The Retail Environment
Main Aim(s) of the Unit:
Retail is one of the most, if not the most, important commercial sectors in Britain today and represents a key driver of the British economy. Certainly, the retail sector is Britainâ€™s largest employer, presenting numerous career opportunities in a number of fields. Thus, knowledge of how retail operates is central to an understanding of the workings of commercial management, sales and marketing.
The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the key commercial ideas and developments which underpin the retail concept. The history and development of the concept is considered, together with its role in the economy and the parts played by both independent retailers and the major U.K. and global chains. This will provide both introduction and insight into the varied workings of the retail industry and serve as an entry point to the more specific topics considered in other areas covered by the Certificate.
Main Topics of Study:
- History, background and development of the retail concept;
- UK and global retailers;
- The effect of retail upon economies;
- Different types of retail operations;
- Independent and niche retailers;
- High Street and national chains;
- The changing face of the High Street;
- The rise of the shopping Mall;
- Out of town retail;
- Survival and other retail strategies.
Learning Outcomes for the Unit
At the end of this Unit, students will be able to:
- Describe and evaluate the key factors which influenced the development of the retail concept and its influence upon the economy.
- Explain the roles played by different types of retailers.
- Compare and contrast the different strategies used in different fields of retail.
- Conduct research via a variety of methods.
- Communicate effectively by written and oral means.
- Work in teams effectively
Learning and teachingÂ methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:
Weekly lectures will be used to deliver theoretical material and build up the framework of the areas of study. The seminars will use student-centred learning techniques to build upon lecture material and examine topics in more detail. Students will be expected to lead seminars on appointed topics. Case studies will be used to illustrate material and apply theory to the practical arena.
Assessment methods which enable student to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the Unit:
Examination: 3 hours duration
Indicative Reading for this Unit:
Fernie, F et al (2003) Principles of Retailing, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Alternative Texts and Further Reading:
Cox, R. and Brittain, P (2004) Retailing â€“ An Introduction, FT/Prentice Hall
Guideline for Teaching and Learning Time (10 hrs per credit)
50 hoursÂ Lectures / Seminars / Tutorials / Workshops:
Tutorial support includes feedback on assignments and may vary by college according to local needs and wishes.
50 hoursÂ Directed learning:
Advance reading and preparation / Class preparation / Background reading / Group study / Portfolio / Diary etc
100 hoursÂ Self managed learning:
Working through the course text and completing assignments as required will take up the bulk of the learning time.Â In addition students are expected to engage with the tutor and other students and to undertake further reading using the web and/or libraries.