For generations retailing has had to fight against its image as a second‐class occupation. Successive governments have tended to regard it as less important than manufacturing industry, and this view has been reinforced by careers officers who, in the palmy days when school‐leavers were in the privileged position of having an element of choice in their jobs, adopted a condescending if not dismissive attitude to “working in a shop”. If anything this attitude has been even more marked at graduate level; as our contributor writes, retailing has been generally neglected by universities, and even by many management centres and business schools. There are, of course, some exceptions. One of the most notable of these is the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology; UMIST was one of the first in the UK to develop courses in retailing, and these are described here in some detail. The author is only too well aware that there are a number of universities and polytechnics whose retail courses have not been mentioned in this feature; equally that there are personnel officers who will justifiably feel that they are not guilty of the charges levelled against them in the section entitled “Graduate Retailers”. We welcome correspondence from educational organisations or individuals who desire to put the record straight.
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