Retail Marketing Sales Operation and Management1 C. Hazarika2 Retailing includes all the activities involved in selling goods and services directly to final consumers for personal, non-business use. A retailer or retail store is any business enterprise whose sales volume comes primarily from retailing. Any organization selling to final consumers – whether it is a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer –is doing retailing. It does not matter how the goods or services are sold (by person, mail, telephone, vending machine, or internet) or where they are sold (in a store, on the street, or in the consumers home). Types of retailers Consumers today can shop for goods and services in a wide variety of retail organizations. These are store retailers, non-store retailers, and retail organization . Perhaps the best – known type of retailer is the departmental store. Retail – store types pass through stages of growth and decline that can be described as the retail life cycle. A type emerges, enjoys a period of accelerated growth, reaches maturity, and then declines. Levels of service Conventional retail stores typically increase their services and raise their prices to cover the costs. These higher costs provide an opportunity for new store forms to offer lower prices and less service. New store types meet widely different consumer preferences for service levels and specific services. Retailers can position themselves as offering one of the four levels of following services. 1. Self – service : Self – service is the cornerstone of all discounts operations. Many customers are willing to carry out their own locate – compare – select process to save money. 1
Lecture delivered to the participants of Agro-clinic and Agri-Business centers training programme conducted by DEE, AAU at AAU, Jorhat on 09.05.2005 2
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, AAU, Jorhat – 785013 2. Self – selection : Customers find their own goods, although they can ask for assistance. 3. Limited service : These retailers carry more shopping goods, and customers need more information and assistance. The stores also offer services (such as credit and merchandise – return privileges). 4. Full service : Salespeople are ready to assist in every phase of the locate-compareselect process. Customers who like to be waited on prefer this type of store. The high staffing cost, along with the higher proportion of specially goods and slower-moving items and the many services, results in high-cost retailing.
By combining these different service levels with different assortment breadths, one can distinguish the four broad positioning strategies available to retailers, as shown in figure – 1.
Broad Bloomingdale’s Wal-Mart
Figure : 1. Retail Positioning Map • Bloomingdale’s : Stores that feature a broad product assortment and high value added. Stores in this quadrant pay close attention to store design, product quality, service, and image. Their profit margin is high, and if they are fortunate enough to have high volume, they will be very profitable. Tiffany : Stores hat feature a narrow product assortment and high value added. Such stores cultivate an exclusive image and tend to operate on a high margin and low volume. Sunglass Hut : Stores that feature a narrow line and low value added. Such stores keep their costs and prices low by centralizing buying, merchandising, advertising, and distribution. Wal-Mart : Stores that feature a broad line and low value added. They focus on keeping prices low so that they have an image of being a place for good buys. They make up for low margin by high volume.
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Although the overwhelming bulk (97 per cent) of goods and services are sold through stores, non-store retailing has been growing much faster than store retailing. Non-store retailing falls into four major categories : direct selling, direct marketing (which includes...
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