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Merchandising & Retail Management

ECC students in classrooom

Getting a product from the producer to the consumer falls into the realm of Merchandising and Retail Management. This involves planning and supervising the purchase and marketing of merchandise in a broad area, such as women’s apparel or appliances. In department store chains, which house multiple stores, many of the buying and merchandising functions are centralized in one location. Merchandising managers need to anticipate consumer preferences and then help in the planning and implementation of sales promotion programs. They evaluate their suppliers based on prices, quality, service support, availability, reliability, and selection.

Retailing is a very progressive field. The opening of major retail stores and the expansion of existing stores has increased the need for trained personnel. Advancement can be relatively fast and individual performance is measured, so an aggressive graduate should find promotion opportunities easily. Use of the internet has allowed both large and small companies to conduct more business electronically, thereby increasing the productivity and profitability of merchandisers. Projected employment varies by occupational specialty.


ECC’s two-year Merchandising & Retail Management Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is designed to meet the requirements of colleges and universities to which students may wish to transfer for completion of baccalaureate (BA or BS) degrees. Because degree and transfer requirements change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!


  • ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.


Ken Bell

Ken Bell