Retail Industry Fundamentals

A BJ's Employees works as a butcher

Retail Industry Fundamentals

Retail Industry Fundamentals is a 10-lesson program that allows learners to explore the business of retail, customer service, sales and merchandising.

The program consists of three courses and three exams throughout the program. Once a learner successfully passes all three exams, they will be awarded the Retail Industry Fundamentals Credential.

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NRF Foundation partners with Penn Foster to deliver Retail Industry Fundamentals

The NRF Foundation has joined forces with Penn Foster, a leading global provider of skills development and training for today’s dynamic world of work, to deliver this training and credential using self-paced, mobile learning technology.

Course Materials

All Learners will have access to all curriculum content, which includes: • the ability to purchase learner guide from online bookstore • a complimentary downloadable PDF of the learner guide • access to self-checks • the ability to monitor progress via the online portal All course materials may be purchased through our online store.
All Trainers will be able to: • purchase a printed trainer guide with classroom tips in the bookstore • access downloadable PowerPoints to assist content delivery • monitor learner outcomes via the Partner Portal if using this tool for content delivery All course materials may be purchased through our online store.

Examples of course topics include:

• Overview of the retail industry, including career opportunities 
• Customer service (retail industry standards, customer communication, resolving complaints) 
• Product sales and merchandising 
• Safety and security in the workplace 
• Professionalism and personal effectiveness in the retail environment 
• Applying, interviewing and preparing for employment in the retail industry

Eligibility requirements: 15 years of age, at least 10th grade
Course delivery: Online and classroom
Exam delivery: Online only
Cost: Training and voucher ($99), Trainer guide - classroom only ($25)
Exam retest fee: New voucher ($99) *One retake per section is allowed within each exam attempt.
Term of validity: None
Renewal requirement: None
Renewal fee: $0
ADA accommodations by request.

Gina's Story

Gina Iacovone’s career in retail started more than 30 years ago. While working as a cashier at BJ’s Wholesale Club, Gina fell in love with the energy of retail and hasn’t looked back. Her career has included roles as a merchandise lead, regional operations manager, zone vice president and now her current role as senior vice president of field operations.

Gina’s career has afforded her the opportunity to provide for her family and encourage others to discover the possibilities that exist in retail.

Gina Iacovone featured story
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Frequently Asked Questions

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2018 ASAE "Power of A" Award Recipient 

The NRF Foundation is among six recipients of ASAE’s 2018 Summit Award, the top honor in its annual “Power of A” awards program. Learn more.



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