Learning Outcomes

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The content, assignments, and assessments for Retail Management are aligned to the following learning outcomes. A full list of course learning outcomes can be viewed here: Retail Management Learning Outcomes.

Module 1: Introduction to Retailing

Describe retailing, the entities involved, and the impact of decisions on a retail business

  • Define retailing
  • Describe the firms involved in a supply chain
  • Summarize the key challenges facing retailers

Analyze the evolution of the retail industry

  • Describe the overall change in the structure of the retail industry over the past 60 years
  • Discuss the role information systems have played in the changing retail industry
  • Explain why a willingness to adapt is essential to a retailer’s survival

Recognize career opportunities available in the retail businesses

  • Identify key roles within retail businesses
  • List some challenges of working in the retail field
  • Categorize the general role requirements of a retail manager
  • Discuss the most valuable skills for a retail manager to possess

Explain the concept of strategic planning within the retail management decision process

  • Differentiate between macroenvironment and microenvironment considerations in strategic planning
  • Classify the general steps of strategic planning in retail
  • Explain the retail mix
  • Explain the retailing concept

Module 2: Retail Environment Analysis

List the classification characteristics of various types of retailers by ownership

  • Match a retailer with its structural organization based on its classification
  • Match a retailer with its advantages and disadvantages based on its classification

Categorize the wide-variety of food retailers

  • Identify the most dramatic change in food retailing today
  • Assess the variety and assortment of goods carried by each type of food retailer
  • Discuss the current trends affecting food retailers

Compare and contrast service and merchandise retailers

  • Assess the variety and assortment levels of goods for each type of merchandise retailer
  • Describe the choices each type of merchandise retailer is currently making to adapt in the current landscape
  • Name an assortment of service retailer types

Discuss store-based strategy mixes

  • Identify the three levels on the wheel of retailing
  • Define scrambled merchandising
  • Discuss how a retail institution can evolve through mergers, diversification, and downsizing

Evaluate the elements of a competitive analysis

  • State the places retail managers should go to obtain information on their competition
  • Use NAICS codes to determine direct competitors

Module 3: Multi-Channel Retailing

Compare and contrast single channel, multi-channel, and omnichannel retailing

  • Define single channel, multi-channel, and omnichannel retailing
  • Match descriptions of retailers with single, multi, or omni-channel retailing
  • Explain the main difference between multi-channel and omnichannel retailing

Describe a wide variety of non-store retail channels

  • Match a retailer description with its non-store channel type
  • Compare and contrast the benefits of store, catalog, and internet channels

Discuss the rise of electronic retailing through the internet

  • Define the role of the web to retailers
  • List some advantages and disadvantages of electronic retailing
  • Explain how mobile apps can increase customer interaction

Recognize the challenges faced by multichannel retailers and how retailers must adapt

  • Identify the factors that need to be adjusted depending on the channel
  • Describe what a customer would consider a seamless experience across channels
  • Summarize the data that could be collected to support the multichannel shopping experience of the future

Module 4: Identifying and Understanding Customer Behavior

Explain the consumer decision-making process

  • Outline the steps of the buying process
  • Identify a situation in which a customer has conflicting needs
  • Describe how a customer finds information to make a buying decision
  • Using the multiattribute model, explain how customers evaluate retailers

Identify the various models of buying processes

  • Describe how a retailer can increase sales from customers engaged in extended problem solving
  • Describe how a retailer can increase sales from customers engaged in limited problem solving
  • Describe how a retailer can satisfy the needs of habitual decision making customers by choosing to act in ways that increase loyalty

Describe why it is important for retailers to research and understand their customers

  • Define a target market
  • Explain why a retailer would want to meet the needs of a specific group of people

Summarize the main factors used to describe customers

  • List a set of common demographic measurements
  • Identify some key consumer lifestyle factors
  • Outline how a buyer’s motivations and attitudes can affect their buying choices

Examine retailer decisions based on target market planning

  • Define a brand community
  • Explain why a retailer would select a differentiated marketing strategy over a mass or concentrated one
  • Predict a retail strategy mix based on the characteristics, needs, and attitudes of their customers

Module 5: Strategic Retail Planning and Management

Explain the importance of strategic planning to retailers

  • Outline the steps of retail strategy planning
  • Describe the value of an organizational vision and mission
  • Explain how a retail strategy guides the decisions of an organization

Describe step-by-step how retailers create a strategic plan

  • Describe how a situation analysis illuminates the opportunities and threats in a business environment
  • Differentiate between short and long-run objectives that a retailer will set for itself
  • Discuss the strategic implications of various target market techniques
  • List some key controllable and uncontrollable variables that should be considered when creating an overall retail strategy
  • Summarize a few tactical decisions that can be made to enact the strategy
  • Define a retail audit

Examine possible opportunities that can arise from strategic planning

  • Describe how consistent feedback can make the process iterative and roundabout rather than sequential
  • Explain how a retailer can build a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Classify strategic retail growth opportunities

Module 6: Trade-Area Analysis and Site Selection

Explain the significance of selecting a store location

  • Define environmental analysis
  • Discuss why location selection needs to involve significant analysis of data
  • Explain the effects of location choice on short and long run planning

Analyze the characteristics of a retail trading area

  • List the types of demographic data a retailer can obtain from the U.S. census bureau
  • Describe the types of data a retailer can obtain from geographic information system software (GIS)
  • Identify the main factors to consider when analyzing a retail trading area

Examine the variety of locations available to retailers

  • Compare and contrast the benefits of various retail locations

Summarize the factors considered in site selection decisions

  • Create a summary of the essential site characteristics to be evaluated
  • Explain why a retailer should also evaluate societal views when selecting a location
  • Use the Huff gravity model to estimate potential sales for a site
  • Outline the characteristics of the most common lease types

Module 7: Information Systems in Retail and CRM Software

Explain why retailers need a centralized data hub

  • Identify some inconclusive methods retailers may use to gather information and make decisions
  • Define retail information system and the data they can store and manage
  • Differentiate between data warehousing and data mining
  • Describe the purpose of UPC, RFID, and QR codes

Explore the use of information systems to manage the supply chain

  • Explain the importance of supply chain management
  • Describe the flow of physical goods through a supply chain
  • Explain how a good supply chain management system can increase sales and profits
  • Summarize the benefits of a coordinated effort between suppliers and retailers

Discuss how customer shopping data is collected

  • Define the purposes of a CRM system
  • List the types of data stored in a customer database
  • Identify how retailers collect identifying information
  • Explain some of the privacy issues surrounding CRM tools

Examine the objectives for analyzing the customer database

  • Explain how retailers use CRM to identify their best customers
  • Recognize the goals of market basket analysis, targeting promotions, and assortment planning
  • Analyze the various tactics of frequent-shopper or rewards programs
  • Identify some customer retention techniques based on collected data

Module 8: Retail Human Resources

Describe the organizational patterns of a retail business

  • Explain how organizational structure determines the activities that specific employees will perform
  • Describe the typical structure of a single-store retailer, national chain, and diversified retailer
  • Name some key divisions of a retail business and the people who head them

Discuss the overarching requirements of human resource management

  • List the performance measures of human resource management
  • Outline the steps of human resource management
  • Summarize the main challenges in retail human resource management

Explain how retailers can attract the best employees

  • Describe the steps to recruiting top talent
  • Identify selection and training techniques to develop star employees
  • Discuss methods to motivate retail employees
  • Predict the benefit of a more diverse and inclusive workforce

Examine legal issues involved in human resource management

  • Differentiate between laws and ethics
  • Explain the equal employment opportunity law
  • Discuss the details of employee health and safety laws
  • Describe the key points of sexual harassment laws
  • List some critical laws that pertain to web retailing

Module 9: Financial Strategies in Retail

Use strategic profit modeling to create a financial plan

  • Identify the financial goals of the business
  • Analyze a profit-and-loss statement
  • Compare various performance objectives and measurements

Explain how an income statement is used to evaluate a profit management path

  • Define net sales, costs of goods sold, operating expenses
  • Analyze the gross margin percentage of sample retailers
  • Calculate the net profit margin of a sample retailer

Explain how a balance sheet is used to evaluate an asset management path

  • Define asset, liability, and net worth
  • Analyze the asset turnover rate
  • Calculate a return on assets (ROA) for a sample retailer
  • Use key ratios to inform decisions

Explain the purpose and logistics of budgeting and cash flow

  • Describe each decision of budget preparation
  • Differentiate between zero-based and incremental budgeting
  • List what needs to be documented in the ongoing budgeting process
  • Explain the effect of seasonality on cash flow of some retailers

Module 10: Retail Operations: Managing the Store

Explain how retailers find the best personnel

  • List some ways to screen prospective employees
  • Describe the information a retail manager wants to get from interviewing a prospective employee
  • Compare and contrast various approaches to training new employees

Explain how retailers keep the best personnel

  • Describe how to evaluate retail employees and provide feedback
  • List some reward and compensation plans for great employees
  • Identify qualities of strong management leaders

Describe the operating functions that can reduce costs

  • List the key aspects of efficient employee scheduling
  • Describe the activities involved in general store maintenance
  • Explain strategies to reduce inventory shrinkage

Module 11: Merchandise Management

Identify the important aspects of merchandise planning and management

  • Define merchandise management
  • Describe the characteristics and functions performed within retail buying organizations
  • Differentiate between staple and fashion merchandise buying systems

Examine the merchandise planning process

  • Explain how retailers forecast probable sales numbers for merchandise categories
  • Compare and contrast various merchandise assortment options
  • Summarize how retailers determine product inventory levels
  • Outline a system for controlling merchandise flow
  • Describe how retailers decide on merchandise allocations
  • Explore the techniques used to evaluate merchandising decisions

Outline the considerations taken by retailers when buying merchandise

  • List some of the brand selection possibilities and their benefits
  • Describe some of the issues involved with sourcing decisions
  • Identify how a retailer can prepare for negotiations
  • Explain the value in building strong partner relationships
  • Summarize the ethical and social responsibilities that come with buying decisions

Module 12: Retail Pricing and Sales Strategies

Identify how pricing fits into the goals of a retail establishment

  • Define value
  • Differentiate between basic retail pricing strategies
  • Explain how pricing is integrated with the rest of the retail mix strategy

Explain how retailers determine pricing objectives

  • List some external factors that impact retail pricing
  • Match various pricing strategies with the business objective it represents
  • Define price elasticity
  • Calculate the price elasticity of a product based on the given situation

Use various pricing methods to determine product pricing

  • Using cost-oriented pricing equations, calculate the retail price, the cost, and the markup percentage of a product
  • Calculate the break-even point for retail product sales
  • Explain how a retailer can use competition-oriented pricing to determine the price of a product
  • Describe how retailers use demand-oriented pricing

Examine common price adjustment techniques

  • Understand the three types of price adjustments used by retailers
  • Explain how retailers can reduce the amount of product that ends up in markdowns
  • Summarize the options for liquidating markdown merchandise

Examine pricing techniques used by retailers to increase sales and profits

  • Differentiate between first, second, and third-degree price discrimination
  • Define loss leader
  • Illustrate the technique of price lining
  • Explain the concepts of KVC and KVI and their impact on retail pricing

Module 13: Retail Image: Layout and Visual Merchandising

Identify the key objectives of good store design

  • Explain how store design can create a positive shopping experience for customers
  • Use an example of store design that would likely impact sales
  • Describe how a store can use design to control costs

Explain the value of a thoughtful store layout

  • Describe customer shopping behaviors and traffic-flow patterns
  • Compare and contrast various store layout designs
  • Explain how a retailer classifies its products into layout groupings

Illustrate how the store environment can create a rewarding shopping experience

  • Describe why a store’s exterior influences its image
  • List the benefits and drawbacks of each presentation technique
  • Outline the important aspects interior store design

Use nonstore-retailing atmospheric principles to analyze current web retailers

  • List the characteristics of an appealing retailer website
  • Describe how web retailers use design features to craft an online store
  • Define UX and the role of user experience in web retailing
  • Examine the advantages and disadvantages of running an online store

Module 14: Integrated Marketing Communications and Promotions

Explore the concept of integrated marketing communications and retail promotions

  • Explain the value of effective communication with customers
  • Define integrated marketing communications
  • Differentiate between traditional and new media elements
  • Examine the different budget calculation methods

Explain how retailers build a brand image and increase customer loyalty by using communication programs

  • Define brand equity
  • Outline the steps involved in the creation of a marketing communication program (SMART)

Evaluate the key elements of the integrated marketing communications mix

  • Describe how advertising is used by retailers
  • Outline the types of sales promotions used by retailers
  • List some direct marketing tactics used by retailers
  • Discuss the various online media elements used by retailers
  • Explain why social media is a crucial part of any current retailer’s IMC mix
  • Evaluate use cases for other miscellaneous media elements

Module 15: Customer Service Strategies

Identify how retailers can use excellent customer service as a differentiation tool

  • Define customer service
  • Discuss the value of customer profiles in retail customer service
  • Categorize services offered by retailers as basic or luxury
  • Compare and contrast personalized and standardized service

Explain the key components of the customer evaluation process

  • Define customer perception and customer expectation
  • Describe the main characteristics that affect service quality perceptions
  • Explain the role of customer expectations in determining the value of service perceived

Discuss the gap model of service quality

  • Outline how a retailer can close the customer expectations and management perceptions gap
  • Outline how a retailer can close the management perceptions and quality specs gap
  • Outline how a retailer can close the quality specs and service delivery gap
  • Outline how a retailer can close the service delivery and communications gap
  • Outline how a retailer can close the actual performance and perceived service gap