Asisbiz photo collection of ‘Retail Shops’.
Retailing consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by post, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be individuals or businesses. In commerce, a "retailer" buys goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores. Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Manufacturing marketers see the process of retailing as a necessary part of their overall distribution strategy. The term "retailer" is also applied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such as a public utility, like electric power.
Shops may be on residential streets, shopping streets with few or no houses or in a shopping mall. Shopping streets may be for pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to protect customers from precipitation. Online retailing, a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions and mail order, are forms of non-shop retailing.
Shopping generally refers to the act of buying products. Sometimes this is done to obtain necessities such as food and clothing; sometimes it is done as a recreational activity. Recreational shopping often involves window shopping (just looking, not buying) and browsing and does not always result in a purchase.
Retail comes from the French word retaillier, which refers to "cutting off, clip and divide" in terms of tailoring (1365). It first was recorded as a noun with the meaning of a "sale in small quantities" in 1433 (French). Its literal meaning for retail was to "cut off, shred, paring". Like the French, the word retail in both Dutch and German (detailhandel and Einzelhandel respectively), also refers to the sale of small quantities of items.
The pricing technique used by most retailers is cost-plus pricing. This involves adding a markup amount (or percentage) to the retailer's cost. Another common technique is suggested retail pricing. This simply involves charging the amount suggested by the manufacturer and usually printed on the product by the manufacturer.
In Western countries, retail prices are often called psychological prices or odd prices. Often prices are fixed and displayed on signs or labels. Alternatively, when prices are not clearly displayed, there can be price discrimination, where the sale price is dependent upon who the customer is. For example, a customer may have to pay more if the seller determines that he or she is willing and/or able to. Another example would be the practice of discounting for youths or students.
There are several ways in which consumers can receive goods from a retailer:
* Counter service, where goods are out of reach of buyers and must be obtained from the seller. This type of retail is common for small expensive items (e.g. jewelry) and controlled items like medicine and liquor. It was common before the 1900s in the United States and is more common in certain countries.
* Delivery (commerce), where goods are shipped directly to consumer's homes or workplaces. Mail order from a printed catalog was invented in 1744 and was common in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Ordering by telephone is now common, either from a catalog, newspaper, television advertisement or a local restaurant menu, for immediate service (especially for pizza delivery). Direct marketing, including telemarketing and television shopping channels, are also used to generate telephone orders. Online shopping started gaining significant market share in developed countries in the 2000s.
* Door-to-door sales, where the salesperson sometimes travels with the goods for sale.
* Self-service, where goods may be handled and examined prior to purchase, has become more common since the 1920s.
Second hand retail
Some shops sell second-hand goods. In the case of a nonprofit shop, the public donates goods to the shop to be sold. In give-away shops goods can be taken for free.
Another form is the pawnshop, in which goods are sold that were used as collateral for loans. There are also "consignment" shops, which are where a person can place an item in a store and if it sells, the person gives the shop owner a percentage of the sale price. The advantage of selling an item this way is that the established shop gives the item exposure to more potential buyers.
Discount stores offer a wide range of products, although they mainly offer value goods, such as housewares, clothes, kitchen-wares, gifts and healthcare products. These are sold at reduced prices, because many of them are either brand name or clearance products.
Behind the scenes at retail, there is another factor at work. Corporations and independent store owners alike are always trying to get the edge on their competitors. One way to do this is to hire a merchandising solutions company to design custom store displays that will attract more customers in a certain demographic. The nation's largest retailers spend millions every year on in-store marketing programs that correspond to seasonal and promotional changes. As products change, so will a retail landscape. Retailers may also use facing techniques to create the look of a perfectly-stocked store, even when it is not.
A destination store is one that customers will initiate a trip specifically to visit, sometimes over a large area. These stores are often used to "anchor" a shopping mall or plaza, generating foot traffic, which is capitalized upon by smaller retailers.
Web References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retailing
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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