Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 48 lecture per quarter (48 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Goodwill Customer Support Specialist Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Introduction to the world of retailing and merchandising from a customer service and marketing viewpoint. Students study the elements that comprise the retail mix, including types of retailers, multichannel retailing, consumer buying behavior, retail marketing strategies, selecting retail site locations, inventory management, merchandising, pricing, budget and revenue targets, store management, store security, and safety.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Recognize security risks and concerns and create a preparedness plan
  2. Discuss the implications of health and safety procedures in a retail space
  3. Explain how retailers use merchandising processes to build a brand image and customer loyalty
  4. Discuss the process of inventory management and valuation strategies leading to excellent customer service
  5. Recognize the financial implication of strategic retail decisions
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of decisions retailers make to satisfy customer needs in a rapidly changing and competitive environment

Course Content

  1. Inventory management
    1. Product organization
    2. Product receiving
    3. Inventory valuation
  2. Merchandising
    1. Types of merchandise displays
    2. Merchandising life cycles
      1. Merchandising: end caps
      2. Merchandising: soft lines
      3. Merchandising: hardlines
    3. Pull process
    4. Store Sweeps
  3. Store security
    1. Types of retail theft
    2. Loss prevention
    3. Security procedures
    4. Emergency preparedness
  4. Cashier operations
    1. Universal Product Code (UPC)
    2. Daily register operations
    3. Cash drawer reconciliation
  5. Health and safety
    1. Sanitation
    2. Lifting and moving
  6. Customer service
    1. Customer service mindset
    2. Communication
      1. Verbal
      2. Non-verbal
    3. Listening
    4. Customer behavior
    5. Service breakdown and recovery
    6. Conflict resolution

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Minimum of three short written critical analysis (research/case)
Class discussions and participation
Term projects in management (group or individual)
Midterm and final exams

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Field work
Oral presentations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Resources and materials will be provided by Goodwill in-house.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text and outside sources, ranging from 10-14 pages per week
  2. Weekly lecture covers subject matter from text assignment with extended topic information. Class discussion is encouraged
  3. Exercises and demonstrations, including individual or group participation, covering assigned reading and lecture topics