DSGN 276: Introduction to Merchandising Management is four credit course that provides the introductory knowledge necessary to prepare students for working in the retail industry. It introduces students to the retail industry including basic terminology, industry history, and merchandising management decisions. The course prepares students for the more advanced knowledge acquired in the Merchandising Management design major and business administration concentration. The course bridges the College of Business first-year experience with the Merchandising Management curriculum. Students are generally College of Business sophomores, but the class also includes some upper-level students who were admitted under a prior curriculum catalog and still need to complete the course as a graduation requirement.
While the face-to-face course design met 1 hour and 50 minutes twice a week, the three sections of 35-45 students for the hybrid design being offered Fall 2018 will meet once a week for an hour and 50 minutes. The primary course objectives are for students to (1) recognize and recall basic retail and merchandising terminology and (2) use basic retail math skills to solve merchandising management pricing problems. The secondary course objectives are for students to (3) discuss potential career paths in the retail industry and merchandising management and (4) interpret retail history in the U.S. to understand how the retail industry has evolved to its current environment.
Students complete online multiple choice quizzes on the assigned textbook readings. Previously, in-class lectures occurred during the first of two days a topic was covered. Under the hybrid format, lectures will be presented as video recordings and be viewed by students online. The discussion questions related to the lecture topics will become online discussion questions. In the face-to-face course design, the second class meeting included in-class activities, which will continue to occur during the face-to-face meetings of the hybrid course. These activities include Think-Pair-Share related the week’s topic, reading an online timeline of the History of Retail in the U.S. and discussing the key themes for a period of time, conducting a gap analysis of skills needed for their potential retail career, grouping retailers based on format type, analyzing the customer segments for a given zipcode, completing practice retail math problems, and examining pricing strategies of competing retailers. Finally, student’s knowledge will be assessed with exams.