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FASHION
MERCHANDISING
& RETAIL
MANAGEMENT, MPS

With a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) from LIM College you gain a competitive advantage in today’s retail, apparel and merchandising markets. The Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management program is ideal for anyone seeking to enter the business of fashion industry from a variety of academic backgrounds.

FOUNDATION

TOTAL CREDITS: 30

SEMESTER 1

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 - SALES AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOR


Consumer behavior affects all aspects of design, production, merchandising and promotion in the fashion industry. The course offers graduate students a foundation of learning that will support their ability to assess consumer situations and provide conclusions that increase consumption and influence retail sales. The Sales and 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 influence the what, when, where, why and how consumers buy what they buy is studied. It also includes topics ranging from consumer attitudes, personality and values to the global marketplace, ethics and social responsibility.


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 RETAIL BRANDING AND PROMOTION


An important and rapidly growing challenge for retailers is 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—known as branding. In this class, students investigate and experience fashion retail brands in today’s multichannel fashion context. Students explore how certain social and cultural topics impact the methods 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, marketing and topics related to the big companies and entrepreneurs. The role of retailers and merchandisers in the branding process will be discussed critically. 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.


SEMESTER 2

MPSR 655 - RETAIL VISUAL MERCHANDISING STRATEGIES

Students are provided with an understanding of how retailers use visual merchandising to gain retail market share. They examine the store design process identifying the objects used, the mechanics of store design, details and physical structures and the tangible and intangible aspects of stores. Next, visual merchandising, merchandise presentation, art elements, design elements, window displays and in-store displays will be discussed. 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. By the end of this course students are able to identify the differences between artful display and merchandise presentation by becoming attuned to the importance of both for successful selling.


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

This course focuses on the product development process in fashion corporations, from idea generation, screening, concept development, physical development, testing and commercialization of new products through launch. Cross-functional relationships among departments and managers responsible for design, production, marketing and sales are examined. Particular emphasis is placed on Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) particularly used for fast-changing areas such as textiles and fashion design. Because CIM simultaneously provides high product variety with low costs, conventional assumptions about competitive strategy and organization design need reevaluation. Special emphasis is placed on how product managers, designers and merchandisers are involved in the development of a line or collection of fashion products.


SEMESTER 3

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: FASHION MERCHANDISING AND MANAGEMENT

The capstone class is designed to be the crowning achievement of the student at the end of the program. It gives students an opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired from the other classes completed in the program. Faculty use 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 class content, 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. The project will necessitate the use of fashion retail analysis.

Prerequisite: MPSR 656 - Retail Merchandise Management