Types of Retailers in Marketing

There is a wide variety of retail trading establishments. They vary from hawkers and peddlers to big departmental stores. Hawkers and peddlers move from door-to-door, in residential localities, to sell their goods.

Pavement shops, usually, arrange their wares along busy street corners or busy streets. Some traders sell their wares at weekly markets- as is common in our rural markets in our communities. Now, let us look at some selected retail stores, as itemized below:

1) Specialty Stores

This carries a narrow product line with a deep assortment within that line, for example- apparel stores, sporting goods stores, furniture stores, and bookstores.

Specialty stores can be sub-classified by the degree of narrowness in their product line. A clothing store will be a single-line store; a men’s clothing store will be a limited-line store, and a men’s custom-shirt store will be a super specialty store.

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2) Department Stores

These deal in several product lines –typically clothing, home furnishings, and household goods, with each line operating as a separate department managed by specialist buyers or merchandisers.

3) Supermarkets

These are, relatively large, low-cost, low-margin, high-volume, self-service outlets designed to serve the consumer’s total needs for food, laundry, and household maintenance products.

Supermarkets earn an operating profit of only about 1% on their sales and 10% on their net worth. Despite strong competition from new and innovative competitors like superstores and discount stores, supermarkets remain the most frequently visited type of retail store.

4) Convenience Stores

These are relatively small stores that are located near residential areas, which open for long hours- seven days a week and carry a limited line of high-turnover convenience products.

Their long hours of work and their use by consumers- mainly for “fill-in” purchases, make them, relatively, high-price outlets.

5) Catalog Showrooms

These sell a broad selection of high, mark-up, fast-moving goods at discounted prices. These include jewelry, power tools, cameras, luggage, small appliances, toys, and sporting goods.

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Customers order the goods in a catalog in the showroom, and then pick these goods up from a merchandise pickup area in the store.

Catalog showrooms make their money by cutting costs and margins to provide low prices that will attract a higher volume of sales.

6) Cooperative Stores

Consumers sometimes join together to form cooperative societies to sell goods on a retail basis. The basic purpose is to eliminate middlemen and obtain their needs at a low price.

The capital is subscribed by the members through the purchase of shares of small denominations. Cooperative stores purchase their requirements in bulk from manufacturers or wholesalers.

This enables the cooperative stores to sell their products at somewhat lower prices than ordinary retailers. It should be noted that there are other types of retail outlets.

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