Retail is the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the end-user. Retailers are part of an integrated system called the supply chain. A retailer purchases goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers directly or through a wholesale, and then sells smaller quantities to the consumer for a profit.
Retail is usually classified by type of products as follows:
1.Food products — typically require cold storage facilities.
2.Hard goods or durable goods ("hardline retailers") — appliances, electronics, furniture, sporting goods, etc. Goods that do not quickly wear out and provide utility over time.
3.Soft goods or consumables — clothing, apparel, and other fabrics. Goods that are consumed after one use or have a limited period (typically under three years) in which you may use them.
There are the following types of retailers by marketing strategy:
Department stores —
very large stores offering a huge assortment of "soft" and "hard goods; often bear a resemblance to a collection of specialty stores. A retailer of such store carries variety of categories and has broad assortment at average price. They offer considerable customer service.
Discount stores —
tend to offer a wide array of products and services, but they compete mainly on price offers extensive assortment of merchandise at affordable and cut-rate prices. Normally, retailers sell less fashion-oriented brands.
Variety stores —
these offer extremely low-cost goods, with limited selection;
Demographic —
retailers that aim at one particular segment (e.g., high-end retailers focusing on wealthy individuals).
Mom-And-Pop —
a small retail outlet owned and operated by an individual or family. Focuses on a relatively limited and selective set of products.
Specialty stores —
a typical speciality store gives attention to a particular category and provides high level of service to the customers. A pet store that specializes in selling dog food would be regarded as a specialty store. However, branded stores also come under this format. For example if a customer visits a Reebok or Gap store then they find just Reebok and Gap products in the respective stores.
Boutiques or Concept stores —
similar to specialty stores. Concept stores are very small in size, and only ever stock one brand. They are run by the brand that controls them. An example of brand that distributes largely through their own widely distributed concept stores is L'OCCITANE en Provence. The limited size and offering of L'OCCITANE's stores are too small to be considered a specialty store proper.
General store —
a rural store that supplies the main needs for the local community;
Convenience stores —
essentially found in residential areas. They provide limited amount of merchandise at more than average prices with a speedy checkout. This store is ideal for emergency and immediate purchases as it often works with extended hours, stocking everyday;
Hypermarkets —
provides variety and huge volumes of exclusive merchandise at low margins. The operating cost is comparatively less than other retail formats.

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