Our commitment to New Zealand’s first retail focused degree

The Warehouse Group is committed to changing the perception of Retail as a career and making it a desirable and rewarding career choice for New Zealanders. In 2014, The Warehouse Group partnered with Massey University to develop and launch The Bachelor of Retail and Business Management, New Zealand’s first degree focused exclusively on the retail sector. The degree was created in response to the increasing demand in New Zealand for skilled individuals in retail and business management. The course consists of retail-focused papers, covering a broad range of areas including retail buying and planning, merchandising, strategy and business planning and retail operations, both in a store and online context.

Over 30 The Warehouse team members have received scholarships to study the Bachelor of Retail and Business Management (BRBM) since its launch, ranging from store managers, associate category managers and retail assistants. The scholarships are critical in The Warehouse’s overall plan to professionalise retailers. With the Red Shirts school program and management training schemes already in place, this new initiative is the icing on the cake. The degree is a great way for team members to further their skills and understanding of retail which they can apply to their current position, assist them in their future roles, all the while gaining a qualification from a leading New Zealand University.

Sarah Gichard has been working for The Warehouse for over ten years, starting as a Christmas Casual in the Hastings store. Sarah made the move to Auckland to study the BRBM degree at Massey and transferred to a part-time role in the Albany store. The move to Auckland has been the biggest challenge for Sarah so far, saying that “The hardest part has been leaving my family, friends and work family in Hastings as I chose to move to Auckland to study full time. I knew no one in Auckland, so I had to start fresh.” However, Sarah believed that the degree would be a great chance to kick start her career in retail. “I saw the Bachelor of Retail and Business Management degree at Massey University as a great opportunity to develop my career and passion for retail.” Sarah’s advice to anyone considering the degree is “To decide whether retail is your passion and what your career goals are – if the retail degree is in line with those things then definitely go for it as it is a fantastic opportunity.”

The degree not only teaches skills that can be applied in current positions but also introduces aspects of retail that individuals can use to develop their career within The Warehouse. Penelope Couper is a Night Fill Manager at the Balclutha store, also studying the BRBM degree. The degree can be completed via distance learning, allowing team members to stay in their current role with The Warehouse wherever it may be in New Zealand. Penelope wanted to complete the degree because “it explores many aspects of the retail industry, which I can apply to further understand my job”. She also believes that completing the degree will help her achieve her future career goals. “I aspire to be a store manager of my own Red Shed one day, and I believe this retail degree will help me in achieving that, particularly because of The Warehouse Groups involvement in developing it. I am able to work on the skills I need to be an effective, high-performing Team Leader.”

The retail environment is always evolving, and The Warehouse is constantly seeking skilled individuals who have experience and a passion for retail. The Massey BRBM degree is a huge step in encouraging and developing more New Zealanders to join the retail sector. The Warehouse will continue to support their team members to complete the degree, encouraging them to further their skills, reach their career goals and be the best that they can be.

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