Retail Industry Fundamentals

Retail Industry Fundamentals Webpage Cover Photo

Retail Industry Career Opportunities

The state of Georgia has 120,915 retail establishments which supports 1.3 million jobs. Learn more about Retail career opportunities here:

The Retail Industry Fundamentals credential helps train and advance both entry-level retail associates and first-time job seekers. It is an industry-led and validated program that focuses on five core areas:
• Basic work fundamentals
• The business of retail
• Customer focus
• Getting and keeping jobs in retail
• Selling
Retail Industry Fundamentals consists of 15 modules that include learning and interactive content, quizzes, knowledge checks and self-reflection opportunities.
Training materials are available in two formats:
• Self-paced online training: approximately 10 hours, depending on learner
• Instructor-led classroom training: 20-40 hours, depending on group size (available upon request for group trainings)

The minimum age requirement to sit for the credential exam is 15 years of age or 10th grade standing.

Think that you know all there is to know about retail? Take a sample of the Retail Industry Fundamentals Exam and see if you pass! Share the test with friends and see if they can beat your score.

Skills Standards

Learns about the Business of Retail

• Contributes to the retail business model by learning about basic financial concepts.
• Describes how retail businesses are organized and how the various functional areas contribute to the whole.
• Describes how rules and regulations are designed to protect customers, employees, and the company.

Learns about Customer Service

• Builds customer trust and loyalty by delivering on the brand promise.
• Engages customers by asking questions, listening carefully, and using appropriate resources, tools and technologies to identify their needs and meet or exceed their expectations.
• Enhances sales and the customer experience using knowledge about products, services and policies.

Understands Sales and Merchandising

•Drives sales through the use of selling techniques in an omni-channel retail environment.
• Influences customers’ buying behavior by promoting products and services in accordance with current merchandising standards.
• Maintains an awareness of personal and department or store sales goals.

Develops Professionalism and Career Fundamentals
• Demonstrates personal accountability as a productive retail employee by exhibiting integrity, using time management skills, being collaborative, building relationships, taking pride and initiative in work, and achieving individual goals.
• Enhances personal effectiveness by understanding the value of training, focusing on professional development, and showing motivation to learn.
• Makes a positive impression for the desired job by taking pride in your appearance, being punctual and reliable, displaying a positive attitude, and interacting professionally at all times.

Entering and Advancing in a Retail Career

• Develops an understanding of career paths within the retail industry.
• Prepares for interviews by researching the job opening and employer in order to identify questions to ask and decide about dress and appearance.
• Succeeds in interviews by using interview skills and techniques effectively and following up in order to demonstrate readiness for the opening and secure an offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I have to be to earn the credential?

The minimum age requirement to sit for the credential exam is 15 years of age or 10th grade standing.

What is the NRF foundation?

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

Who developed the credential exams?

The NRF credential exams are based on the National Skills Standards and developed by retail industry experts and analysts with first-hand knowledge of the skills essential to today’s workplace. Exam writers include frontline workers, managers, instructors, curriculum developers and training providers. The NRF Foundation selects writers and reviewers who respect and consider the diversity of work environments, race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, age and other factors.

How are the Customer Service and Sales and Retail Industry Fundamentals credentials different?

How are the Customer Service and Sales and Retail Industry Fundamentals credentials different?

Do I need to take the training in order to take the exam?

No. The RISE Up training is designed to prepare you for the exam. It is not mandatory to take the training in order to sit for the exam; however, we strongly recommend going through the training first.

If you would like to study independently through the online course, you can train at your own pace from anywhere you want.

Where can I take a test?

If you are affiliated with a RISE Up partner (nonprofit, high school or other community organization), you can take the exam at their test site. For questions about training and testing, please contact your organization.

How much time is allotted to take each exam?

We allot the below times for each credential exam.

  • Retail Industry Fundamentals- 120 minutes
  • Customer Service and Sales- 90 minutes
  • Advanced Customer Service and Sales- 90 minutes

How do I request special accommodations for the test?

To request special accommodations, submit the accommodations request form to for review at least 30 days before the requested testing date.

Available upon request! Click the “Register Now” button above to get started.