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Buying and Merchandising for Home and Lifestyle Online Short Course

Course description

The dynamic Home Interiors & Lifestyle retail category is growing fast and is constantly changing in response to evolving consumer trends. Skillful buyers and merchandisers drive this growth by working with suppliers to bring consumers fresh choices, in products ranging from furniture and lighting to textiles and kitchenware.

This course will give you an overview of the tools and strategies used in the industry, and is ideal if you are working in retail, or have a product design, textiles or interior design background. You will learn from an industry expert, through real case studies, practical projects and lively class discussion. The course will help you understand the interiors customer, develop an eye for interior trends, and learn how to develop and sell a range of interior and homeware products.

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will have an understanding of;

  • The key elements of the role of a buyer and merchandiser
  • The buying process why some retailers succeed and some don't
  • How fashion and design trends influence the home
  • Brand identity branded homewares versus bespoke products
  • What a range plan is, how it works
  • Customer profiling
  • Decision making and problem solving within a competitive industry

Who is Buying and Merchandising for Homewares and Lifestyle (Online Short Course) for?

This course is ideal for anyone seeking an in-depth understanding of the Home Interiors & Lifestyle retail industry, and would suit people working in retail who want to progress, or product designers and makers who want to start selling their creations through retail channels.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain in easy to understand accessible English, if they use any special terminology we make sure they explain what it is they mean.
  • New methodologies will be explained to you in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • We even include live demonstrations of particular techniques so that you can see exactly how things should be done.
  • We also offer a bunch of learning resources for you to access outside of the live lessons. This allows you to ensure you are up to date and you can practice and review the things that are important to you. Practice makes perfect after all!

Live interactive classrooms:

  • We like to do things the right way, that's why all of our online classes are live, you won't find any recordings here (well apart from the recording we provide in case you miss a live session)
  • Expect live interaction with your classmates from around the world, our students come from far and wide
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Discuss topics related to your course in real time via your microphone and camera or if you're not feeling brave, in the chat box
  • Miss a class? Thats ok you can catch up in a recording which is available for 2 weeks after your course runs

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • However we always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are a great addition to your C

All our online short courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes as our face to face courses
  • Lesson recordings, for review, so you never have to miss a class
  • Access to the virtual learning environment with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access to the recordings of the live classroom sessions

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Available dates

Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.


Topics covered

  • The changing face of the homewares retail industry
  • The buying and merchandising function
  • Customer profiling
  • Trade shows and inspiration
  • Competitive shops and strategy
  • Trend and design concepts
  • Range planning and building
  • Brands and supplier relationships
  • Visual merchandising tips: in-store space and flow


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please have the following materials/equipment for the first class:

  • Notepad and pen
  • A recent computer with a recent operating system
  • An up-to-date installation of the Google Chrome web browser
  • Microphone (a headset with microphone/headphones is recommended)
  • Headphones
  • Webcam

Finally, a good broadband connection is also recommended. (Mobile data 3G/4G or a mobile dongle might not provide sufficient bandwidth).

Meet the Tutor:

This course aims to give you an insight into the buyers and merchandisers of furniture, lighting, textile, kitchenwear and more.

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