Harrods, the upmarket London department store, is to offer its shop-floor sales staff the chance to do a degree.
The two-year BA (Hons) sales degree, developed with Ruskin University, is the first of its kind, according to Harrods. It will include modules on human behaviour, psychology and business enterprise, designed to improve sales skills and encourage innovation.
Staff will spend half-a-day to a day in the classroom each fortnight during the degree, and Harrods said the qualification will help fast-track the careers of sales staff within the store, boosting employees’ longer-term career prospects.
Arkin Salih, learning and development manager at Harrods, declined to reveal the cost to the business of providing the in-store degree, which begins this month.
Harrods will judge the success of the course based on customer satisfaction and the number of sales made by staff on the degree, Salih said. He added the course could also help to improve staff retention.
“As a business, we are wholly committed to investing in our sales force, and by creating a degree tailored to the needs of the luxury retail environment, we are proud to be setting new standards in our sector,” Salih said.
“This will be the qualification for retail employees wishing to bolster their sales professionalism while investing for their long-term career planning.”
Sales staff with at least two years’ relevant work experience are being encouraged to apply for the course.