Merchandising and retail is a business that has been around for centuries. As trends, technologies and tastes change, the industry has adapted to suit the needs of a growing and demanding public. The large retail and merchandising companies that exist today have persevered due to their ability to continually absorb and adapt to new trends.
A career in merchandising and retail requires knowledge of every facet of the business, from understanding textiles and materials, studying fashion and business trends as well as business communication and entrepreneurial skills. Today, technology has begun to play a large role with computers and the internet revolutionizing the way we buy and sell. Merchandising and retail has crossed over into international markets and merchandising professionals need to be aware of international business trends and practices as well.
Courses aimed at training students for careers in merchandising and retail will cover a number of different subjects. Students will first learn about fashion sketching and illustration as well as the basics of retail. Basic computer skills, digital imaging, color theory and costume history are also covered. Programs will also teach the fundamentals of business, visual merchandising, advertising, marketing, concepts and fashion trends, textiles, fabrics, merchandise management, retail operations and technology, sales and event promotions, retail mathematics and manufacturing procedures and techniques. Students will also learn about how to plan a boutique or store, lease management, product development, accounting and consumer behavior. They will learn how to evaluate designs and apparel, media planning, buying, international marketing and purchase, web marketing, human resource management, e-Commerce, trade tariffs and agreements. While merchandising and retail can be a challenging career option, it is one that crosses borders and offers tremendous potential for growth and expansion in the future.
Canadian Provinces with Career Colleges offering diplomas, programs or courses in Merchandising and Retail