FASHION MERCHANDISING & RETAIL MANAGEMENT, MPS
TOTAL CREDITS: 30
MPSR 651 - ADVANCED FASHION MERCHANDISING
Fashion consumers today are technologically savvy and global in their choices. Technology provides consumers with the ability to view the world of fashion faster than ever before. This class provides a broad foundation for students hoping to become a part of the fashion industry. Advanced Fashion Merchandising is designed to offer graduate students a foundation of knowledge related to the history of fashion, the most current theories in fashion development, production and merchandising of various categories of fashion goods. It exposes students to the changing world of fashion (nature, environment, movement and business), the producers of apparel (product development: men’s, women’s, children and teens), global marketing of fashion and the policies and strategies of fashion.
MPSR 652 - Consumer Behavior in Fashion
Consumer behavior affects all aspects of the fashion industry including; design, production, merchandising, promotion, and distribution. This course offers graduate students a foundation that will support their ability to assess consumer insights and provide strategic plans that will increase consumption and therefore increase retail sales. The consumer behavior class enables students to identify and interpret needs and wants of consumers and how industry processes are applied to plan, develop, produce, communicate and sell profitable product lines. Specifics, such as how psychological, sociological and cultural factors include the what, when, where, why and how consumers buy what they buy, will be studied. It will also include topics ranging from consumer attitudes, personality, and values to the global marketplace, ethics, and social responsibility. Students will be able to acquaint with marketing activities used by retailers to increase the patronization of their goods and services including those that identify target consumer.
MPSR 653 - FASHION RETAIL MANAGEMENT
This course examines retail operations and strategies within the contemporary marketing context that includes an understanding of the history of retailing, the study of contemporary retailing strategies for consumption, merchandise mix and selection processes, product assortment analysis from the context of the retailer, the examination of retail store and space allocation for product assortments; and an investigation of current retail operations in the global marketplace. It provides an advanced understanding of the United States (U.S.) retail merchandising and how companies have expanded globally. Graduate students will develop their knowledge of why retailers go international while maintaining their brand integrity assuring each customer has the same shopping experience as if they were in the U.S. In addition, students examine how non-U.S. retailers have influenced Americans' ideas of consumption through their own cultural retailing influences, atmospherics, marketing and product assortments.
MPSR 654 - Fashion Branding & Promotion
Branding is an important and rapidly growing sector in the Fashion Industry. This course will focus on developing stimulating and strong representations of products for consumers to purchase in brick and mortar shops, online, in catalogues, through direct marketing, door-to-door and on television. Students will investigate and experience fashion retail brands in today’s multichannel fashion context. Students will also explore how certain social and cultural topics impact the methods that consumers use to purchase merchandise, as well as how retailers use these multichannel methods to communicate, represent and translate their product’s position in the fashion market. Special emphasis is put on the fashion branding process based upon research, writing, theoretical concept development and marketing, and topics related to big companies and entrepreneurs. The role of retailers and merchandisers in the branding process will be strongly discussed. Students are responsible for moving beyond traditional “surface” readings and meanings of branding in order to critically understand how media mixes are important to product presentation. New dimensions of product selling are examined for students to become competitive managers in this field.
MPSR 655 - Principles of Visual Merchandising
This course will provide students with an understanding of how retailers use visual merchandising to gain retail market share and convey brand image. Students will examine the store design process by identifying the objects used in store design. Topics such as visual merchandise presentation, art and design elements of visual merchandising, window displays, and in-store displays will be discussed. Students will also be able to identify the differences between artistic display and merchandise presentation, and the importance of both in the retail landscape. The incorporation of safety, security and loss prevention techniques and devices in visual merchandising are considered so students are aware of their importance for assets protection and customer wellbeing.
MPSR 656 - RETAIL MERCHANDISE MANAGEMENT
Retail Merchandise Management provides students a working knowledge of the merchandise mathematics as it relates to planning, flow, distribution, inventory and pricing. This course covers profitable merchandise and assortment planning and control in conceptual, technical and practical formats. Merchandiser functions, duties and operational processes are discussed as students develop an annual merchandise plan, and then investigate possible modifications and how they could impact the merchandise flow and processes. An understanding of the basic principles of retail math including cost, retail price and profit is essential in every aspect of the fashion business. Conceptual and authentic formats are used to demonstrate profitable merchandise and sales planning. Course content, while relating to prior fashion learning, allows students to understand how to apply math and analytical aspects of retail strategy to products.
Prerequisite: MPSR 653 - Fashion Retail Management
MPSR 657 - TECHNOLOGY IN FASHION MERCHANDISING AND MANAGEMENT
A major goal of this course is to introduce technology in fashion merchandising and retailing. Students critically and analytically explore current technological business strategies and their impact on the business of retail. Various topics include, but not limited to sales, experiential retailing, retailing abroad, advance apparel product development, fashion product promotional strategies, as well as critical analysis of fashion branding. Other topics related to technology could include customer service, human resources, planogram and floorsets, visual merchandising/display, sales and completing the sale, merchandising the store, quality of merchandise/product, leadership responsibilities and future goals. This course provides students with practical experiences and discussion leading to all aspects of a retail establishment in the merchandising managerial role.
Prerequisite: MPSR 651 - Advanced Fashion Merchandising
MPSR 658 - Product Development in Fashion from Concept to Consumer
The Product Development in Fashion course will be approached from an insider’s perspective. Students will experience the cross-functionality of each area in the PD process. From the initial understanding of the strategic business plan, to creating a merchandising plan which includes assortment, category and price points, and finally to design a management line plan which includes color, silhouette, and balance choices. Through a hands on process students will also gain an understanding of the PDM, PLC and CAD systems that have shortened the product life cycle and have helped bring products to consumers ever faster. The course will also examine the role of line editing and the importance of calendar adherence. Design, fabric, fit, and garment construction will be broadly discussed for an in-depth understanding of the technical importance in product development and production process. Finally, Social media, economic and environmental implications including sustainability will be examined.
MPSR 659 - INTERNSHIP IN FASHION MERCHANDISING AND MANAGEMENT
The fashion business is ever-changing, therefore the best method of student engagement is real world experience guided by academia. This class is designed in three parts: an assessment of the types of jobs available in the corporate and store environment; an eleven week experiential internship within the corporate office of a major retailer; and professional development sessions to enhance the students competitiveness in the work world. During the duration of the class, the student completes a handbook designed to capture their experience with the retailer.
Prerequisite: MPSR 656 - Retail Merchandise Management
MPSR 660 - Capstone in Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management
The capstone class is designed to be the crowning achievement of the student at the end of the MPS program. It gives students an opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired from previous coursework. Faculty uses this class as a method of student evaluation of what they have learned. The students gain experience solving a problem in the fashion industry that will span several areas studied in the program. Based on previous courses, students are able to choose projects related to the changing world of fashion, product development, producers of apparel, the global marketing of fashion, the policies and strategies of fashion and the relationship between sales and consumer behavior. Fashion retail analysis is necessary in order to complete the final project. Students are expected to closely examine real retail companies and identify an area of opportunity white space in the assortment, need for global expansion, technology challenges, etc. and create a course of action to “solve” the business problem.
Prerequisite: MPSR 656 - Retail Merchandise Management
MPSX 700 - Influencing in Organizations
This course helps students develop self-awareness skills, and influencing skills that are important to success in nearly all work settings. The skills that are emphasized in this course include developing a personal brand, giving and receiving effective feedback, strategic networking, influencing others, and understanding organizational politics. Based upon a student’s existing work experience(s), this course will provide students with an opportunity to explore their effectiveness in a team and individual contributor roles. The course is experiential and provides many opportunities for students to observe, analyze, and practice their career management and leadership skills through discussion and role play.