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On-Campus
Curriculum

FASHION MERCHANDISING & RETAIL MANAGEMENT, MPS

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 retailing.


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.

SEMESTER 2

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

We are at the forefront of a retail revolution powered by information. How do retailers leverage disruptive change and use technology to create strategies to gain a competitive advantage and transform their businesses? This course focuses on a cross-pollination of topics and business transformative themes that will focus on game changing technologies, Omni-channel retailing, global fashion thought leaders, tech trends, the human centric experience, big data, mobile technologies, social media and the new retail paradigm. At the core of this technology shift, is the question that is at the forefront of every retailer’s mind “how does technology affect the customer’s experience?” The text will be supplemented with current events and case studies to stimulate critical thinking, foster creativity and analyze tectonic shifts in retail.

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.

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 & MANAGEMENT

The capstone class is designed to be the culminating experience at the end of a student’s program. It gives students an opportunity to use knowledge and skills acquired from all the classes they have completed throughout the program. Faculty use this class as a method to evaluate what students have learned. Students gain experience solving a problem in the fashion industry that spans several areas studied in the program. Based on previous class content, students 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

MPSI 690 - CAREER EXPLORATION INTERNSHIP

The intent of this internship is to add to the student's exposure in the areas fashion merchandising and retail management. The internship gives students an opportunity to evaluate, appraise, and relate actual job experience to work learned in the classroom and should be in an area relevant to the student’s overall career goals and experience. At the end of the semester students submit a required time-sheet documenting attendance throughout the semester. The student needs to intern with the sponsoring company for the duration of the semester in order to pass. This internship does not count towards graduation requirements and is offered during all semesters. 

MPSX 700 - Influencing in Organizations

This course helps students develop influencing skills that are important to success in nearly all professional settings. The skills that are emphasized in this course include receiving feedback, making persuasive presentations, influencing others, and managing negotiations. Based upon existing work experience(s), this course will provide students with an opportunity to explore their effectiveness in a team and as individual contributors. The course is experiential and provides many opportunities for students to observe, analyze, and practice their influencing skills through role playing and other skills-development exercises.

*Prerequisite: Students must have been employed full-time during their entire enrollment in the MPS degree program at LIM College or have successfully completed two one-credit Career Exploration Internships (MPSI 690). Exceptions to this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

MPSX 701 - INFLUENCING IN ORGANIZATIONS - SPECIAL PROJECT

This course helps students develop influencing skills that are important to success in nearly all professional settings. The skills that are emphasized in this course include receiving feedback, making persuasive presentations, influencing others, and managing negotiations. Based upon existing work experience(s), this course will provide students with an opportunity to explore their effectiveness in a team and as individual contributors. The course is experiential and provides many opportunities for students to observe, analyze, and practice their influencing skills through role playing and other skills-development exercises. This course also includes a special project. This special project will relate to an industry effort assigned by the instructor.

*Prerequisite: Successful completion of a one-credit Career Exploration Internship (MPSI 690). If a student is not employed full time, but has successfully completed a one-credit Career Exploration Internship (MPSI 690), the student would be eligible for MPSX 701.