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Retailing consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a shopping center, department store etc, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be individuals or businesses. In commerce, a "retailer" buys goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores. Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Manufacturing marketers see the process of retailing as a necessary part of their overall distribution strategy. The term "retailer" is also applied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such as a public utility, like electric power.
Behind the scenes at retail, there is another factor at work. Corporations and independent store owners alike are always trying to get the edge on their competitors. One way to do this is to hire a merchandising solutions company to design custom store displays that will attract more customers in a certain demographic. The nation's largest retailers spend millions every year on in-store marketing programs that correspond to seasonal and promotional changes. As products change, so will a retail landscape. Retailers may also use facing techniques to create the look of a perfectly-stocked store, even when it is not.
According to the book "Discovery-Based Retail", customer service is the "sum of acts and elements that allow consumers to receive what they need or desire from your retail establishment."
- Krafft, Manfred; Mantrala, Murali K. (eds.) (2006). Retailing in the 21st century: current and future trends, New York: Springer Verlag.
- Brand names
- Consumer behavior
- Quality of services
- Retail design
- Sales personnel
- Self employment
- Visual merchandising
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