NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s fashion merchandising and interior merchandising programs in the School of Human Sciences are merging to form a new merchandising program, effective fall 2017.
Leisha Bridwell, associate professor in SFA’s School of Human Sciences, who will oversee the new program, explained the need behind this inclusive program.
“Students interested in merchandising, whether fashion or interior, need a common curriculum consisting of trends, buying, visual merchandising, merchandising mathematics, promotion and more,” Bridwell said. “Digital courses such as CAD, Photoshop and two portfolio courses have been added to increase students’ use of technology, as well as visual marketing skills.”
SFA’s merchandising program will be more reflective of the collaborative industry, Bridwell explained.
Most merchandisers buy, display and promote an array of products not just clothing. For example, many large fashion firms such as Calvin Klein and Anthropologie are utilizing home décor products to increase their market and sales, Bridwell said. She added many brick-and-mortar stores like Macy's and J.C. Penney are closing stores because e-commerce has gained such a large increase in sales.
“Faculty members feel this new merchandising program will better prepare students for the changes in the retail industry,” Bridwell said.