Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the main functions of the retail business. In this perspective, the course provides the conceptual and operational tools to understand the main issues of retail management and marketing.
At the end of the course, the students will have acquired skills on the following topics:
- Supply and demand of service;
- Life cycle of retail formats;
- Strategic groups;
- Growth strategies;
- Branding strategies;
- Assortment policies;
- Pricing policies;
- Communication policies;
- Merchandising policies;
- Distribution channels;
- Vertical relationships.
Applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the students will be able to:
- Explain relevant theories and concepts of retail;
- Describe the key elements of a retail business;
- Discuss the issues underlying the evolution of the marketing environment and the competitive landscape from retailers’ perspective;
- Understand the relationship between structure, conduct and performance of the retail sector;
- Discuss the dimensions that define vertical relationships;
- Highlight the key course topics and grasp the relationship between the different components of the course.
On the basis of the conceptual and operational tools acquired during the course the students will be able to:
- Analyze the changing consumers’ habits and the competitive environment from the retailers’ perspective;
- Describe the major challenges posed to retailers by globalization, technological evolution and social, ethical and environmental issues;
- Evaluate the performance of retailers, their strategies (growth strategy, diversification, product innovation and retailing mix) and territorial coverage;
- Identify strengths and weaknesses of retailers.
The students will be encouraged to develop their own independent judgment and critical thinking, evaluating the different issues of retail marketing on a strategic and operational plan.
During the course, the students will acquire adequate communication skills aimed at transferring, in a clear and effective way, both information and concepts (even complex) related to specific issues of retail marketing to different interlocutors (both academic and business). In addition, the students’ ability to adopt an "active listening” behavior, i.e. to understand concepts and languages used by businesses, will be put to the test. These skills will allow to develop the ability to prepare brief papers, or providing an oral summary on specific topics, also with the aid of information technology tools and media.
The course aims to transfer the ability to translate the economic principles into empirical rules of decision. The main topics are detailed through the presentation of successful case studies in the context of the Italian, European and U.S. markets. At the end of the course the students will have gained the ability to expand and update the level and range of the knowledge acquired from lessons and course textbooks.
Course contents summary
The course aims to illustrate the economic role of retailing in the business context and deepen the foundations of retail management and marketing.
The course is divided into three sections.
The first part explores the structure of the retailing industry and the functions that retailers perform in the economic environment.
The section establishes the business context of retailing and sets out the competitive retail landscape. It also considers the range and scope of the various types of retail operations.
The second section is dedicated to strategic marketing management: segmentation, targeting, positioning and innovation in retail formats.
The last part is dedicated to the retailing mix, from the definition of the assortment in the perspective of category management to in-store communication and loyalty management programs.
G. Lugli, Marketing distributivo. La creazione di valore nella distribuzione despecializzata, UTET, 2009.
Further bibliographic material will be indicated at the beginning of the course.
Lectures; case study presentations; business seminars
Assessment methods and criteria
The learning results will be assessed through a final written test.
The knowledge and understanding achieved will be assessed with n. 2 open-ended questions, each worth 10 points, on relevant theoretical topics.
The ability to apply the acquired knowledge, the autonomy of judgment and the ability to learn will be assessed through n. 1 question of application content, worth 10 points.
The ability to communicate using the appropriate technical language will be assessed by evaluating the correct use of expressions / technical terms in the context of the answers given to the above questions.