Retail Management, a Component of Marketing Strategy

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The word 'retail' is derived from the French word 'retailer' meaning 'to cut a piece off’ or ‘to break bulk'. In simple terms it involves activities whereby product or services are sold to final consumers in small quantities. Although retailing in its various formats has been around our country for many decades, it has been confined for a long time to family owned corner shops. Retail marketing is an essential component of an overall marketing strategy. It supports the use of external marketing campaign efforts including advertising, events and promotions. Retail marketing tactics include in-store signage, copies of newspaper sales circulars, coupons, demonstrations and in-aisle promotions and displays. Effectively executed, retail marketing serves to "close" the sale once shoppers come inside the store. Incentives and navigational devices are strategically used to sell specially advertised products and cross-sell additional products and services. Englishmen are great soccer enthusiasts, and they strongly think that one should never give Indians a corner. It stems from the belief that, if you give an Indian a corner he would end up setting a shop. That is how great Indians retail management skill is considered. The Facts Retailing in more developed countries are big business and better organized that what it is in India. Report published by McKinsey & Co. in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) states that the global retail business is worth a staggering US $ 7 trillion. The ratio of organized retailing to unorganized in US is around 80 to 20, in Europe it is 70 to 30, while in Asia it comes to around 20 to 80. In India the scenario is quiet unique, organized retailing accounts for a mere 5% of the total retail sector. Although there are around 5 million retail stores in India, 90% of these have a floor space area of 500 sq.ft. Or less. The emergence of organized retailing in India is a recent phenomenon and is concentrated in the top 20 urban towns and cities The Reason is emergence of organized retailing has been due to the demographic and psychographic changes taking place in the life of urban consumers. Growing number of nuclear families, working women, greater work pressure, changing values and Lifestyles, increased commuting time, influence of western way of life etc. have meant that the needs and wants of consumers have shifted from just being Cost and Relationship drive to Brand and Experience driven, while the Value element still dominating the buying decisions.


The word retailing has its origins in the French verb „retailer”, which means “to cut up”, and refers to one of the fundamental retailing activities which is to buy in larger quantities and sell in smaller quantities. For example, a convenience store would buy tins of beans in units of two dozen boxes, but sell in single-tin units. However, a retailer is not the only type of business entity to 'break bulk'. Wholesalers also buy in larger quantities and sell to their customers in smaller quantities. It is the type of customer, rather than the activity, that distinguishes a retailer from other distributive traders; the distinction being that retailer sells to final consumers, unlike a wholesaler who sells to a retailer or other business organizations.

A generally accepted definition of a retailer is 'any establishment engaged in selling merchandise for personal or household consumption and rendering services incidental to the sale of such goods’. There are, however, many businesses that carry out retailing activity that are not in themselves classified as retailers. For example, a factory may engage in retailing activity by selling 'seconds' quality goods in the shop attached to its manufacturing premises. In the UK, a retailer is only classified as such for government reporting if the business gains over half of its income...
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