Retail experience and expertise that’s second to none

All of the First Friday team has their roots in retail – many of us at a senior level and from a wide range of retail functions and businesses – which means we are able to hit the ground running and add value from day one.

Retail is in our DNA – we can offer bespoke solutions or tried and tested training from our off-the-shelf Retail Training Academy.

Whether it’s commercial technical skills training for buyers, category managers, merchandisers and planners, or sales and customer service skills for store colleagues and staff, we know what it’s like to do those jobs and how to help them become more effective.

First Friday are head and shoulders above other training companies. Even their body language is retail.

Training for Buyers, Merchandisers and Planners

We have extensive experience in developing and delivering training for Merchandising, Planning and Buying for many retailers around the world  – from a few courses to large all-encompassing Buying and Merchandising academies for some of the very large retailers.

Bespoke & off-the-shelf training solutions

Most of the training we deliver is part of broader retail system transformation projects which call for bespoke courses and materials.  However, we also offer a pre-built Training Academy containing a large range of tried and tested off-the-shelf training courses, developed from our years of experience in a variety of businesses.

  • Use our ready-to-go Retail Academy courses to cover the basic retail principles
  • Create bespoke training using your own corporate branding, internal jargon, language, processes, and relevant examples throughout help to bring critical learning to life

Most retailers find a mix of off-the-shelf and bespoke training helps them best meet their training & development needs.  Get in touch to find out more.

Common Retail Buying & Merchandising training course topics

  • Retail calculations and retail maths
  • Merchandise Financial Planning
  • Range & assortment planning
  • In-season trading and forecasting
  • The WSSI
  • Exit planning and terminal stock
  • Pricing, promotions and markdowns
  • Key and core line planning & forecasting
  • Allocations and replenishment
  • Critical path management
  • Sourcing and supplier management
  • Sustainability
  • Factory visits, store visits, competitor shopping

Customer Service and Selling

Need help to define your customer experience? Want to develop capability in wowing your customers and successful selling?

Our retail operations and hospitality credentials mean that nobody is better placed to train your teams on all things customer that build loyalty and satisfaction whilst delivering commercial results.

Customer engagement

  • Buying signals and behaviours
  • Body language and communication
  • Greeting & welcome
  • Approach & engage
  • Getting into conversation
  • Building rapport and a connection
  • Confidence with colours
  • Styling and outfit building

Sales conversion

  • Discovering customer needs
  • Presenting solutions
  • Storytelling
  • Add-on selling and up-selling
  • Closing a sale
  • Confidence with colours
  • Styling and outfit building

Clientelling and loyalty

  • Understanding what drives customer loyalty
  • Developing a clientelling strategy
  • Gathering discovery detail
  • Creating clientelling communications

Need something now?

Try the First Friday Training Academy

Supplement your unique training offering with our pre-built online courses and classroom-based workshops.

Retail Basics

Retail fundamentals training for everyone

Considering a career in buying, merchandising or planning? Or just starting out in a new role? These courses cover the retail basics that are the foundation for success.

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B&M Academy

Specialist retail training courses

A comprehensive retail training programme to develop the technical skills needed to build knowledge and confidence in buying, merchandising and merchandise planning.

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Recipes for Retail

Invaluable insights from a retail veteran

Learn how to be a great retailer from someone who knows. Bite-sized wisdom from one of the most experienced retailers in the world, John Hoerner.

Browse courses »

Case Studies

Example retail training projects

Our trainers know Retail inside out

At First Friday, all our training consultants come from a retail or commercial backgrounds and have become expert trainers.  The resultant commercial focus stands us apart from other training companies.

Meet our team

Meet some of our retail training consultants

Clare Edwards Transformation Consultant, Head of Training Academy

A Principal Consultant and Head of the First Friday Training Academy, Clare has over 30 years of retail experience which she uses to support clients to develop their commercial knowledge, technical capability and soft skills.

More about Clare »
Charlotte Morton Training Consultant

Charlotte has a proven track record in leadership, managing multi-million-pound budgets and driving business growth at some of the UK’s best-known retailers, and has worked with First Friday since 2020 as a commercial and strategic merchandising consultant.

More about Charlotte »
Jack Saunders Training Consultant

Jack has over 20 years’ experience as a training and change consultant and has worked on a wide range of complex programmes for several leading retailers. She brings energy, passion and enthusiasm to her work, leaving clients engaged and motivated.

More about Jack »