The Costcutter group has launched a pilot of its Diploma in C-store Retailing.

The diploma is currently being trialled with company-owned stores before being rolled out to the entire group later this year.

Costcutter head of development and engagement David Watson said that the course was designed to help retailers make the most of their businesses. "In the challenging economic climate, where competition from other independents and the multiples is rife and consumers continue to spend with caution, it is vital retailers are given every opportunity to not only stay afloat but to grow and develop."

Group marketing director Ian Bishop said that the bespoke course would help the group thrive. "The diploma will make sure that stores are fit for the future and that retailers are getting everything they can from their businesses," he said.

The diploma contains four modules that cover managing retail operations, finance, people management skills and business development. It will include a mix of classroom training, virtual learning and practical assignments, and will take six to nine months to complete.