After two highly successful courses, The Workshop at Macy’s (NYSE:M), the retailer’s innovative business of fashion program begins accepting applications for the next class on Friday, Sept. 28 via macysinc.com/workshop. 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 product, 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 & 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/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.