Canadian Tire has pledged $500,000 to Ryerson University’s Retail Ready ‘Net online learning program. Retail Ready ‘Net is the Internet-based delivery mechanism for Ryerson’s Bachelor of Commerce in Retail Management. It allows students to access the Retail Management education from any location in Canada or around the world. Funds from the Canadian Tire Corporation will be used to update the Internet-based courses as the classroom curriculum and technology evolve. “Canadian Tire supports the need for business education targeting the unique needs of the retail industry and we believe that Ryerson is taking a leadership position with its Retail Ready ‘Net program,” says Wayne Sales, president and CEO, Canadian Tire. “Success in retail is all about people. Canadian Tire is the first major Canadian retailer to use an internet-based eLearning program to deliver product knowledge and skills training to team members who are the front line face of Canadian Tire to our customers. Investing in our people gives us a sustainable competitive advantage and we’re able to drive our performance to new levels,” he adds. “Retail Ready ‘Net complements our own distance learning program because it can provide retail learning opportunities to all Canadians across the country and the multi-media capability of the program is highly effective in delivering a self-paced interactive learning experience,” says Sales. Sales is active on the advisory board of the School of Retail Management. With this latest gift, the School of Retail Management has surpassed its $2-million goal to fund Retail Ready ‘Net. The first year of the degree program is already available via the Internet; higher-level courses will be phased in beginning in September 2003. Ryerson University’s Bachelor of Commerce in Retail Management focuses on four main themes: customer service, people skills, technology, and strategy. The program is the only one of its kind at a Canadian university.