The Retailing And Independent Retailers You Should Know About In Commerce
RETAILING – The retailer is the last link in the chain of production, transferring the finished product to the customer. The term retailing comes from the French word retailer which means “to cut again, This refers to the principal retailing activity of buying in large quantities and selling again in small quantities, a process often referred to as breaking bulk. Manufacturers would find it inconvenient to sell goods in the small quantities that are normally required by customers.
Retailers may also supply other services. Long-lasting goods, called consumer durable, often need after sales service to keep them working well. Thus the garage which sells a customer a will usually also repair and service it. Many goods also need preparation before they are sold.
The retailer will often act as a channel for information between producers and consumers. He also provides a local supply for it would be inconvenient for the consumer to travel to the factory to purchase the goods. The distance that people are prepared to travel to buy goods depends on the type of good. Also many retailers grant, or at least arrange, credit facilities for their customers thus enabling them to pay for more expensive items over a period of time.
STARTING A RETAIL BUSINESS
Before starting a retail business the trader should take into consideration the following points. The location of the store is vitally important. It should be convenient for the customers and suppliers to reach and preferably in a position where it will attract a lot of attention.
The trader should ensure that he has sufficient capital to start the business so that he can buy stocks and equip his store and cover any losses that might occur before the shop becomes well known to customers. Also important is having some experience of retailing and of the goods that are to be offered for sale. Businesses started by inexperienced traders often end in ruin because they are badly located, or have insufficient capital or knowledge of the goods they are selling.
The term retailer can cover many different organizations, from the small shop to the multistory department store. The reason for the diversity in the types of store is that each is able to provide a type of service that appeals to certain customers and is appropriate to certain products.
The independent retailer may be defined as any retail organization having fewer than ten branch shops. Those retail businesses which have only one shop are termed unit shops. Although in some areas these continue to flourish they are increasingly subject to strong competition from the other, larger types of retail organization.
The advantages smaller organizations can offer include:
1. They can survive on a small volume of trade and hence are often located close to people’s homes, making them convenient’
2. They are often more flexible than larger stores and may therefore offer longer opening hours and may be quicker to take on new lines, especially in the field of fashion.
3. They can give a more personal service to customers, often knowing them as friends and informally granting credit.
However, these small shops face special problems in relation to larger organizations:
1. They are unable to buy in bulk and therefore will not receive the substantial discounts that large groups get from manufacturers.
2. There are opportunities to introduce specialization. The turnover of firms cannot justify employing people to specialize as window dressers or salesmen. Often all these tasks have to be done by one person.
3. Borrowing money is difficult and expensive for a small firm. This makes it difficult for the small shop to invest in the latest developments in retailing such as refrigeration equipment and stylish interior store designs.