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Retail Focuses

The Retail Focuses identifies four areas in retail that the School of Retail Management highlights as pathways into Retail. Supported by faculty expertise and research, we offer rich courses in these areas, which serves to provide potential incoming students who are considering the program and provide direction for students enrolled in the program. Each Focus Area includes 4-5 courses that students should take if they are interested in pursuing the Focus Area, and also includes a sample of related careers.

Word Cloud image with retail job titles (e.g. Buyer, Visual Merchandiser, Allocation Analyst)

A Career in Retail

The world of retail offers a wide array of career opportunities for new grads and students seeking summer work experience.

Overall, retail is the top employment sector in the country with almost 2 million working Canadians, 600,000 of whom hold tactical or managerial positions.

Retail involves planning, evaluating and overseeing the operations of various elements of retail establishments and the companies that support them.  This may include expertise in buying & merchandising, store operations, design and layout, marketing, human resources development, supply chain management, site selection, digital technologies and more.

Given that buying and merchandising are direct drivers of sales, this is a critical focus for the retail industry. Retailers are constantly looking for competitive advantages in a highly aggressive marketplace, and strong buying and merchandising practices are key drivers of long-term success. In this stream, you focus on maintaining a competitive advantage by understanding customers, forecasting sales, controlling inventories, preparing buying plans, developing assortment plans, managing vendor relations, and effectively pricing merchandise.



RMG 400 (opens in new window)  - Merchandise Buying and Planning I  

RMG 806 (opens in new window)  - Retailer Perspectives on Category Management  

RMG 452 (opens in new window)  - Visual Merchandising and Space Planning  

RMG 909 (opens in new window)  - Merchandise Buying and Planning II  

RMG 434 (opens in new window)  - Intro to Logistics and Supply Chain Mgmt  


Possible careers:

  • Buyer
  • Merchandiser
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Merchandise planner
  • Digital merchandiser
  • Category lead
  • Procurement specialist

From influencer marketing to TikTok challenges, social media and digital retailing are integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives, as well as the practices of 21-century retailers. In this stream, you will learn about social media marketing, digital advertising, and the future of retailing as you develop expertise in the digitally-enhanced customer journey.



RMG 922 - Retailing 2.0: Social Media Marketing  

RMG 817 - Digital Advertising in Retailing  

RMG 302 - Retail Consumer Insight  

RMG 910 - Omni-Channel Retailing  


Possible careers:

  • Social media manager/marketer
  • Digital strategist
  • Online community manager
  • Digital analyst
  • Marketing and communications officer
  • Content creator
  • E-commerce manager

With retailers generating massive amounts of data daily, data analytics are central to retail decision-making. Retailers rely on data analytics to improve operations, gain detailed consumer insights, and create personalised shopping experiences. In this stream you gain practical experience translating large datasets into meaningful insights about how to solve complex business problems.



RMG 919 - Visualizing Data for Decisions

RMG 500 - Retail Strategy  

GEO 419 - Retailing, GIS and Geodemographics 

RMG 700 - Applied Retail Research  

RMG 911 - Retail Sales Management


Possible careers:

  • Data analyst
  • Retail strategist
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Customer experience analyst

The retail ecosystem is the epicentre of new technologies, innovations, and companies.  The challenges and opportunities that face all of society are reflected in new and emerging retail practices. This focus features experiential learning and immerses you in the exploration of sustainability, equity/diversity/inclusion, entrepreneurship, and social change throughout the retail environment. 



RMG 908 - Issues and Innovations in Retailing II

RMG 100 - Issues and Innovations in Retailing I  

RMG 912 - Sustainability and Social Change

ZON 200 - Zone Learning Project II  

RMG 917 - Experiential Learning - International Study  


Possible careers:

  • Retail entrepreneur
  • Retail sustainability specialist
  • Territory/department/store managers