Retail Academy is designed to train and equip retailers. Attendees have two track options. The foundational track discusses essentials for successful stores. The advanced track is designed for those who have been in retailing a long time and who are ready for in-depth content including peer-to-peer training that builds on the basics.
The full Retail Academy includes five sessions to receive professional note taker, training materials delivered post-convention, and electronic certificate of completion. Attendees can choose to attend any or all courses and sign up during the registration process or onsite (materials not guaranteed onsite). The sessions are $10 each, as indicated.
|Foundational Track||Advanced Track|
Sunday, July 8
|3–4:30 p.m.||Course 1: Inventory Management
Grow Cash with Stock: Inventory-Management for Profit
Understand inventory turns and their impact on cash and profit. Inventory is your biggest asset and cash producer; learn good stewardship and how to thrive in today’s retail.
Lorraine Valk, Retail Store Owner (Parable Christian Store of St. Joseph)
|Advanced Course 1: Customer Service & Upselling
Ensure Customer Satisfaction: Making Sure Your Customers are Happy
Engaging customers and ensuring they have all they need are acts of hospitality that can build relationships and loyalty. Learn how to create customer experiences that reflect service and thoughtfulness, not just sales.
Heather Trost, Retail Store Owner (The Greatest Gift & Scripture Supply)
|4:45–6:15 p.m.||Course 2: Marketing Foundations
Basic Marketing for Christian Stores Today
Selecting advertising and promotion media that work for your store is an art, as you balance direct mail, media advertising, social media marketing, and more. Learn how to craft a store strategy and mission and apply supporting marketing and promotion to succeed.
Chris Rainey, Marketing Executive (Freelance)
|Advanced Course 2: Marketing & Events
Connect to Community: Making Your Store the Hub of Faith
Retailers are expanding beyond their four walls in ways that connect the larger faith community. See how one retailer linked into a community event by bringing awareness of Christian authors, content, and resources into the public conversation.
Kevin Ferguson, Retail Store Owner (Willamette Valley Christian Supply)
Tuesday, July 10
|10–11:30 a.m.||Course 3: Ignite Your Gift Sales
Compelling Merchandising that Drives Traffic and Sales
Engage customers through design and experience to create store environments that customers want to visit over and over.
Michelle Amster, Product Specialist (Integra Interactive)
|3–4:30 p.m.||Course 4: OTB (Open to Buy)
Budgeting for Buying: Managing Cash and Profit with OTB
How to buy for customer demand through budgeting and buying disciplines that squeeze cash and boost profit.
Ron Forster, Owner (The Open Door Christian Bookstore)
|Advanced Course 3: How to Connect for Omnichannel Success
Omni-what? Connecting with Customers the Way They Shop Today
Learn how retailers are linking online and in-store shopping to capture customer interest and sales. See how proven techniques enable retailers to simply connect and open doors to help customers get what they want and buy local.
Erik Ernstrom, Business Intelligence Manager (The Parable Group, ParableConnect)
|4:45–6:15 p.m.||Course 5: P&L Cash Flow Inventory Timeline
Reading Your Story in Numbers
Get financial fundamentals to guide store strategy, increase sales, and drive mission success.
Learn what your profit and loss and cash flow statements are telling you about your business and what you can do about it to turn the ship.
Eli Hochstetler, Retail Store Owner (Gospel Book Store)
|Advanced Course 4: Marketing & Social Media
Digital Synergy: Advance Techniques to Integrate Social Media and E-Marketing to Grow Sales & Service
Marketing leader Steve Potratz shares key principles of marketing, data gathering and analytics, and customer knowledge to build relationships and loyalty using digital media. Marketing and promotion that adapts to new media offers expanded customer access and information that can put your store top of mind for customers in your neighborhood or across the country.
Steve Potratz, President and Founder (Parable Agency)
Schedule subject to change.