Certificate Programs

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Executive Retail Leadership Certificate Program

Drexel University’s Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership is designed to enhance professionals’ retail, branding and leadership strategies. Through this innovative and experiential series, students will gain practical skills, grow their retail networks and build a more inclusive retail environment.

The series consists of six total modules: five individual modules and one capstone project. Certificates are awarded at the completion of all five modules and the capstone. Modules will be taught in live, virtual sessions to maintain a highly interactive and flexible environment.

This program is offered through Drexel’s top-ranked Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in partnership with the LeBow College of Business’ Office of Corporate and Executive Education.

Why Study Executive Retail Leadership?

The Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership will help you develop the skills to improve and transform your current fashion, retail and branding strategies. Examples of course topics include:

  • Networking with key retail strategists, leaders and scholars to enrich your career
  • Understanding the new retail and merchandising landscape
  • Learning how to be a diverse, inclusive and equitable merchandising leader
  • Understanding branding and design analyses through systematic measures and processes
  • Situating yourself in the retail landscape to gain a competitive edge in merchandising and branding

Who Should Attend the Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership Series?

  • Fashion brand executives, designers, connoisseurs and influencers
  • Trend innovators
  • Brand analysis executives
  • Merchandisers and merchandising entrepreneurs
  • Product developers
  • Professional shoppers
  • Retail marketers and mavens
  • Small retail business owners
  • Social media influencers
  • Educators
  • Professional development beneficiaries
  • Anyone wanting to stay on the pulse of retail change

Course Requirements for the Executive Retail Leadership Series

The Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership is open to anyone seeking to improve their current retail leadership strategies. No prerequisites are required.

For those who complete the entire series and capstone, three credits can be applied toward an MS in Retail & Merchandising.

Module Breakdown of the Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership

The Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership comprises six modules delivered over six months, including a program-culminating capstone project follow-up session. Each module includes two 90-minute virtual, live classroom sessions — culminating in a three-session capstone — and focuses on a specific segment of the retail industry led by an industry expert. Together, the modules provide participants with a comprehensive view of the future of the fashion and retail industry.

Modules can be taken individually or as a full certificate, with a discount given for those who sign up for the full certificate.

Modules include:

> Retail Employment and Recruitment Strategies — Aug. 10 and 24

About the module: Gain insights from a corporate perspective on what recruiters seek in job candidates, as well as interview and hiring strategies for current managers. You’ll also discover employment strategy approaches at the store and corporate levels and complete the module knowing how to:

  • Identify focus, key descriptors and language to boost your résumé
  • Understand how transferrable skills can work to gain employment
  • Make your interviews memorable
  • Understand the job description and whether you’re a good match

Instructor: Amanda Buchanan, recruitment manager at IKEA Group

> Executive Leadership and Merchandising — Sept. 14 and 28

About the module: This module will cover topics such as how to develop skills to grow successfully in your role, how to adapt quickly to change, the importance of developing talent and listening skills and how to create a culture of energy, thoughtful risk-taking, passion and warmth. You’ll leave the module knowing how to: 

  • Discover early leadership skills crucial to success in retail and merchandising
  • Adapt to change and look forward, not back
  • Recognize the balance of art and science in merchandising

Instructor: Nancy Mair, off-price advisor at Empresas La Polar Department Stores and president at NCM Consulting

> The Future of Experiential Retailing — Oct. 12 and 26

About the module: Explore the future of experiential retail and the brands engaging with their customers in extraordinary ways. You’ll leave the module knowing how to:

  • Discuss the role brick-and-mortar retail employees play in the customer-experience journey
  • Recognize brands using experiential retail and explain how they differentiate themselves from traditional retailers
  • Apply the concepts of innovative brick-and-mortar retail strategy to your business(es)

Instructor: Nicole Carter, operations retailer at Sole Provisions and instructor of Retail & Merchandising at Drexel University

> Professional Development for Retail Leaders: A Self-Reflective Approach — Nov. 9 and 23

About the module: Look inward to who you are, what you value and what motivates you as a retail leader during this module. You’ll leave the module knowing how to:

  • Create a sustainable, personal leadership development plan
  • Discover processes and strategies to grow your leadership competencies
  • Unveil the effective skills and key areas of focus for retail leaders

Instructor: Tsz Kwok, associate director of Graduate College and instructor of Retail & Merchandising at Drexel University

> Strategic Patterning for Retail and Merchandising — Dec. 7 and 21

About the module: Patterning, when done well, saves time and money while uncovering future growth opportunities in merchandising categories. Learn the process for successful patterning, take part in a field exercise to implement the process and share your findings. You’ll leave the module knowing how to:

  • Recognize the details of the patterning process
  • Understand the seven-step strategic process of patterning
  • Engage in patterning case studies and experiential scenarios

Instructor: Krista Lowther, director of strategic patterning services and innovation at L Brands and adjunct instructor at Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

> Retail Brands Across the Spectrum: Stores, Digital, Television and Social Media — Jan. 11 and 25 and Feb. 1

About the module: Examine how successful brands utilize storytelling to create identity for products and engage consumers. As part of this final module, participants pursuing the certificate will complete a capstone project that leverages their industry experience and learnings from the certificate’s modules. You’ll leave the module knowing how to:

  • Think critically about branding from the medium to the message
  • Examine why certain retail brands are more successful than others
  • Understand that branding is a longitudinal process with trial and error
  • Understand why a brand message must evolve and change both in story and platform

Instructor: Joseph H. Hancock II, PhD, program director and professor of Retail & Merchandising at Drexel University

Cost of a Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership

  • Individual modules: $350 per module
  • Capstone: $750
  • Full certificate bundle, including five modules and capstone: $2,000
    • The five modules and capstone must be registered and paid for together to receive the bundle price

> Request more information about the Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership

Register Now

Enrollment is open. Take modules individually, or take all five modules and the capstone together to complete the Certificate in Executive Retail Leadership by registering below: