Types of retailers

117There are a number of types of retailers, based on several factors.

These factors are not mutually exclusive, and in today’s world the boundaries are rapidly becoming blurred and the characteristics of a retailer increasingly complicated and mixed.

Retailers can be considered by;-

Their outlet type – They can be online, or bricks and mortar, or TV shopping

Outlet size – local store, boutique, supermarket, chain store, department store, warehouse outlet, store in out of town mall.

Their distribution method – purchase from store, collect from store, deliver by courier

Target market – discount market, mass market, speciality or luxury market

Their pricing policy – Discount retailers, mass market or competitive retailers, and luxury or full price retailers

Their ranging – general merchandise with many lines such as a supermarket, speciality store such as food store or electrical, or niche store such as a watch specialist.

Route to market – general advertising and promotion, by direct mail in magazines, catalogue retailers, personal selling –one to one such as make up parties or home services.

Ownership – individually owned, part of a national chain, multinational, franchise or dealership.

The retailer’s mission

A retailer’s objective is usually to maximise profit for the owners and shareholders. To do this they look to build their market share, increase sales and profits.

In retail terms selling to the public can be summarised as “having the right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price “.

Retailers need consumers to like shopping with them, find the product they like and keep coming back to them. So they face several challenges.

They need to stock the right product.

They will employ Buyers who are tasked to find the product that consumers will want to buy, negotiate with suppliers to supply the stock to them at the appropriate time to meet customer demand, and keep the product in stock.

They need to set the right price

They need to fix a price that enables the company to sell to clients at a reasonable price and have some profit left over after overheads are covered.

They need to present the product to the consumer

It must be presented in a way that encourages the customer to buy the product and make the features and benefits apparent to them

They need to build their customer base

This will be measured as footfall in the case of a bricks and mortar retailer, and traffic in the case on an online retailer. The retailer will use appropriate promotional and advertising methods to build their customer base, increase sales, market share and profits.

Store Location or website

For bricks and mortar retailers it has long been said that the three most important factors are “location, location, location”. That is to say, the correct location to attract footfall is absolutely crucial. There is a balance to be found between prime, highly visible sites and the higher cost of land, and rents and rates, versus inferior, cheaper locations Within the store the layout of product is important, as is the ambience created by decoration, fittings, music, and point of sale material,

For online retailers the graphics, site layout and navigation are also important.

Using current technology

Retailing is at the forefront of technology. Consumers expect their favourite retailers to keep up with available technology, and to offer them the services that will make their shopping experience simpler and easier. Services such as 24 hour delivery, tracking delivery, click and collect, website as well as stores.