The retail industry is composed of all companies that provide goods and services to consumers. There are many different types of retail stores around the world, including grocery stores, convenience stores, discounts, independent stores, department stores, DIY, electricity and specialty stores. Retail is the sale of products and services to customers, as opposed to wholesale, which is the sale to businesses or institutional customers. A retailer buys items in bulk from manufacturers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells them in smaller quantities to consumers for a profit. Retailers are the last link in the supply chain from producers to consumers.
The retail sector is part of the supersector of commerce, transportation and public services. A market is a place where goods and services are exchanged. The traditional market square is a city square where merchants set up stalls and shoppers search for merchandise. Nowadays, retail products are usually sold in several different establishments. Convenience stores, specialty stores, department stores, supermarkets & hypermarkets, discount stores, multi-channel stores are some of the models used by the retail industry to offer products to end customers.
Small stores that sell a variety of items such as newspapers, magazines, candy, soft drinks, tobacco products and lottery tickets are also common. The convenience store is generally a well-located, food-oriented store with a long operating room and a limited number of items. These stores are usually located in urban neighborhoods or along busy highways. Convenience stores tend to open longer hours than other types of retail stores, making them convenient for customers. However, prices are usually higher than in other types of stores.
Consumers use a convenience store to purchase items such as bread, milk, eggs and candy. Retailers that are not in stores, such as store retailers, are organized to serve the general public but their sales methods are different. The retail process is the last step in the distribution of merchandise; therefore retailers are organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. In addition to selling retail products, some types of retail stores are also engaged in providing after-sales services such as repair and installation. At its most basic level, a retail format is a simple marketplace - that is a place where goods and services are exchanged. To maximize the number of sales opportunities retailers generally want customers to spend more time in a retail store.
Retailers must discover how to reconfigure themselves as employers, meet consumer needs and be better corporate citizens to compete in the next era of retail. Retail formats (also known as retail formulas) influence a consumer's choice of store and meet their expectations. Once the strategic retail plan is in place retailers design the retail mix that includes product, price, location, promotion, staff and presentation. These are retail establishments that sell products to consumers through a variety of channels including catalogs, mail order, telephone sales, internet and vending machines. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are retail establishments that were mainly dedicated to the sale of food. The retail sector includes establishments that are engaged in the retail sale of merchandise generally without processing and that provide services related to the sale of merchandise. Retail service providers include retail banking, tourism, insurance private healthcare private education private security firms law firms publishers public transportation and others. Discount stores are stores that tend to sell a wide range of products at lower prices than other retail stores.
At the end of the retail analysis retailers must have a clear idea of which customer groups will be targeted by marketing activities.