CRS/ENT 421: Entrepreneurship Practicum in Apparel and Consumer Retailing: Store Operations

CRS/ENT 421:
Entrepreneurship Practicum in Apparel and Consumer Retailing: Store
CREDITS: 3 Credit Hours
PREREQUISITES/COREQUISITES: Completion of 30 semester hours at UNCG
FOR WHOM PLANNED: Juniors and seniors in CARS majors and/or minor as well as
ENT undergraduates
Ann Ramsey
359 Stone
Office hour:
Tuesday and Thursday., 11:00 – 12:00pm, and by appointment
Operation of student-run on-campus retail store. Application of industry knowledge and
skills to maintain financial success using appropriate customer service, inventory
management, and merchandise display techniques. Emphasis on entrepreneurship.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
Understand the significant elements of risk, control, and reward associated with selfemployment through business ownership.
Apply effective customer service skills to increase sales in an independent retail store.
Conduct consumer research to identify business opportunities for an independent
retail store.
Select and price appropriate quantities of merchandise for an independent retail store.
Analyze financial documents to find ways to improve independent retail store
Develop and implement an effective visual merchandising display for an independent
retail store.
Plan and execute a successful advertising and promotional campaign for an
independent retail store.
Manage the operations of an independent retail store.
Work effectively in a multi-function team.
This course will be a combination of weekly class meetings and lectures and discussions,
student work hours in the retail store, and student projects. All students will be expected
to work three hours each week in the store. Students will be assigned particular activities
to complete on their own. In addition to completing these activities, students will also be
required to maintain an individual electronic portfolio of their work in the store. Included
in the portfolio will be weekly journal entries about their experience as well as written
portions of the activities required for the course.
Course Requirements and Assignments
The weekly class meetings are mandatory for all students to maintain effective
communication and coordination between committees. Each student is also required to
work a minimum of 3 hours a week in the retail store on a regular schedule, mandatorily
including at least one Saturday throughout the semester. In addition to in-store hours and
weekly class meetings, the students will each be required to sign-up for at least 2 of the 5
committees and each committee must schedule and attend weekly meetings with each
other to discuss upcoming plans and projects. In any case the regular class meeting is
cancelled every committee is still required to coordinate a meeting amongst the group to
establish specific goals for the week.
Based on each of the respective committees students will be responsible for the
completion of various weekly tasks, projects, etc., specifically tailored to their individual
and group strengths and areas of interest. The basic guidelines for these
assignments/projects are further outlined in the following section for each individual
committee, however creativity is encouraged. These should not be looked at as
restrictions or specific requirements, but instead as facilitative suggested ideas.
Course project #1—Store operations
100 points of your overall grade will be based on a project in which you will work as a
part of a team with approximately five other students to complete activities associated
with one store function. Each functional area has associated with it activities to be
completed in the store as well as a written assessment of the work completed as a part of
the assignment. You will be graded on your individual contribution to the team’s overall
performance with the assigned tasks (25 points) as well as your own individual
performance with the assigned tasks (75 points). Written assessments should be typed
and included in the individual electronic portfolio for the course (Course project #2—
Individual electronic portfolio).
Committee Descriptions and Responsibilities
• *Management Team – To Be Assigned*: Facilitate clear communication
between committees within the class, as well as with the interns. Every week
all other committees will be responsible for emailing the Management Team
weekly updates and then the Management Team will be responsible for
compiling all those into one main weekly update outlining what is going on in
the store (changes or updates in procedures), what is being planned
(projects needing more people or other committees to help), whatever else
needs to be done (assigning, and keeping committees accountable for,
projects/goals), etc. and sending it out to the entire class, including interns
and managers. The Management Team is also responsible for meeting
weekly, in person, with the class liaison to discuss any issues, concerns, or
needs. This meeting can coincide with scheduled store hours or even the
Management Team’s already scheduled weekly committee meetings or even
the larger weekly class meetings, depending on availability of class liaison.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: Over the course of the semester, the
Management Team will be expected to ensure the facilitation and
effective execution of a minimum of three planned and marketed
events (not including EUC tables, any regular/weekly tabling, or
minor promotional events, etc.). Each member of the team will be
required to work at least two of these events, deciding amongst the
team to distribute at least two members working per event. In
addition, the weekly updates will be checked for timeliness, efficiency,
organization, clarity, and collaboration. This does not mean the
updates must be in an essay form, a bulleted list is completely fine and
actually preferred when organized clearly (past semesters’ teams
have also found simple color-coding sections by team/committee
particularly helpful, but obviously, this is not required, just a possible
• Event Planning Team: Create, plan, and execute new events we can have onlocation at the store, elsewhere on campus, or even in the larger community.
Events can range anywhere from, but are not limited to, consignee showcases
to live music and/or readings, or even helpful student workshops. The Event
Planning Team will also be responsible for finding other events on-campus
(interdepartmental events, EUC/CAB events, etc.), or around the community
(First Friday, Tate Street Festival, etc.), and planning ways to get the Spartan
Trader involved with these events. Most importantly, the Event Planning
Team is responsible for managing the logistics needs and sign-up workers’
accountability to ensure all events are covered. As required by all teams, the
Event Planning Team must also have separate weekly committee meetings.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: Throughout the semester, the Event
Planning Team will be responsible for organizing and executing at
least a minimum of three events (not including EUC tables, any
regular/weekly tabling, or minor promotional events). The Event
Planning Team must insure the proper and efficient delegation of
marketing and management to their respective committees. At each of
these larger events, at least three, if not all, members of the committee
must be present to help manage and oversee the execution of the
event. In addition to the larger events mentioned above, the Event
Planning Team is also be responsible for working and maintaining
regular weekly/monthly tabling and promotional events for the store.
At each of these smaller events there must be at least one or two
members of the committee overseeing and running the event,
including sign-up sheets for additional help from members of other
committees. Most importantly, it is essential that the Event Planning
Team continually maintain an updated list of upcoming events for
everyone else in the store (i.e. other committee members, students,
faculty, staff, management, store patrons, etc.).
Marketing Team: Design, distribute, and routinely update marketing
materials including, but not limited to, posters, flyers, PSA’s, social media, etc.
for the store and our events. The Marketing Team is also responsible for
creating new promotional ideas that can be implemented in the store (raffle
gift certificates, sales, punch cards, rewards programs, etc.) and designing
promotional materials for upcoming events planned by the Event Planning
Team. It is also the Marketing Team’s responsibility to announce and explain
all promotions going on with the store to all other workers to insure that
everyone stays informed and updated on any necessary procedures. Store
management must approve all designs and new promotions before
finalization for print. As required by all teams, the Marketing Team must also
have separate weekly committee meetings.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: Throughout the semester the
Marketing Team will be responsible for creating and distributing
sufficient marketing materials for all events pertaining to the store, as
well as updating and maintaining existing flyers or advertising
templates. The Marketing Team may opt to work entirely as a team
over the course of the semester, or delegate the design of each item to
a different member, thus distributing the work individually
throughout the semester. However, regardless of how the design work
is divided up, all committee members are still required to equally
participate in the logistical aspects of all the marketing needs (i.e.
proofreading, communicating, distributing, updating, etc.).
Merchandising Team: Design and build new store layouts and displays with
the goals of enhancing the space for the patron’s ease and experience, and
optimizing the most appealing and efficient possible display of our products.
The Merchandising Team will also be responsible for arranging any
necessary visits to UNCG Surplus to find new display items as needed as well
as working with the Marketing Team on in-store promotional displays and
the Event Planning Team on possible in-store displays promoting upcoming
events for the store. Store management must approve all designs and new
displays or layouts before finalization. As required by all teams, the
Merchandising Team must also have separate weekly committee meetings.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: At the beginning of the semester the
members of this committee will be split in half to create two miniteams. Each of these mini-teams will then work together alternating
weeks to plan and put in place new window displays and/or signage
based on a relevant theme when available. Each mini-team will be
responsible for ~5-7 displays, totaling ~10-14 displays over the
course of the semester. For approval, all displays must be well thought
out and planned and ideas must first be communicated with store
management. Additionally, both mini-teams must stay in constant
communication with the Marketing Team about necessary
promotional displays or ongoing themes to ensure all marketing
projects are being clearly advertised in the store. Requests for
additional materials for displays can be made both to store
management and/or Professor Ramsey.
Consumer Research Team: Develop strategic means of surveying both
targeted and general consumer groups to gain a better understanding of how
to expand the store’s customer base. Team members will also be responsible
for the thoughtful and broad distribution of these surveys to various selected
target groups. Final drafts of the surveys should be approved by Professor
Ramsey and run by store management before final print and distribution. As
required by all teams, the Consumer Research Team must also have separate
weekly committee meetings.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: Research should focus on
discovering what our potential consumers would like to see from us
as a store. These survey questions can range from inquiries about
desired products or services/events to establishing an approximate
price point range of preferred spending based on variables such as
community, age range, etc. Based on the survey responses, the team
will then be responsible for formulating various ideas for possible
plans of action to make our store more accommodating. Distribution
of surveys is never to be strictly from the store; rather they should be
given out in all corners of our community to better reach consumers
that may not already be familiar with the store.
Community/Consignment Research Team: Devise creative ways to reach
out to the immediate UNCG community of consigners and the broader
Greensboro community to form co-operative relationships with other artists
and entrepreneurs in the area. As a co-operative community arts and
entrepreneurship store we want to find new ways to connect with artists and
entrepreneurs in the area, as potential consignment artists and/or cooperative entrepreneurial partners. This committee is essential to the store’s
networking with other local groups sharing similar goals and efforts of our
store. As required by all teams, the Community/Consignment Research Team
must also have separate weekly committee meetings.
o Semester Projects/Assignments: Research should focus on locating
and establishing network relations with community arts and
entrepreneurship groups to facilitate potential co-operative partners.
Team members will be given the opportunity to visit and connect with
other local arts groups in the area both to gain insight and further our
store’s co-operative community efforts. Additionally, students will be
responsible for locating members of our immediate UNCG community
with potential new consignments and first inviting them to consign
with us, but also conducting brief surveys inquiring why they did not
already consign (i.e. price split, unaware of the store, etc.). Based on
these new and/or ongoing network connections and survey of
members of UNCG’s community offering potential new consignments,
the team will then be responsible for developing and presenting new
updates and ideas for ways to better reach a broader range of our vast
consignment and co-operative arts community.
Absences and Attendance Policies
Attendance to all weekly meetings is mandatory, including class meetings and committee
meetings. Equally as important, completion of weekly hours working in the store is also
mandatory to receive credit for the course.
This job upholds the same requirements of any other job, on or off campus, practicum or
intern, part-time or full-time employee. Especially with other students on the schedule,
uninformed and unexcused tardiness to shifts will not be tolerated. Be mindful of others’
schedules, in many cases the start of your shift may be relieving another student to go to
class (or another job)! However, on the same token, if you are held back at a class or have
an emergency, something out of your control, preventing you from arriving for your shift
or arriving on time we are equally as understanding of everyone’s hectic schedules. In the
case that this happens, arrangements and exceptions can be made ONLY if an intern or
manager is directly informed in advance of the date/time and reason (via cell or email).
Academic Integrity
We encourage you to consult the complete explanation of the UNCG Academic Integrity
Policy (which includes, but is not limited to plagiarism) at:
Being formally charged with an academic integrity violation can result in a permanent
mark on your academic record.
Disability Services
Students who require accommodations with meeting course requirements should meet
with your professor, as well as the Manager and Assistant Manager, as early as possible.
Check the Disability Services website for more information at:
Weekly Team Meetings
Using Blackboard, you will need to record your communications with your team
members. Teams will be given group meeting areas within the site, and each individual
team member must meet virtually each week with the other team members. You will also
meet outside of the Blackboard group meeting area, but at least once a week, all members
of the team must visit the group meeting area. All team announcements, schedules,
assignments, etc. should be posted in this group meeting area.
Please note, failure to perform your assigned tasks will result in a zero for the entire
course project. In other words, you will receive 0/100 for Course project #1.
Course project #2--Individual electronic portfolio
100 points of your overall grade will be based on an electronic portfolio that you will
prepare throughout the semester.
Work individually to complete this assignment. You will be writing journal entries, at
least one per week, about your activities for the week. For each week, you should provide
a brief overview of your accomplishments for the week with respect to the course content
and Course project #1 (when applicable).
In addition to the weekly journal entries, your portfolio should include the written
portions of Course project #1. Use the electronic portfolio as a place to store evidence of
your accomplishments, including written work as well as photographs.
There will be three grading dates for your portfolio. The first two grading dates will focus
on assessing your weekly journal entries (25 points each). The final grading date for your
completed portfolio is at the end of the semester. All materials must be included in the
final portfolio submission. The final submission is worth 50 points.
Course project #3—Weekly sales associate work hours
150 points of your overall grade will be based on your performance working as a sales
associate each week in the retail store.
Each student enrolled in the course is required to work three hours minimum each week
as a sales associate in the retail store. During these three hours, students are expected to
follow all policies and procedures as outlined in the employee manual for the store.
Students will be expected to arrive on time and work for their entire scheduled shift,
provide excellent customer service, and follow the directions given by the store manager.
You will lose points from your grade for the project if you violate any store policies. If
you are scheduled for a shift and you are ill (with a doctor’s note), it is your responsibility
to call other students in the course to cover your shift. If you are unable to find anyone to
cover your shift, you must notify the store manager by calling the store. You also must
notify the instructor by e-mail. Furthermore, you will not be permitted back into the
course without a doctor’s note. The store manager will be providing weekly feedback
concerning your performance. You will receive between 0 and 10 points each week for
your grade based on this feedback.
Please note, if you miss two shifts without notifying the manager and instructor, you
will receive a 0/100 for your Course project #3 grade.
Attendance & participation
50 points of your overall grade will be based on your attendance and participation in the
online course work.
Although we will only meet together as a class once (see course calendar for date) and
you will meet with me as a group twice (see course calendar for dates), lectures, readings,
and additional information will be provided to students online on the course Blackboard
website. It is important for all students to review this information each week. Your
attendance will be recorded electronically on the website. If you log in to Blackboard to
review this information each week, you will receive 50/50 points for this part of your
grade. For each week that you fail to log in to review this information, your grade will be
reduced by 5 points.
Final Grading
Course project #1
Course project #2
Course project #3
Attendance & participation
A+ = 97% - 100%
B+ = 87% - 89%
C + = 77 % - 79%
A = 93% - 96%
B = 83 % - 86%
C = 70 % - 76%
100 points
100 points
150 points
50 points
400 points
A - = 90 % - 92%
B - = 80 % - 82%
F = < 70%
Gartner, W. B. (1989). “Who is the entrepreneur?” is the wrong question.
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Summer, 47-67.
Hebert, R. F., & Link, A. N. (1989). In search of the meaning of entrepreneurship. Small
Business Economics, 1(1), 39-49.
Reagan, R. (1985). Why this is an entrepreneurial age. Journal of Business Venturing, 1,
Sexton, D. L., & Bowman, N. (1985). The entrepreneur: A capable executive and more.
Journal of Business Venturing, 1, 129-140.
Schroeder, C. L. (2002). Specialty shop retailing: How to run your own store (2nd ed.).
New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Shim, S., & Drake, M. F. (1991). Profitability of women’s apparel shops: Business
practices, promotions, and store/owner characteristics. Clothing and Textiles Research
Journal, 10, 68-75.
15 Jan
Course Introduction—Discuss syllabus &
Store manual
What is Entrepreneurship? Why is
Entrepreneurship Important?
Characteristics of Entrepreneurs;
Strategies Used by Entrepreneurs
Readings & Items Due
Read the syllabus & store
Gartner, W. B. (1989). (pp.
47-57; 62)
Hebert, R. F., & Link, A. N.
(1989). (pp. 39-41; 47-48)
Reagan, R. (1985)
Sexton, D. L., & Bowman, N.
(1985). (pp. 129-135; 138)
Shim, S., & Drake, M. F.
Discuss Course project #1,
#2, & #3 and
Students start working three
hours each week in the store
as sales associates (Course
project #3)
22 Jan
29 Jan
5 Feb
12 Feb
19 Feb
26 Feb
5 Mar
12 Mar
19 Mar
26 Mar
2 Apr
9 Apr
16 Apr
23 Apr
30 Apr
Getting Started & Customer-Friendly
Policies and Services
Schroeder—Chapters #1 & #7
Students select functional
areas for Course project #1
Managing Your Store’s Finances &
Schroeder—Chapters #2 & #4
Merchandise Buying
Schroeder—Chapters #3 & #5
Store Design & Visual Merchandising Begin working on Project #1
Staffing Your Store & Managing during Schroeder—Chapters #6 &
Tough Times
#11(#13 in 3rd edition)
Advertising Your Shop & Creative
First journal entries due for
Promotion and Publicity
grading (Course project #2)
Schroeder—Chapters #8 & #9
(& #10 in 3rd edition)
Team meeting online
Continue working on
Project #1
Teams--schedule one meeting with the &
Meet with the instructor as a
instructor this week
team (Course project #1)
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Second journal entries due
for grading (Course project
Spring Break
Class Excused
Team meeting online
Keep working on Project #1
Teams—schedule one meeting with the Meet with the instructor as a
instructor this week
team (Course project #1)
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Team meeting online
Final Exam Week
Submit completed portfolio
for grading (Course project
Academic integrity
The UNCG Academic Integrity Policy states,” If knowledge is to be gained and properly
evaluated, it must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Deceit and
misrepresentations are incompatible with the fundamental activity of this academic
institution and shall not be tolerated.” By choosing to enroll in this course and by
completing assignments, projects, examinations, etc., you are by default held to the
standards of the Academic Integrity Policy, and you are subject to sanctions should you
violate the policy in any manner.
A professional demeanor is expected of students. Showing respect for the instructor,
teaching assistant, classmates, coworkers, and customers is very important. Honesty and
independent work is expected on all assignments. Students are encouraged to seek advice
from the instructor when needed, in a timely manner in order that sufficient time is given
to resolve problems or complete assignments.
Class attendance is required every day. For much of the semester, your attendance when
scheduled is of vital importance to your own success in the course as well as to the
success of the retail store. If you fail to show up as expected, your course grade will
suffer. You will receive zero points for course projects as outlined in the instructions for
the projects and elsewhere in this course syllabus.
In the event of an extended illness, the student and the instructor will consider