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Retail Management Certificate Program


Introduction to Retail Management

You are introduced to the dynamic world of retailing in this module.  You learn how retailing contributes to the health of the economy and provides consumers access to products.  The environmental factors that shape retailing and cause it to constantly evolve are covered.  You will be introduced to the retail mix and finally the core retail strategies critical to profitability.

Building Customer Relationships

Retailers are the bridge between producers and consumers.  Retail managers are responsible for building strong customer relationships.  In this first part on building customer relationships, you learn key principles that explain shopping behaviors.  With a foundation in understanding consumer behavior, you proceed to learn key steps to building and maintaining customer loyalty.

Serving the Customers

Serving the customer requires that the retail manager be able to address customer needs.  This involves more than just stocking the shelf with merchandise.  In this second part on building customer relationships, you learn key factors to providing a safe shopping experience and how you can best meet the special needs of shoppers.  Special attention is given to handling customer requests and complaints in ways that will build loyalty to the store.

Hiring and Evaluating Employees

This session gives the retail manager an insight into two very important human resources topics: 1) how to hire the best people, and 2) how to evaluate their performance. Specifically, this session will cover recruitment methods, pre-employment testing, and the interview. It will also delve into how to measure performance, as well as fairness and possible errors and biases.

Understanding Performance Matrics

Financial statements and performance metrics are important management tools. When correctly prepared and properly interpreted, they contribute to an understanding of the current financial condition, problems, and possibilities of a company. This session will take you through the basics of finance for non-financial managers, to help you become familiar with the terminology and what it means. Commonly used performance measures such as sales per man hour, sales per square foot, basket size and many others will be discussed to determine what they mean and how you can affect them.

Budgeting, Forecasting, and Trends

Every business must have a business plan in order to be successful. Budgeting, forecasting, and past and current trends are a very important part of the business plan. This course will explain how to interpret information and determine needs in order to develop a good business plan.


Retail merchandise planning is the process involved in developing the proper assortment of goods and services for the retail store in order to fullfill the needs of the target market. Topics include the elements of merchandisine planning, the essentials for building good displays, impulse merchandising, and pricing.

Risk Management

In every retail business one of the most important aspects of the business is risk management. Risk management is an umbrella term covering all types of risk to the business, such as theft, property damage, interruption of business, and employee on the job and how to limit the risk associated with the business.

Suppliers and Distributers

Maintaining proper levels of inventory are essential for retail business. Suppliers and distribution centers are critical in maintaining inventory. This session focuses on how to work with suppliers and distribution centers. Also examined are common problems with suppliers and distribution centers and how to minimize them.

Employment Laws

Examines methods for motivating employees such as goal setting, compensation, and training. It also explains important employment laws that are essential for every manager to know and understand. These include the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Age Discrimination Act, OSHA and more.


A manager’s primary job is to accomplish tasks through the employees. To do that the manager must understand human motivation so that they can get the employees to perform at the best of their ability. This course covers the basics of what a leader is and the different leadership styles. An interactive exercise helps you determine your style of leadership. Communication skills are covered in this curriculum as well as decision making and team building all of which prepares the manager to lead the employees.

Ethics and Social Responsibility

The purpose of this session is to enable students to consider the role of ethics in retailing. Topics include providing an overview of business ethics, moral philosophies: the prescriptive approaches, how a retail organization’s culture impacts ethics, ethics and the law, the responsibility of retail business to employees, environment, community, customers and stakeholders, why good people sometimes display unethical behavior and who is at risk. Real life examples of ethical dilemmas and tools are included to help strengthen your ethical decision making.



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Last updated or reviewed on 3/6/14

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