BSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
The In-Store Environment

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS22202
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


While there has been, and continues to be, much emphasis on digital, multi and omni-channel as places and spaces for retailer ; consumer interaction, the physical store remains the primary locus wherein trading takes place. 


The unit aims to:

Analyse the processes involved in, and the factors influencing the design of, in-store retail/service environments.

Apply the principles of retail atmospherics and visual merchandising to evaluate the sensory and psychological effects of store environments on the retail consumer.

Appreciate the processes involved in the management of retail space: including layout planning, space allocation etc.

Analyse the concept of experiential retailing, and its application, both in general and more specific contexts (for example, in relation to flagship retailing, pop-up retailing etc.).



Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will make use of a variety of blended learning and teaching approaches including: video lectures ,deferred and live  discussion forums and independent study. Blackboard will be used to host the teaching materials and as a locus for learning. Blackboard will be utilised for assessment submission.

This unit requires you to undertake activities in preparation of the learning. These activities include prior reading and reflective thinking. You will not be able to participate effectively in the discussions if you do not complete the task. Please check the task requirement of the seminars prior to attending.



Knowledge and understanding

  • Outline the key principles of store design and experience delivery design in the context of retail fashion environments
  • Effectively use the principles of store design to critique a contemporary retail fashion store
  • Analyse consistency across fashion retail channels

Contributing to developing the programme learning outcome and the assessment of:

  • Articulate the processes, procedures and practices of fashion retail, marketing, management and buying and merchandising strategies.
  • Develop a critical understanding of fashion retail channels to market focusing on the evolution of retail from traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ stores through to the contemporary omni-channel strategy. (Fashion Retail)
  • Evaluate the retail environment and retail innovations used to improve the customer experience in stores, online and in mobile technology. (Fashion Retail) 

Intellectual skills

  • Review the literature on the different aspects of store atmospherics and design with respect to rational, role and management of the designed environment

Contributing to developing the programme learning outcome and the assessment of:

  • Identify and conceptualise appropriate theories, applying them to the fashion and textile industry. 

Practical skills

  • Utilise on- and off-line resources to source information relating to in-store environments in a contemporary retail context

Contributing to developing the programme learning outcomes and assessment of:

  • Identify and employ appropriate sources of information. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Synthesise and organise material and data from a variety of sources into a cohesive presentation

Contributing to developing the programme learning outcome.

  • Clear and effective communication, using a range of styles and employing various media appropriate to the context
  • An ability to apply creative and visual sensibilities in a commercial context 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal 

Recommended reading

Please note, there is no single recommended text. Directed reading may be provided as part of the seminar activities, if so, you should read the article(s) PRIOR to attending the seminar. Additional reading is also provided via Blackboard.



  • Barrenche, R. (2005) New retail. London Phaidon.
  • Beekmans, J. and de Boer. J. (2014). Pop-Up City: City-Making in a Fluid World. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.
  • Berman, B. and Evans, J., R. (2009) Retail management: A strategic approach. 11th edn. Upper Saddle River, N.J./ Harlow: Pearson Education.
  • Colemen, P. (2006) Shopping environments: Evolution, planning and design. Oxford: Architectural Press/Elsevier
  • Kent, T. (2009). Concepts of flagships. In T. Kent & R. Brown (eds.), Flagship marketing: concepts and places. London: Routledge. pp. 8–19.
  • Kim, Y-K., Sullivan, P., & Forney, J. C. (2007). Experiential retailing: Concepts and strategies that sell. New York: Fairchild.
  • Holloman, C. (2012) The social media MBA: Your competitive edge in social media strategy development & delivery. UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • McGoldrick, P. (2002), Retail marketing, McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead.
  • Scheduled activity hours Lectures 12
    Independent study hours
    Independent study 88

    Teaching staff

    Staff member Role
    Stephen Doyle Unit coordinator

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