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The Principles of Retailing distance-learning programme is based on the book Principles
of Retailing, published in 2003 by Elsevier. Retailing is a fast-paced, exciting and
essential service industry that employs a high proportion of the working population
and contributes significantly to the health and wealth of advanced economies. Retail
organisations feature among the largest of global companies, with concomitant
power within marketing channels. Many large retail organisations dominate their
suppliers, with a strong role in determining what and how much manufacturers
produce, and when and where products will be delivered. They will decide price
levels and have a significant role in product promotions – they dominate, in fact, the
process of marketing within their marketing channel. With a customer-interfacing
role in fast-changing consumer markets, retail organisations have also been in the
forefront of developing and implementing organisational and strategic change
programmes, and their drive for efficiency through cost-effective working practices
has driven organisational change across business sectors. Yet retailing is an underrated area of study among business academics and a neglected area of study within
Principles of Retailing is a programme of study not just for those who work in retailing or want to consider one of the wide variety of highly paid careers in the retail
industry. It is essential study for marketing and business students who will be
working in businesses which produce consumer goods and deal with retailers,
directly or indirectly. It is also essential study for marketing and business students
who work in service businesses which are being targeted as growth areas by large
retail organisations – such as financial products and healthcare.
The programme has the following key objectives:


to introduce students to the scope and size of the retail industry and introduce
the key organisational players in the UK and on the international scene;
to show how retailers can achieve competitive advantages by rapid organisational
response to changing consumer demands and increasing consumer sophistication;
to highlight how the integration of marketing, buying and logistics functions
drives the growth of retail organisations;
to introduce students to the main operational functions of retailing;
to consider future patterns for retail growth particularly in international and
global retailing and in e-commerce.
There are 12 modules structured into four sections:
The changing retail environment
Managing the retail supply chain
Managing retail operations
Managing the future

Edinburgh Business School Principles of Retailing