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SUPPLIER DIVERSITY Retail 101 With Macy’s


“The Workshop at Macy’s,” the retailer’s minority and women- owned business development program, returns to identify and foster up-and-coming vendors


A


fter a highly successful inaugural edition this past Spring, Macy’s in- novative business of fashion program, The Workshop at Macy’s, returns to men- tor and foster growth for a new class of up-and-coming


minority and women-


owned businesses. The Retail 101 crash course, aims to take promising enterprises to the next level in order for them to achieve and sustain positive and success- ful vendor relationships. This industry first initiative reinforces Macy’s long- standing commitment to vendor diversity and to providing customers with unique goods and services that meet their life- style.


The Workshop at Macy’s is a four and


a half-day intensive training course devel- oped by a consortium of experts from Macy’s Learning & Development, Macy’s Multicultural Merchandising and Vendor Development, Babson College, the na- tion’s leading business school for entre- preneurship, and with select Macy’s mer- chants/vendors. The specially designed business development


curriculum is


aimed at minority and women-owned re- tail businesses that are poised to succeed


Applications are now being accepted for The Workshop at Macy’s in May 2012


30 PROFESSIONAL WOMAN’S MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE


on a larger scale, but need real-world business practice information and per- spective on large-scale vendor relation- ships, to move to the next level and sus- tain growth. A potential goal of this annual program is to help create a pipeline of viable enterprises that will grow to be- come successful partners within Macy’s own vendor community. First held this past Spring, the inaugural Workshop in- cluded 22 businesses that ranged from makeup/skincare companies to confec- tionaries, home textiles and ready-to-wear designers. “The incredible success of our first


Workshop this Spring paves the way for a new set of entrepreneurs who are hungry to learn from our stable of experts about the ways they can grow their ventures,” said Shawn Outler, Macy’s group vice- president of Multicultural Merchandising and Vendor Development. “The support and information made available to Work- shop participants is invaluable in taking these businesses to the next phase of growth.” The Workshop at Macy’s allows se-


lected participants to collaborate with fel- low aspiring vendors, gain access to in- dustry experts and solicit one-on-one business coaching. The course work in- cludes classes on merchandising and as- sortment planning, marketing, EDI, finan- cial management, and access to capital. Of the first Workshop class, Ms. Outler


noted, “The entire week served as a reve- lation for participants, who had many breakthrough moments. You could see things starting to click for them as the week progressed. While many partici- pants came in focused on pitching their lines,


at the conclusion of the course


work, they came away understanding how merchants think and how to build that re- lationship. The financial management ses-


CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF DIVERSITY


sions led by Elizabeth Thornton of Bab- son College, were especially eye-opening. Every element of the Workshop at Macy’s was designed to enhance and create long- term success for their businesses.” Michelle Tunno Buelow, founder and


CEO of Bello Tunno, a previous partici- pant noted, “The Workshop at Macy’s challenged us to examine our business on an elevated level. It encouraged us to real- istically look at our current infrastructure and strategy, dream bigger, then bridge the gap. The program was planned and ex- ecuted in such a way that it empowered and inspired our team. We left the week armed with a toolbox for success, a plan for growth and the support of Macy’s.” “The opportunity changed my perspec- tive and gave my business the retail in- sider information it needed to exceed even my own limits,” said Kim Roxie, founder and CEO of LAMIK Beauty. “The rela- tionships I was able to build within a week will span a lifetime, cheers to the Magic of Macy’s!” Macy’s is now accepting entries for consideration. To be eligible, an applicant must be the majority (51% equity or more) owner, co-owner or otherwise have operational control (per applicable status rules) of a business that has been in opera- tion for a least two consecutive years and be its primary decision maker. Eligible applications will include a 250-word bio- graphical statement, look book/line sheets or images of product including costs, re- sumes on all owners, financial statements for the business for 2 years, fall within the minority and women-owned definition of the program and provide verification of the business as a legal entity (i.e. Corpora- tion, LLC, etc.), among other require- ments. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by Sunday, January 22, 2012 by 11:59 pm ET. All information


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