NRF Foundation RISE Up | Retail Industry Fundamentals

Retail Industry Fundamentals
The NRF Foundation’s RISE Up introductory course – Retail Industry Fundamentals – is perfect for people who are developing workplace readiness skills and starting a role with you. 

They will develop basic customer service and math skills to conduct sales transactions. They will build an understanding of the retail industry, its impact on the economy and the diverse jobs available. And they will learn best practices to hit the ground running with your team. 

Course delivery options are flexible – from online to classroom to a combination of both. Self-paced lessons allow your employees to engage with curriculum videos, activities and knowledge checks. Mix and match your own lessons to provide a course that’s completely tailored for what you need your workers to know. 

Your employees receive a printable completion certificate, digital badge and a credential that tells you they've mastered key skills. At the end, they're ready for roles that are critical to your business. 

Become a RISE Up Training Partner today.

Exams start at


Course content starts at


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Middle aged male employee in grocery store


Key Concepts

Welcome to Retail

What is Retail?
Multichannel and Omnichannel Retailing
Distribution Channels and Retail Ownership
The Economic Impact of Retail

The Retail Product Cycle
Product and Service Selection
Product Allocation and Distribution
Selling, Pricing and Customer Service

Customer Service & Sales

Customer Service Skills
Retail Associates and Company Brand
The Customer Loyalty Life Cycle
Retail and Technology

Sales Basics
Connecting with the Customer
Understanding Customer Needs and Interests
Personalizing Service and Completing the Sale

Retail Operations

Retail Operations Basics
Inventory, Marketing, Technology & Tools
Retail Stores, Grocery Stores, Fast Food Restaurants
Distribution Centers

Loss Prevention
Internal & External Theft
Operational Errors
Vendor Fraud

Workplace Safety
Common Safety Problems
First Aid
Emergency Situations

Dollars and Sense
Gross Profit vs. Net Profit
Profit Margin
Operating Expenses vs. Cost of Goods Sold

Workplace Readiness

Being Professional
Professional Look and Employability
Effective Communication and Accountability
Technology and Time Management

A Place for You
RISE Up and the Retail Industry
Entry-Level Retail Jobs: Goals and Expectations
Online Job Applications and Succeeding in Interviews

These concepts offer a general overview of the content areas covered in the Retail Industry Fundamentals curriculum. They are not an exhaustive list of the content or its learning objectives but serve to categorize the curriculum for each module.

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Female employee working in shoe store


50 multiple-choice questions
Untimed / Not proctored

The areas included in the exam and the emphasis given to each correspond to the knowledge and skills acquired. These areas have been identified through a job task analysis for a student to succeed within an entry-level role.

Introduction to the Retail Industry – 8%
Fundamentals of Retail Operations – 48%
Retail Careers – 44%

The listed domains should not be considered an exhaustive list of the content covered in the curriculum.

Students need to be at least 14 years old

Our course material and exams are written at a seventh-grade reading level

Offline course content is also available

Spanish helping translation exams and special accommodations for exams are available

Options are available for a la carte, bundled options and bulk purchases

Free Webinars

Want to learn more about becoming a RISE Up Training Partner? Our team is ready to answer your questions.

Sign up for one of our webinars today.

Learn more about our other RISE Up courses: