It is necessary to understand that in the complex world of trade today, retail would include not only goods but also services, which may be provided to the end consumer. In an age where the customer is the king and marketers are focusing on customer delight/retailing may be redefined as the first point of customer contact.
According to Phillip Kotler “Retailing includes all the activities involved in selling goods or services to the final consumers for personal, non-business use. A retailer or retail store is any business enterprise whose sale volume comes primarily from retailing.”
Retailing today is at an interesting crossroads. On the one hand, retail sales are not at their highest point in history. New technologies are improving retail productivity and global retailing possibilities abound. On the other hand, retailers face numerous challenges.
A retailer provides a number of services to the customer and to the wholesaler which are discussed below:
- He provides ready stock of goods and as such he sells and quantity of goods desired by the customers.
- He keeps a large variety of goods produced by different producers and thereby ensures a wide variety of choice to the customers.
- He relives the consumers of maintaining large quantity of goods for future period because he himself holds large stock of goods.
- He develops personal relationship with the customers by giving them credit.
- He provides free-home delivery service to the customers.
- He informs the new product to the customers.
- He makes arrangement for replacement of goods when he receive complaints.
- He gives valuable market information with regard to taste, fashion and demand for the goods to the wholesaler.
- The retailer maintains direct contact with the customers and so he relieves the wholesaler with regard to maintenance of direct contact.
- He helps the wholesaler in getting their goods distributed to the consumer.
- He is regarded as an important link between the wholesaler and the consumer.
- He creates demand for the products by displaying the goods to the consumers.