The First Friday Retail Academy

Online Academy Content

1. Creating a Strategy

This critical step starts the whole process of the retail cycle and even as a junior team member it is important to understand how and why retailers do this.

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of your input into the creation of a robust departmental strategy.

Course Modules

1. Business strategy and its purpose 
2. The customer
3. Internal influences 
4. External influences
5. Developing a department strategy

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Define a strategy and state the benefits of developing one 
  • State which roles have an input into creating a strategy and how each will benefit the process 
  • Identify the inputs into a departmental strategy 
  • Interpret and evaluate the outputs to develop targets & strategic goals

2. Merchandise Planning

The aim of this course is to enable you to create robust financial plans that will deliver phased sales, stock and intake targets at department and category level. 

The commercial concepts of the WSSI are explored in depth, as you follow a step-by-step approach to build a version of a WSSI throughout the course.

Course Modules

1. The pre-season merchandise plan
2. Planning sales
3. Category planning
4. Phasing sales
5. Planning markdown
6. Planning stock
7. Managing intake and OTB
8. Planning margin   

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • State how and why we create a pre-season merchandise plan 
  • Describe the way in which the merchandise plan is broken down 
  • Create departmental sales plans 
  • Plan stock levels and phase intake over time to deliver sales objectives taking into account seasonality 
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage Open to Buy (OTB) 
  • Plan promotions and markdowns in order to maximise sales and manage seasonal stock

3. Assortment Planning and Range Building

The aim of this course is to enable delegates to create an option based framework that will deliver a customer focused, balanced range to stores and online.

Course Modules

1. The range building process
2. Planning space
3. Planning options: determining the buy
4. Grouping stores
5. The assortment plan
6. Range building
7. The range sign off meeting  

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain why we group stores for planning purposes 
  • Describe how space can be used to drive out stock and inventory requirements  
  • Explain how to determine range width and depth; planning the number of options to buy and the quantity to buy of each option 
  • Identify the assortment planning levers and how they can be manipulated to create the optimum range 
  • State the purpose of the range sign off meeting within the range planning process   

4. Order Management, Allocation and Replenishment 

The aim of the course is to help you to understand the end-to-end process involved in stock management.

Course Modules

1. Stock management overview
2. Critical path management
3. Planning allocations
4. Replenishment
5. Managing commitment

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain the stages of the stock journey 
  • Identify the benefits of using a critical path and delivery schedule 
  • State the factors you would consider when planning an initial allocation and subsequent replenishment 
  • Describe how to manage commitment to meet ideal stock levels

5. Evaluating Performance

The aim of this course is to enable you to evaluate the weekly performance of your department. 

Course Modules

1. Evaluating weekly trade
2. Interpreting trading reports at
    department and category level

3. Interpreting trading performance at
    line level

4. Weekly performance vs strategic
    objectives


Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • State the different KPIs that are used to evaluate weekly trading performance  
  • List and describe the different types of common trading reports and their uses
  • Propose a checklist of actions in response to best and worst line level performance
  • Relate department performance to department goals  

6. In-season Management

The aim of the course is to introduce delegates to in-season forecasting and to demonstrate how the WSSI can be used to react to trade and optimise departmental performance.

Course Modules

1. What is in-season management
2. The WSSI as an evaluation tool
3. Using the WSSI as a forecasting tool
4. Taking action
5. Managing end of season product 

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain why retailers re-forecast sales in-season 
  • State the techniques retailers use to forecast 
  • Explore the impact of forecasting for over and under performance 
  • Describe how you can manage sales and stock at the end of the season in order to safeguard profit

7. Managing Key Lines

The aim of this course is to enable you to plan and manage key lines.

Course Modules

1. Overview of key lines
2. Planning key lines
3. Forecasting and managing key lines

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • State the benefits of planning and forecasting key lines 
  • List what you would take into account when planning and forecasting key lines 
  • Create a plan a for a key line 
  • Describe how to manage key lines in-season to maximise profitability

8. Price Management

The aim of this course is to enable delegates to propose methods of managing prices that will optimise the trading departmental margin.

Course Modules

1. Initial price setting
2. Types of price changes
3. Promotions
4. Clearance markdown

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • State the considerations for setting initial prices 
  • Define the different types of price change and when they can be used 
  • Calculate profitable promotions 
  • Interpret performance to determine clearance markdown criteria

9. Introduction to Negotiation Skills

The aim of this course is to enable you to plan, prepare and execute negotiations more effectively.

Course Modules

1. Introduction to negotiation 
2. Negotiation objectives
3. Conflict in negotiation 
4. The six-step framework

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Define what a negotiation is 
  • Establish the business objectives of a negotiation 
  • Identify why conflict occurs, how to respond to it and how to deal with it 
  • Use a six-step framework to plan, conduct and conclude negotiations 
  • Define tangible actions to become more efficient and effective in future negotiations  

10. The Journey from Cost to Profit

The aim of this course is to enable you to appreciate how you can influence the profitability of your business through commercial costing and sourcing decisions.

Course Modules

1. Components of cost 
2. Commercial costing decisions
3. Costings and the final margin 

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the different components that make up the final cost price of a product 
  • State how and when each cost component is applied 
  • Describe the benefits of open costings and cross costings 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how your sourcing decisions can impact both the intake and final margin of your range 

11. Supplier Management

The aim of this course is to enable delegates to work effectively and commercially with their supply base.

Course Modules

1. Successful supplier relationships 
2. Grouping suppliers
3. Building long-term supplier relationships 
4. New suppliers 
5. Exiting a supplier relationship

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of strong supplier relationships 
  • Determine ways in which suppliers can be grouped to aid business decisions 
  • Explain the ways in which supplier performance can be assessed 
  • Explore best practice methods of supplier communication and review 
  • Provide an approach to managing problems with suppliers and exiting a supplier relationship professionally  

12. Sourcing

The aim of this course is to show how your sourcing decisions can impact costs, flexibility and customer perceptions.

Course Modules

1. Sourcing strategy
2. Sourcing ethically and sustainably
3. Types of sourcing
4. Sourcing terminology
5. Cultural considerations 

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the different ways of sourcing product 
  • Define international shipping and sourcing terminology 
  • Demonstrate how to calculate a landed cost price 
  • Discuss the importance of ethical and sustainable sourcing and the impact global cultures can have on business relationships

Whilst each course is independent of the others, delegates who complete all of them will develop a comprehensive understanding of Planning, Buying and Trading – from the key principles through to a detailed exploration of commercial techniques and activities.

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