Successful Retail Store Designs
The retail industry includes sales of products and services to customers, as opposed to wholesale, which is sales to non-commercial customers or big corporate businesses. A retail seller buys products in large amounts from manufacturers, straight from the factory, or via a distributor, and then resells to customers at a profit. For example, a Wal-Mart superstore can buy wholesale electronics and sell them on at a discount to individual consumers.
The retail industry also includes the retail chains such as Target, Costco, K-Mart, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. Some chain groceries such as Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Markets have started buying from grocery manufacturers as well. In some cases, smaller chains of discount stores such as Dollar General or Family Market have formed partnerships with large nationwide chains to carry the brands of major manufacturers in their own stores. In the past, the major discount chains did not open their own store locations, but instead purchased space from existing department stores. This practice gradually evolved into today’s discount model, where a discount chain will open a store location, sell the products of the major brand name to individual customers, and pocket a percentage of the proceeds. These new business models help smaller companies provide the same quality products at lower prices to more people at less cost to them.
There are many different types of retail stores, and each type has its own unique selling methods and dynamics. A retailer that sells mainly to individual consumers can be called a consumer-based retailer. These types of retailers purchase directly from the manufacturer, or through wholesalers, and do not carry other types of products. Examples of these types of retailers are independent home stores, independent drugstores, franchises operated by national chains, and certain mall-based retailers. A retailer that sells to institutional customers, on the other hand, may sell to any type of institutional customer. Some examples of institutional customers are educational, government, and hospitals.
The types of retailers also differ by the type of product that they sell. Products available for sale in the retail stores include electronics and computers, apparel, accessories, furniture, food products, and gifts. Most of these products are sold in one-stop shops that are found in malls and local streets. A few examples of these type of retail establishments are shopping centers, chains of specialty stores, and health food stores. The types of retailers also depend on the type of consumer they cater to.
The retail industry employs over four million individuals. A majority of these work in sales, service, or administrative positions. A small number of employees engage in product merchandising or consumer research. Other positions in the retail industry are found in finance, accounting, information technology, and administration. While the retail business is a global business, most of the people involved in the retail industry reside in the United States.
Today, more consumers are turning to online shopping than ever before. An increasing number of retailers are starting to take advantage of this trend by setting up an online retail store. An online retail store is a virtual outlet for a business that has an actual store location. An online retail store differs from its offline counterparts in many ways including access to a wide variety of products, lower costs due to lower overhead, more convenient shopping, and more. By setting up an online retail store, retailers can enjoy all of these features and more.