NEW YORK (Business Newswire) – After two highly successful courses, The Workshop at Macy’s – the retailer’s innovative business of fashion program – is now accepting applications for its next class.
With an aim of mentoring and fostering growth with up-and-coming minority- and women-owned businesses, The Workshop at Macy’s hopes to help these enterprises achieve and sustain positive and successful vendor relationships.
This industry-first initiative, which began in spring of 2011, has already resulted in six current vendor relationships with previous graduates, who have seen their unique goods hit the market at select Macy’s stores across the nation.
“We are very excited to kick off the application process for the next Workshop class,” said Shawn Outler, Macy’s group vice president of Leased Businesses, Vendor Collaboration and Multicultural Business Development.
“This program was created to develop minority- and women-owned businesses that make great products, but need real-world knowledge and experience in the arena of a large scale nationwide retailer. This program helps reinforce Macy’s long-standing commitment to vendor diversity and to providing customers with unique goods and services that meet their lifestyle.”
The Workshop at Macy’s is a four-and-one-half-day intensive training course developed by a consortium of experts from Macy’s Learning and Development, Macy’s Multicultural Merchandising and Vendor Development, Babson College, the nation’s leading business school for entrepreneurship, and with select Macy’s merchants and vendors.
The specially-designed business development curriculum is aimed at minority- and women-owned retail businesses that make department store products and are poised to grow beyond self-distribution or low volume retailing. The goal of this annual program is to help create a pipeline of viable enterprises that will grow to become successful partners within Macy’s own vendor community, often bringing unique goods and trend perspectives to stores across the country.
The Workshop at Macy’s allows selected participants to collaborate with fellow aspiring vendors, gain access to industry experts and solicit one-on-one business coaching. The course work includes classes on merchandising and assortment planning, marketing, EDI, financial management and access to capital.
The inaugural Workshop saw more than 1000 applicants, 22 of which were selected for the program. Businesses ranged from makeup and skincare companies to confectionaries, home textiles and ready-to-wear designers.
The most recently wrapped Workshop at Macy’s featured 17 new businesses. Built as a long-term program to cultivate potential new vendors, as of this month, six of those businesses have begun selling products at Macy’s stores and online at Macys.com.
The Workshop team continues to follow all past participants as they progress through the opportunities outlined during the course for potential graduation to Macy’s vendor status.
New applications are now being accepted. To be eligible, an applicant must be the majority (51 percent or more of equity) owner, co-owner or otherwise have operational control (per applicable status rules) of a business that has been in operation for at least two consecutive years and be its primary decision maker.
Eligible applications will include a 250-word biographical statement, look book, line sheets or images of product including costs, resumes on all owners, financial statements for the business for two years, fall within the minority- and women-owned definition of the program and provide verification of the business as a legal entity (i.e. Corporation, LLC, etc.), among other requirements. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by Feb. 3, 2013 by 11:59 p.m. ET.
All information including full program requirements are available online. All eligible applications will be reviewed and select applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview. Final selections will be made after all prospective candidates are interviewed. The program will take place in New York City in early May of 2013.
For more information on The Workshop at Macy’s, please visit macysinc.com/workshop.