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Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! Tony Corsberg

NHPA Offers BOGO 50% Off Foundations of Merchandising Management Live!

Are you ready to gain the skills and strategies to improve and manage the merchandising and customer shopping experience at your operation? The North American Hardware and Paint Association’s (NHPA) Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! event is back at the 2024 National Hardware Show (NHS) on March 26-27.

Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! is a two-day event exclusively sponsored by NHS and designed to help both new and experienced retail personnel responsible for managing merchandising and operations at their stores. This unique, industry-focused program will cover both the strategic and tactical aspects of merchandising management, assortment planning and vendor relations at independent home improvement retail stores.

Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! attendees will benefit from classroom learning and hands-on learning on the NHS show floor, with expert-led course sessions, breakout workshop sessions, networking opportunities and ROI-driven assignments to take back to their operations.

NHPA worked with industry-leading retailers to develop the program and provide attendees with the strategies and skills to successfully improve and manage their merchandising and assortment planning.

“If your merchandising management needs a complete overhaul, or if you want to educate your key staff members on proven merchandising management strategies and tactics that work, this is your chance,” says Scott Wright, NHPA executive director of advanced retail education programs. “Don’t miss this opportunity to develop your knowledge of advanced merchandising concepts used by the top independent retailers in our industry.”

2024 NHS will take place March 26-28 in Las Vegas. If you haven’t already, you can learn more about NHS and get your free exhibit hall pass at nhs-24.com/NHPA.

For more Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! program details, including a course schedule, agenda and registration information, visit YourNHPA.org/foundationslive.

Continue reading below for a Q&A with Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! instructor and merchandising expert Tony Corsberg.

BOGO 50% Off—Foundations of Merchandising Management Live!

NHPA members enjoy an exclusive BOGO deal: Pay $999 for the first student and just $500 for the second. Click here to register and take advantage of this special offer.

Questions? Contact Scott Wright, NHPA executive director of advanced retail education programs, at swright@yournhpa.org or 317-441-4136.

Q&A With Instructor Tony Corsberg

Hardware Retailing spoke with Tony Corsberg, the lead instructor for Foundations of Merchandising Live!, about why students should sign up for the course and what they can gain from the hands-on classroom and show experience.

Corsberg is an industry veteran with more than 45 years of merchandising management experience in the home improvement retail industry. He served as the vice president of merchandising for Friedman’s Home Improvement before retiring in 2018. He subsequently established his consulting firm Merchant5 Advisors with a focus on guiding independent retailers in merchandising initiatives.

A founding member of NHPA’s marketing and merchandising roundtable group, Corsberg was integral in the development of NHPA’s Foundations of Merchandising Management program, which launched in 2023.

Hardware Retailing (HR): What would you say is the no. 1 reason to sign up for this course?
Tony Corsberg (TC): To increase sales and profitability by optimizing inventory performance and retail selling space through proven merchandising initiatives, enhancing the overall shopping experience for your customers.

HR: Are there opportunities for students to apply the knowledge they gained in the course to real-world projects or scenarios?
TC: Students can return to their stores and immediately apply many of the things we teach. But practical application is something we have built into the course, and we do it in three different ways:

1. To earn a certificate in merchandising upon completion of the course, students will need to complete a four-week capstone assignment where they use their store as a lab and select a top takeaway from the course to work on and drive ROI in their business.

2. During a final video call to go over the student’s capstone assignment, we will also have a conversation with the student—and any key personnel at their store—regarding any merchandising-related challenges they’re experiencing. Whether it was part of the course curriculum or not, they will have the opportunity to share the merchandising-related challenges they’re experiencing—and we will provide personalized, one-on-one feedback on their specific situation and make sure their merchandising challenges are addressed.

3. We will hold classroom roundtable discussions on best practices and the current merchandising challenges retailers encounter. We want students to bring examples of what they’re struggling with so we can address these as a group and with our subject matter experts, who will lead the roundtable discussions.

I’d also like to add that our show tour, where we will teach students how to work the floor of a national, industrywide event like a pro, will offer a different experience from the typical wholesaler and co-op buying markets most retailers are familiar with—but we will provide different strategies to help students get the most out of either experience.

HR: How will the course address current trends in merchandising?
TC: Retailers today are struggling to get traffic in the door as well as trying to increase their average transaction size. Our course modules will address this in detail.

For example, one of our course modules is Promotional Space Management, and our tag line is: The most inexpensive way to increase your average ticket is with the customers already in the store. That’s one of the purposes of promotional spaces. By utilizing promotional space effectively, our students will see how they can increase their average ticket.

We will also cover visual merchandising best practices, such as how to get the customer to pick up more merchandise while they’re in the store. If you already have them in the store, how do we get them to buy more and have a better overall shopping experience?

What You Get: Foundations of Merchandising Management Live!

Course Topics:

  • Visual merchandising standards and store design to increase transaction size
  • Promotional space management
  • Resets and store remodeling tactics
  • Market-driven assortment planning and category management
  • Vendor and supplier relations and negotiation strategies
  • Integration of marketing and merchandising to drive foot traffic


  • Six in-person course sessions presented by industry experts
  • Breakout workshop sessions with peers
  • How to work a show like a pro, led by retail experts
  • Networking opportunities with retailers, instructors and vendors
  • ROI-driven follow-up assignments and a capstone assignment to take back to stores
  • A final video call where instructors will provide feedback on the course assignments to students—with the students’ mentors or team also present for support and learning
  • A certificate in merchandising from NHPA upon completion of the course sessions, post-session assignments and the wrap-up video call
  • Continental breakfast and lunch each day

Ready to enroll? Visit YourNHPA.org/foundationslive.

About Julie Leinwand

Julie Leinwand is the Special Projects Manager for NHPA. She graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys baking fanciful desserts and spending time with her puppies and husband.

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