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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson C

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson D

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson E

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson F

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
FREE Course
Located in the Church Bookstore Connection Center (Badge Required)

Engage customers through design and experience to create store environments that customers want to visit over and over.

Michelle Amster, Product Specialist (Integra Interactive)
Sherry Morris, Marketing Manager (Carpentree)
Donna McCollough, Retail Store Owner (Dove Christian Supply)

3–4:30 p.m. Course 4: OTB (Open to Buy)

Budgeting for Buying: Managing Cash and Profit with OTB
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson D

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson C

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson F

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
Cost: $10
Located in Jackson E

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.

View speaker/artist bios.