeting and exceeding service standards.

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Program Description

Students learn the basics of retail management and merchandising as they relate to contemporary retail environments. Topics include retailing formats and locations, organizational structure and key positions, growth and expansion, consumer communication, brands and private labels, productivity measures, inventory valuation, pricing and planning, and merchandise layout and presentation. Students are presented with real-world examples featuring popular large- and small-scale chain retailers and specialty stores.

Program Objectives

After completing the Retail Management program, students will be able to:

  1. Define retailing, describe the different types of retailers, and outline some of the characteristics of successful retail managers, including entrepreneurs/small business owners and department store managers.
  2. List and explain essential retail management concepts, such as buyers and vendors; customer service, customer loyalty, and consumer behavior; retail planning process and electronic retailing; retail strategy, pricing strategy, assortment planning, branding strategy, and global growth strategy; niche marketing and market personalization; and information systems and supply chain management.
  3. Compare and contrast different location opportunities and outline the factors that affect retail demand in a region or trade area.
  4. Describe how retailers build a sustainable competitive advantage through human resource management and identify related issues, challenges, and trends, including employee motivation, evaluation, and compensation.
  5. Outline the customer relationship management process, describe how retailers collect customer data, and explain how that data is used to gain strategic advantages, support communication programs, and develop customer loyalty.
  6. Describe how retailers make international sourcing decisions and identify common ethical and legal issues involved in the purchase and sale of merchandise.

Our Retail Management program gives you the practical knowledge you need for a promising career. Call 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online.