FSU leads nation with retail education program

Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 01:01 PM.

CHIPLEY — The second most successful business in Florida, behind tourism, is the retail business — and the Retail Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee is leading the nation in training young professionals for a career in the retail field.

“These students are on-purpose students,” said center director Ann K. Langston. “That means they chose to study retail, they aren’t there by accident.”

Like success in retail, it takes training and planning to make future retailers, Langston told the Washington County Chamber of Commerce members on Thursday.

“Retail moves very quickly, and we are always updating our curriculum,” Langston said. “We try to be responsive to the industry.”

The Retail Merchandising and Product Development Department and Center at FSU was created in 2006 and is the premier center of its kind. Housed in the College of Human Sciences, the RMPD department provides a channel for communications and exchange between the retail and retail-related industries and FSU’s RMPD majors and affiliated faculty, according to a release about the program.

“The Center creates partnerships among retail and retail-related businesses and FSU students and faculty to promote education, research and service; offering an educated, qualified work force; sponsored research opportunities in areas of interest; and expertise to help it meet its targeted needs,” according to the release.

The Center also holds an annual Retail Summit, Langston said, and works with corporate sponsors such as JCPenney, HSN and Macy’s among others to develop retail programs.

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