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FIT to Launch Retail Management Certificate Program

Cheri Fein, executive director of Public and Media Relations
212 217.4700 or [email protected]

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will launch a credit certificate program in retail management in Fall 2012. The program will teach the skills and abilities needed to enable professionals in mid-tier retailing positions, as well as those with a bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to fashion merchandising, advance to executive-level positions in retail management.

Developed in partnership with the National Retail Federation (NRF), the FIT program focuses on general analytical and problem-solving abilities, along with industry requirements, to manage retail operations both here and abroad. In addition, students will achieve a mastery of foundational skills in Excel for business, retail merchandising, and retail management. The curriculum will culminate with a capstone course.

The 14-credit program, consisting of five courses, will cover industry criterions and essential specifications to manage retail operations both here and abroad. The program is completed over three semesters in the evening and on weekends to accommodate the needs of working professionals.

The curriculum will include such topics as Excel for business, case studies in fashion merchandising, retail management and strategies, and dynamics of retail careers. Upon completion, students will be able to analyze key store operation functions, calculate and benchmark a retailers performance metrics against major competitors and industry norms, utilize Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets and reports that convey critical data analysis in a concise and organized way, develop strategies involving basic management functions and current technology to formulate a plan to achieve company goals, and exhibit skills required to successfully lead a management group.

According to the NRF, retailers operate more than 3.5 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs, constituting 42 million working Americans and contributing $2.5 trillion to the annual Gross Domestic Product.

Competition in retails sales is fierce, said Steven Frumkin, dean of FIT's Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. Because this is an industry that experiences ongoing restructuring, staying on top requires retail industry managers to be nimble, analytical, and creative with regard to the challenging and ever-changing retail environment.

The requirements for admission are either a baccalaureate degree in an area other than fashion merchandising management or a minimum of five years of mid-tier retail experience. The program is not intended for those who already have earned a baccalaureate degree in fashion merchandising, as the course work will overlap.

Certifications exams in Microsoft Excel and the NRF National Professional Certification in Retail Management can be taken in conjunction with this program.

For more information on the Retail Management certificate program at FIT, visit https://www.fitnyc.edu/11604.asp.

About the National Retail Federation (NRF)

As the worlds largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad including department stores, specialty, apparel, discount, online, independent, grocery and chain restaurants, among others. NRF's Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation.

About the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

FIT is a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology, with a wide range of programs that are affordable and relevant to today's rapidly changing industries. In addition to certificates, FIT, a college of the State University of New York, offers more than 45 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees.