Definition of the business
Retailing encompasses the business activities involved in selling goods to consumers for their personal, family, or household use. It includes every sale to the final consumer—ranging from apparel to movie tickets to books to home appliances. Retail stores include diverse sorts of shops, from kiosks and small groceries to supermarket chains and large department stores. Retailing is the last stage in the distribution process. In addition to traditional bricks-and-mortar shops, mail and phone orders, direct selling to consumers in their homes and offices, Web transactions, and vending machine sales all fall within the scope of retail sector. This sector has continuously sought to expand and diversify, making it a fascinating subject for analysis, particularly in CSR terms. The purpose of this essay is to give a brief cross-sectional view of the industry as it stands today by detailing the nature of the industry with the dynamics, the characteristics of the market, by describing the different stakeholders in the sector and finally by talking about the external environment. Description of the business
Importance of the business
The importance of the sector can be assessed in different ways. Firstly, the diversification of the activity is synonymous of the extreme variety of needs satisfied and fulfilled by the sector. The sector is of paramount important when it comes to dealing with essential needs (food, furniture, clothes and drugs) and secondary needs (entertainment for kids with Toy’s R us, electronic devices etc.). Secondly, the retailing sector accounts for approximately 24% of the French Gross Domestic Product according to statistics of 2011 found in INSEE. It also provides huge working opportunities, about 9% of total employment in Europe in 2010. In the UK, for example, the retail sector is the second largest employer with 2.3 million workers involved. Finally, retail sector also carries a big weight in tax...