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Drawing of a self-service store.

Retailing consists of the sale of goods/merchandise for personal or household consumption either from a fixed location such as a department store or kiosk, or from a fixed location and related subordinated services.<ref name="fas">Template:Cite web</ref> In commerce, a retailer buys goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells individual items or small quantities to the general public or end-user customers, usually in a shop, also called a store. Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Marketers see retailing as part of their overall distribution strategy.

Shops may be on residential streets, or in shopping streets with little or no houses, or in a shopping center. Shopping streets may or may not be for pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to protect customers from precipitation. On-line retailing (e-commerce) is the latest form of non-shop retailing (cf. mail order).

Shopping generally refers to the act of buying products. Sometimes this is done to obtain necessities such as food and clothing, sometimes it is done as a recreational activity. Recreational shopping often involves window shopping (just looking, not buying) and browsing and does not always result in a purchase.


[edit] Retail pricing

The pricing technique used by most retailers is cost-plus pricing. This involves adding a markup amount (or percentage) to the retailers cost. Another common technique is suggested retail pricing. This simply involves charging the amount suggested by the manufacturer and usually printed on the product by the manufacturer.

In Western countries, retail prices are often so-called psychological prices or odd prices: a little less than a round number, e.g. $6.95. In Chinese societies, prices are generally either a round number or sometimes a lucky number. This creates price points.

Often prices are fixed and displayed on signs or labels. Alternatively, there can be price discrimination for a variety of reasons. The retailer charges higher prices to some customers and lower prices to others. For example, a customer may have to pay more if the seller determines that he or she is willing to. The retailer may conclude this due to the customer's wealth, carelessness, lack of knowledge, or eagerness to buy. Price discrimination can lead to a bargaining situation often called haggling — a negotiation about the price. Economists see this as determining how the transaction's total surplus will be divided into consumer and producer surplus. Neither party has a clear advantage, because the threat of no sale exists, whence the surplus vanishes for both.

Retailers who are overstocked, or need to raise cash to renew stocks may resort to "Sales", where prices are "marked down", often by advertised percentages - "50% off" for example."Sales" are often held at fixed times of the year, for example January sales, or end-of-season sales, or Blue Cross Sale

[edit] Etymology

Retail comes from the French word retaillier which refers to "cutting off , clip and divide" in terms of tailoring (1365). It first was recorded as a noun with the meaning of a "sale in small quantities" in 1433 (French). Its literal meaning for retail was to "cut off, shred, paring". Like the French, the word retail in both Dutch and German (detailhandel and Einzelhandel respectively) also refer to sale of small quantities or items.

[edit] Retail types

There are three major types of retailing. The first is the market, a physical location where buyers and sellers converge. Usually this is done on town squares, sidewalks or designated streets and may involve the construction of temporary structures (market stalls). The second form is shop or store trading. Some shops use counter-service, where goods are out of reach of buyers, and must be obtained from the seller. This type of retail is common for small expensive items (e.g. jewelry) and controlled items like medicine and liquor. Self-service, where goods may be handled and examined prior to purchase, has become more common since the Twentieth Century. A third form of retail is virtual retail, where products are ordered via mail, telephone or online without having been examined physically but instead in a catelogue, on television or on a website. Sometimes this kind of retailing replicates existing retail types such as online shops or virtual marketplaces such as E-Bay.<ref name="O'Brien">O'Brien, Larry and Frank Harris (1991) Retailing: shopping, society, space, David Fulton Publishers, London</ref>.

Buildings for retail have changed considerably over time. Market halls were constructed in the middle ages, which were essentially just covered marketplaces. The first shops in the modern sense used to deal with just one type of article, and usually adjoined the producer (baker, tailor, cobbler). In the nineteenth century, in France, arcades were invented, which were a street of several different shops, roofed over. From this there soon developed, still in France, the notion of a large store of one ownership with many counters, each dealing with a different kind of article was invented; it was called a department store. One of the novelties of the department store was the introduction of fixed prices, making haggling unnecessary, and browsing more enjoyable. This is commonly considered the birth of consumerism <ref name="Chung">Chung, Chuihua Judy (ed.) (2001) Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping, Taschen, Köln</ref>. In cities, these were multi-story buildings which pioneered the escalator.

In the 1920's the first supermarket opened in the United States, heralding in a new era of retail: self-service. Around the same time the first shopping mall was constructed <ref name="Borking">Borking, Seline (1998) The Fascinating History of Shopping Malls, MAB Groep BV, The Hague</ref> which incorporated elements from both the arcade and the department store. A mall consists of several department stores linked by arcades (many of whose shops are owned by the same firm under different names). The design was perfected by the Austrian architecht Victor Gruen<ref name="Hardwick">Hardwick, Jeffrey (2004) Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.</ref>. . All the stores rent their space from the mall owner. By mid-century, most of these were being developed as single enclosed, climate-controlled, projects in suburban areas. The mall has had a considerable impact on the retail structure and urban development in the United States. <ref name="Kowinski">Kowinski, William Severini (2002) The Malling of America: travels in the United States of Shopping, Xlibris Corporstion.</ref>

In addition to the enclosed malls, there are also strip malls which are 'outside' malls (in Britain they are called retail parks. These are often connected to supermarkets or big box stores. Also, in high traffic areas, other businesses may lease space from the supermarket or big box store to sell their goods or services from. A recent development is a very large shop called a superstore. These are sometimes located as stand-alone outlets, but more commonly are part of a strip mall or retail park.

Local shops can be known as brick and mortar stores in the United States.Many shops are part of a chain: a number of similar shops with the same name selling the same products in different locations. The shops may be owned by one company, or there may be a franchising company that has franchising agreements with the shop owners (see also restaurant chain).

Some shops sell second-hand goods. Often the public can also sell goods to such shops, sometimes called 'pawn' shops. In other cases, especially in the case of a nonprofit shop, the public donates goods to the shop to be sold (see also thrift store). In give-away shops goods can be taken for free.

There are also 'consignment' shops, which is where a person can place an item in a store, and if it sells the person gives the shop owner a percentage of the sale price. The advantage of selling an item this way is that the established shop give the item exposure to more potential buyers.

The term retailer is also applied where a service provider services the needs of a large number of individuals, such as with telephone or electric power.

[edit] See also

  • Variety store
  • Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania [1]

[edit] References

<references/>pt:Varejo ru:Розничная торговля


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