Retailing

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Course Number: BUSADMIN 3120
Course Name: Retailing (Online)
Course Description:    A study of various types of retail institutions and their characteristics. The many kinds of retail ownership options, strategy mixes, locations, organizational formats, merchandise and inventory management techniques, and promotional policies are compared and evaluated. Cases reflecting a global perspective are included.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 2630
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online  (This course is also offered in print.)

Registration Instructions

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

Overall Course Learning Outcomes
The knowledge acquired in this course can be applied to a wide variety of retail problems in the real world. Hence, the course will not only enable you to move on to more advanced study in retailing but will also be of practical value for your analytical and intellectual growth and development. On completion of the course and its four unit examinations, you will be able to apply the concepts in each unit to personal and real-life situations.

Specific Course Learning Outcomes
After studying the course materials and taking the examinations, you will be able to:

  • Identify customer needs and how to satisfy those needs.
  • Identify and describe and differentiate between retail institutions.
  • Understand retail strategy and how it applies to various retail institutions.
  • Acquire an understanding about the behavior of the ultimate consumer.
  • Understand the role of research in the world of retailing.
  • Design a trading area as well as complete a site analysis for a retail institution.
  • Understand the organizational structure of the retail firm.
  • Develop and understand the components of a retail merchandise plan.
  • Understand the basic principles of merchandise management in the retail institution.
  • Develop a plan for a communications mix for a retail store and understand the role of communications in the retail world.
  • Apply price theory to a retail situation.
  • Understand the control of retail merchandise and how it impacts retail activities.
  • Identify the unique characteristics of service retailing.
  • Understand how to integrate and control a retail strategy.
  • Develop an awareness of the international dimensions of retailing.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1
The purpose of mastering the information in this unit is to develop an understanding of the concept of retailing and to examine the many different kinds of businesses that engage in the retailing process. This unit should help you develop an understanding of the goals and objectives of retailers, the wide variety of institutions with varying structures that are called retailers, the future of retailing and the trends of tomorrow, as well as the changing environment of retailing.

We will cover the principles of strategic planning, decisions made in owning or managing a retail business, contemporary challenges facing retailers, and how retailers direct their organizational efforts through goals, objectives, and strategic planning.

Unit 2
Retail planning is based on marketing research concerning ultimate consumers, suppliers, and other retail institutions. This unit emphasizes the importance of using sophisticated research techniques to provide improved consumer input for retail decisions. It also focuses on the consumer decision-making process. It is important to understand this process because the retailer has more contact with the ultimate consumer than anyone else.

The unit discusses various techniques for identifying and understanding consumers and selecting a target market. It also discusses information-gathering methods to help in selecting a target market and in developing and implementing an overall strategy.

The unit also presents the many considerations involved with locating any kind of retail operation. Because the location decision is one of the first decisions a new retailer must make and one of the first places where he or she can make a significant error, location analysis and specific methods of calculating the potential of a trading area are discussed in detail in this unit.

Unit 3
Once retailers have decided on a particular location, they must organize and staff their operations. The many forms that an organization might take are reviewed in this unit. The physical handling of the merchandise as well as the financial management of both merchandise and services are examined. An understanding of the management of inventory and the idea of inventory control as it relates to the success or failure of a retailer is essential. Included in this unit is the concept of assortment decision making, which makes each retailer uniquely responsive to a particular market.

Unit 4
This unit describes the role of pricing in a retail strategy and how pricing must be done in an integrated and adaptive manner. The impact of consumers, government, manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers is examined.

The unit also presents a framework for developing a retail strategy. Customer communication in retailing is necessary for a retailer to convey the philosophy of business. Creating and maintaining the proper image, the way a retailer is perceived by its customers, is an essential aspect of retail strategy.

The unit also looks at the various methods or means of communication from which a retailer may choose in presenting messages to the market. The strengths and weaknesses of each medium are examined and the costs of communicating are considered so that funds can be allocated in the most productive way according to organizational goals and objectives. An understanding of these concepts is essential if a retailer is to reach his or her market.

Also considered in this unit are the differences between the retailing of a product assortment and the retailing of services. We are moving toward a service-oriented world and an understanding of retail services is becoming increasingly important.

Number of Exams: 4 exams for this course.

Number of Assignments: 20 assignments and discussion sessions for this course.

Number of Projects: 3 group case studies for this course.

Grading Information

Your final grade is based on the total points that you accumulate from the unit examinations and learning activities.  These factors shall be assigned the following points:

Course Element   Points
Individual Activities  300 points
Four Exams @ 100 points 400 points
Group Activities   250 points
Total Points   950 points

Grading Scale         
Total Points 950         
<----%Range ------> <----%Range ------>
A        100% 92%            950 874
A-        91% 89%            873 846
B+       88% 86%             845 817
B          85% 80%            816 789
B-        82% 77%             788 760
C+       79% 72%             759 732
C         76% 70%             731 684
C-       71% 68%              683 665
D+      69% 60%              664 646
D         67%                   645 570
F          less than 60%    less than 570

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