Although the greatest amount of customer awareness in terms of discount retailing is most notably with the giants in the industry, there are a significant number of independent entrepreneurs that also sell their goods at prices below the traditional retail. With their larger counterparts able to offer a wealth of services to attract shoppers to their premises and off-site ventures, the smaller merchant oftentimes must use the only tool he or she has to operate a successful retail venture, price. With operating costs relatively low, sometimes calling only for the owner and perhaps an employee or two to run the operation, reduced rentals in off-the- beaten-path locations, and word of mouth as the only means of attracting customers, the ability to sell at a lower than traditional price is a reality. The enormous costs of employee benefits packages, lower insurance premiums, and do-it-yourself visual merchandising also contribute to a reduction in expenses.
Retailers of this size are generally specialists who deal exclusively with apparel and accessories primarily for women, with some selling men’s and children’s wear. With markups generally at least 20 percent lower than the conventional retail operations, stores of this nature often attract the attention of the shopper interested in quality merchandise, but at lower prices.
You might wonder why they are able to remain as viable businesses with the likes of the giants in the field who also offer value shopping. The answer is simple: Some shoppers prefer the comforts of a small store with personalized attention to the impersonal environments generally found in the major ones.