The New Retail Series

The New Retail Series addresses key skills shortages in the Australian retail workforce—Merchandise Management and Online Retailing—to ensure our retailers remain competitive in a global marketplace.

Please note: The New Retail Series pilot program has been completed and is now closed.

Series 1: Retail Merchandise

This series addressed industry identified skills gaps in merchandise management functions.

There is a critical shortage of local talent, leading to significant costs to recruit skilled people to fill buying and planning roles.

In response, we are developing formal qualifications and training pathways in these areas, under the guidance of Specialist Reference Groups. The groups are made up of key retail industry associations and representatives of businesses of various sizes, from a range of retail sectors.

Ensuring industry relevance

A training pilot commenced in February 2015 and offered employers a unique opportunity to engage their junior or assistant buyers and planners in training prior to the qualification being officially endorsed. This program underpinned the development of the first nationally recognised training products dedicated to retail merchandise management. Employers and employees had an opportunity to provide feedback based on their experience, ensuring the qualifications meet industry needs.

Quality delivery

The pilot, delivered by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Retail Institute, used case studies and business scenarios to ensure the training was very practical. It was facilitated by leading retail industry professionals with strong education and mentoring skills. The pilot covered:

  • departmental strategy
  • customer insights and their impact on merchandise management
  • financial acumen in merchandise management
  • product process and supplier engagement.

Series Two: Online Retailing

Series 2 of the New Retail Series addressed industry identified skills gaps in online retailing.

The retail experience is going digital, and the success of the retail brand hinges on how it builds its own presence and engages in the social and online space. 

As a result of extensive industry consultation, in which retailers highlighted significant concern for skills gaps and limited talent development opportunities, under the guidance of Specialist Reference Groups, we are developing formal qualifications and training pathways in these areas. The groups are made up of key retail industry associations and representatives of businesses of various sizes, from a range of retail sectors.

This training pilot commenced June 2015 and offered employers a unique opportunity to engage their employees in training prior to the qualification being officially endorsed. This program underpinned the development of the first nationally recognised training products dedicated to online retailing. Employers and employees had an opportunity to provide feedback based on their experience, which will ensure industry relevance is maximised.

The pilot was delivered through eLearning modules with participants mentored by an education and online specialist.  This level of expertise ensured relevant support for participants from each industry sector.

The pilot included two modules:

  • Developing content for online retailers
  • Using social media in a retail business

More information on The New Retail Series.