Retailing has a tremendous impact on the economy. It involves high annual sales and employment. As a major source of employment retailing offers a wide range of career opportunities including; store management, merchandising and owning a retail business.
Consumers benefit from retailing is that, retailers perform marketing functions that makes it possible for customers to have access to a broad variety of products and services. Retailing also helps to create place, time and possession utilities. A retailer’s service also helps to enhance a product’s image.
Retailers participate in the sorting process by collecting an assortment of goods and services from a wide variety of suppliers and offering them for sale. The width and depth of assortment depend upon the individual retailer’s strategy.
They provide information to consumers through advertising, displays and signs and sales personnel. Marketing research support is given to other channels, members.
They store merchandise, mark prices on it, place items on the selling floor and otherwise handle products; usually they pay suppliers for items before selling ,,them to final customers. They complete transactions by using appropriate locations, and timings, credit policies, and other services e.g. delivery.
Retailing in a way, is the final stage in marketing channels for consumer products. Retailers provide the vital link between producers and ultimate consumers.
Retailers create value in below ways
Supermarkets typically carry 20,000 to 30,000 different items made by more than 500 companies. Offering an assortment enables their customers to choose from a wide selection of products, brands, sizes, and prices at one location. Manufacturers specialize in producing specific types of products. If each of these manufacturers had its own stores that sold only its own products, consumers would have to go to many different stores to buy the groceries needed to prepare a single meal.
To reduce transportation costs, manufacturers and wholesalers typically ship cases of frozen dinners or cartons of blouses to retailers. Retailers then offer the products in smaller quantities tailored to individual consumers’ and households’ consumption patterns—an activity called breaking bulk. Breaking bulk is important to both manufacturers and consumers. It enables manufacturers to efficiently make and ship merchandise in larger quantities and enables consumers to purchase merchandise in smaller, more useful quantities.
A major value-providing activity performed by retailers is holding inventory so that the products will be available when consumers want them. Thus, consumers can keep a smaller inventory of products at home because they know local retailers will have the products available when they need more. This activity is particularly important to consumers with limited storage space.
Retailers provide services that make it easier for customers to buy and use products. For example, retailers offer credit so that consumers can have a product now and pay for it later. They display products so that consumers can see and test them before buying. Some retailers employ salespeople in stores or maintain Web sites to answer questions and provide additional information about products.