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Buying and Merchandising for Homewares and Lifestyle (Online Short Course)

Buying and Merchandising for Home and Lifestyle (Online Short Course)

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Ruth Lawrenson


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.


  • 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

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.

Level: Intermediate.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.

Why choose an LCF Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience London College of Fashion wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all LCF Online Short Courses include;

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • LCF Certificate upon completion

Further details about preparing for your online course, and the equipment you need, can be found here

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Ruth has a retail career spanning more than 20 years as a Home Interiors & Seasonal buyer for High street department store House of Fraser & luxury brand Fortnum & Mason where she was involved in the high profile refurbishment & restructure for their Tercentenary.

Highly skilled in product development & curating homeware collections across both hard accessories & textiles, Ruth has worked globally with a vast array of manufacturers and well known brands in the UK, Europe & the Far East.

Using her expertise, Ruth set up her own label having discovered a fair trade weaving workshop in Indonesia, where she championed provenance of product, traceability & source transparency.Currently running a successful buying & retail consultancy using her extensive corporate training, Ruth mentors & empowers designer makers, & works closely with boutique brands & various sized retailers focusing on brand strategy & creative direction.


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).

Available dates