University of Toronto: ‘Retail’ Merchandising Certificate Program

NEW!  ‘In-class’ Retail Merchandising Certificate offered at St George Campus, Toronto. 

Requirements: Two (2) courses

SCS 2119 Tools & Fundamentals of Retail Merchandising – Registration begins September 2015
SCS 2117 Creating Consumer-Oriented Merchandising Programs  – Course starts: Jan 2016

Who should consider the retail certificate program?

Ideal certificate for people employed in retail (or who work with a retailer), including: Merchandising, Category Management, Product Management, Buying as well as for Manufacturers working with a major Retailer (Consumer Packaged Goods company’s (CPG’s), especially Key Account Managers.  Also geared for Retailer general interest groups such as Marketing, Human Resources, Administration, Accounting, etc.

Location:  St George Campus

Certificate Details

This is a strategic, certificate program designed for individuals currently employed, or interested in retail sector or deal with a retailer.  The certificate examines the fundamentals of Retail Merchandising (see Learner Outcomes below) as a set of business activities that add value to the products and services sold to consumers.  Students will explore challenges in the retail industry, specifically concentrating on the Canadian market place and its intense competitive state.

Retail is the keystone of the Canadian economy representing a $450+ billion industry and in 2014, the largest employment sector in Canada.  Today, retailers are striving to provide a seamless shopping experience by engaging customers through muti-channel options, including the selling of merchandise and services to customers through the Internet.  The abundance of retailers, both from U.S. and globally, is heating up the competition and Canadian retailers are seeing profit erosion while consumers are benefiting from ‘price wars’.

With razor thin margins, retailers are employing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiatives and effective services and products to maintain loyal customers.  These and related issues, will be explored to address the complex challenges facing Canadian retailer landscape as they compete for market share or ‘share of wallet’.

Learner Outcomes

  1. Identify the challenges of the increasingly competitive state of Canadian retail industry and how it relates to the Canadian economy
  2. Describe how retail fits into the marketing mix; create shelf layouts/planagrams that drive impulse purchases
  3. Comprehend emerging trends yet be acutely aware of local/’glocal’ markets – learn how to read Canadian Demographic Data (2011 Census)
  4. Identify trends in consumer behaviour and review consumer segmentation analysis
  5. Review how Customer Relationship Management is a the heart of customer retention and how databases and data mining assists retailers make relevant decisions
  6. Comprehend the concept of retail Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how CSR initiatives impact the welfare of customers, supplier and employees
  7. Comprehend retail location analysis/ metrics and its importance to the retailer
  8. Understand how to read AC Nielson data and segment product categories to find opportunities
  9. Understand Brand Management in relation to driving brand equity and the importance in Private Label
  10. Understand Category Management as it pertains to dealing with suppliers and negotiating
  11. Comprehend the need for retailers to commit to sustainable business growth and recognize ethical  and environmental issues
 Prerequisites:    There are no prerequisites for this course.
 This course may be applied towards the SCS Certificate(s) in Merchandising

21 Responses to University of Toronto: ‘Retail’ Merchandising Certificate Program

  1. Shirlee S. Manlavi says:

    I am currently working as Merchandising Manager at Rustans Supermarket in the Philippines. I’m interested in SCS 2117 Creating Consumer-Oriented Merchandising Program”. I would like to inquire if you have a study at home program. Thank you. – Shirlee Manlavi

  2. Juntao says:

    I am interested in enrolling for this certificate, but the fact it has only 2 courses concerns me. Ryerson’s Retail Management Certificate contains 7 courses. While it does take longer, it covers more ground, wouldn’t you say?

    • Juntao,
      I would say it depends on your situation. U of T has a better brand in my opinion. Many students who take the U of T course certificate in Merchandising can get promoted within 1-2years. If you are young, unemployed and looking to get into retail, perhaps explore Humber or Ryerson. If you are employed, I recommend take u of t. As always, it depends on your situation. Your company will sometimes pay for the U of T courses as FYI (usually) – please check with your HR department.
      I wish you the best of luck and hope this note helps guide you,
      Prof B

  3. Juntao says:

    Thanks David for the honest response.

  4. Sharareh says:

    I’m really interested in studying this certificate. I have finished my high school back home. Can I still register for this certificate without having high school diploma of Canada?

  5. Em says:

    Hi David,

    I am considering a career change from being an EA (executive assistant in finance, real estate and retail/service sectors) for 8+ years to Merchandising (I have a BFA and BEd from York and OISE respectively) Is this a course that would help to transition me to Merchandising successfully? I would expect an entry position would be the next step.

    • Yes, this course is ideal for you. However there are two courses 2119 and 2117 to gain the certificate. I am teaching 2119 currently and will not teach it again until next sept. 2117 starts in January however it is second level course and more advanced. I suggest you wait if you can…

      • Ashley Smith says:

        Hey David,

        Just to clarify, you will be teaching 2119 in the fall semester again? I see that 2119 is available online but I much prefer in-class learning because of how I learn. Would you suggest it would be better to wait and take 2119 in the fall and then follow up with 2117? I’m not in a rush, and would prefer to take both courses in class if possible.

        Thanks in advance.


      • Hi Ashley – I am teaching 2119 in Sept (2016) and 2117 in Jan (2017) – if you can hold off then I suggest you do that route. In class is more dynamic.

  6. Jim says:

    Hi, Mr Bartonlini,

    I noticed both 2117 and 2119 are available in the winter, but in order to do 2117 you need to do the 2119. Are you guys strict with this policy or it just a recomendation? I would like to do both at the same time if possible?


  7. sorry I teach in class course 2119 in sept 2016…and in-class course 2117 in 2017

  8. Henrique says:

    Hello Mr. Bartolini. I have experience in procurement outside of Canada. Do you recomend me this program to get a job in retail here in Canada? I moved to Toronto recently but I don’t have the Canadian Experience. How much the program? Kind Regards.

    • Hello, and thank you for your note. While there is no guarantee of a job, the course is designed to help students understand the Canadian Retail industry and has helped students get jobs in the sector or get promoted quicker, if already in retail. Hope that helps. I teach in class 2119 in Fall of 2016.

  9. kudirat ayinde says:

    hello mr bartolini, i have a mini retail store for 7 years now but thinking of making it a bigger super mart, but really don’t have professional knowledge on retail. can i enrol?

  10. kudirat ayinde says:

    hello mr Bartolini, i have a mini retail store for 7 years now, and planning to make it a big super mart, but dont have a professionally knowledge on retailing. can i enrol?

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