Developing New Zealand’s first retail degree

The Warehouse Group believes in retail careers – and we want the rest of New Zealand to believe too. We’re committed to changing negative perceptions of the industry and building up retail as a positive, rewarding career choice.

As part of this goal, we partnered with Massey University to develop New Zealand’s first retail-focused degree – The Bachelor of Retail and Business Management (BRBM). Launched in 2014, the course is a response to increased demand for skilled, knowledgeable people in the retail and business management industries. The course content builds practical retail skills – including buying and planning, merchandising, strategy, and retail operations.

Supporting studies

One way we support the BRBM is through scholarships for our people. Since the degree was launched, we have given over 30 scholarships to team members, ranging from store and category managers to retail assistants.

The scholarship initiative is the final step in our line of training, working alongside our Red Shirts programme in schools, and our management training schemes.

Our team members gain a qualification and in-depth skills from a leading New Zealand university, which helps them go further in their retail career with us. That benefits us too, by having more qualified, skilled team members.

Sarah Gichard has been working with The Warehouse for over ten years, starting as a Christmas Casual in our Hastings store. She made the move to Auckland to study for her BRBM degree at Massey and transferred to a part-time role in the Albany store.

“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,” says Sarah.

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’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Onwards and upwards

The BRBM degree isn’t just about developing skills for current roles, it’s also aimed at helping people go further.

Penelope Couper, a Night Fill Manager at our Balclutha store, is studying for her BRBM degree in the hopes of becoming store manager. She is working towards the qualification remotely, so she can stay in her current role while she studies.

Penelope says she wanted to complete her degree because “it explores many aspects of the retail industry, which I can apply to further understand my role.” She believes that it will help her achieve her 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. 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 we’re constantly looking for skilled people with a passion for retail. The Massey BRBM degree is a huge step in encouraging more New Zealanders to get excited about retail careers. We’ll continue to support our 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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