Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, announced the launch of a new start-up program, the Retail Performance Academy (RPA). The academy’s Elite Retail Program (ERP) will bring evidence-based, Ivy-League quality training, coaching and networking to carefully selected students who commit to mastering the high performance, relationship-building skills of retail’s top-earning experts.

Top-performers in retail can earn anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 within three to five years, and top associates who build a client base can earn $200,000+ per year in five to seven years. A top-tier luxury retail flagship store manager in New York today can earn a package of $250,000, and an average store manager can earn $80,000.

Pedraza has helped dozens of brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Intermix and Porsche to improve performance metrics in a humanistic, measurable way. Retail Performance Academy’s core principles are based on learning how to demonstrate product expertise and building lifelong client relationships using the mastery of emotional intelligence-based behaviors and metrics.

The Retail Performance Academy was inspired by three converging trends: first, the U.S. retail industry is a $5-trillion juggernaut that continues to grow, and the top 20 percent of sales associates accounts for 80 percent of sales at top-tier brands. Second, the luxury and specialty retail brands, including apparel, jewelry, watches, automotive, technology, and dozens of other categories, are desperate for, and have open positions for, high-potential, well-trained sales associates they can reward and retain. Third, while a college education is extremely valuable, it is most valuable for the children of the wealthy who go to elite colleges.

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