What is retailing?


The definition: ‘commercial transaction in which a buyer intends to consume the good or service for personal, family or household use.’

Oxford dictionary : ‘The sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale’.

Retailing involves selling of products and services to end users at homes, work places, for personal or group usage. All types of markets, shops, malls, departmental stores, kiosks, vending machines, tele marketing companies, mail order catalogs, door to door sellers, fairs, cooperatives, insurance companies, post offices, banks, spas, physicians, courier companies, portals, come in this category. Retailers are the most important link for delivery of goods from manufacturer to distributor to consumer, through supply chain.

Retailers have the responsibility of explaining the features and advantages of products or services to the customer. They are required to have complete knowledge of products, prices, merchandising, display, competition, storage, packaging, billing and above all, their customers. They are a community who know their market and the psychology of their buyers very well. They may not be technically qualified or highly educated, but they have the expertise of many years in dealing directly with the customer.

World’s largest retail market is in USA, employing 30% manpower, directly or indirectly. Worldwide, retail attracts 11% of all new jobs, more than manufacturing or any other sector.

Walmart & Mc Donald are among the top companies which have revolutionized the way people shop or eat. These 2 companies alone have contributed a lot in making USA, a super power. According to Warren Buffet, retailing has helped maximum in financial well being of American people.

Though online buying is growing with unprecedented or unexpected speed worldwide due to convenience of shopping, physical (brick and mortar) stores are unavoidable because it is there only, where one can touch, feel, taste, compare and experience a product or service, before residing to buy. This also involves fun and excitement therefore, is called as ‘retail therapy’ which is not possible in online shopping.

Retailing has 2 important terms, market and goods or services. Detailed explanation of retailing should be: ‘transaction of goods or services between seller and customer as single unit or small quantity to meet the needs of an individual or his family or colleagues, for direct consumption’.

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