Retail pricing.According to the data website Statista, in

Retail trade offers goods to the general public, from a small-scale itinerant merchant to a warehouse-sized hypermarket. In this lesson, you’ll learn more about the characteristics and types of retail trade operations.

What Is Retail Trade?

It’s noon on a Saturday, and you’ve got a full list of errands you need to run. You stop first at a department store to pick up a pair of shoes you need for next weekend’s softball game. Then you swing by a used bookstore to pick up a textbook.

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Last, you pull into the grocery store, determined to buy some snacks and get home before the football game comes on.You just had a full afternoon of supporting retail trade in various forms. Retail trade encompasses the department store, bookstore, and grocery store you stopped at, along with many others who sell new or used goods to the public for personal or household use.

That could include new and used clothing from specialty or consignment stores and even food and beverages from the grocer. Retail differs from wholesale trade, which focuses on selling to businesses, governments, and institutions.

Shoppers participating in retail trade
Example of Itinerant Retailer
Itinerant Vendor

Next we have department stores.

A department store is a larger retail location that carries many different types of goods under one roof, generally divided into different departments such as housewares or bedding. Examples include Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, and Lifestyle.Chain stores are another retail trade category. Chain stores share the same basic design, layout, and products, as well as name, and are located across the nation or world.

Chain stores are owned by the same company, so they are recognizable from one location to the next. A department store might be part of a chain. Some examples include Central, Brand Factory, and Planet Sports.

Mail-order houses are another category. Mail-order houses help to sell or process advertising or orders for a business that operates through a catalog or mail orders. Goods are delivered to the consumers through the mail system, rather than being purchased in store.

This could include goods purchased from a popular catalog received in the mail.Next we have teleshopping. Since mail-order allows you to buy and receive goods through the mail, teleshopping allows you to buy goods via telephone or an Internet link and have them delivered to your house. Telebrands in India is one example of a teleshopping experience.Franchises offer a great way for a company to expand its network using a third party as the owner/operator. In franchising, franchisors set up an agreement with a franchisee to conduct business under the franchise name, with the franchisor providing products, services, marketing support, and other help.

Bunny Burger is an example of a franchise operation.A consumer cooperative store is an operation owned by the consumers in an effort to get better prices for all its members. The goal of a cooperative store is to provide products or services rather than make a lot of money. The Raigad District Central Co-operative Bank is an example of a cooperative enterprise.A hypermarket resembles a warehouse-type retail store that offers many of the features of a grocery store, department store, and specialty store rolled into one. These are typically very large retail trade locations, such as SPAR Hypermarket, and are a type of one-stop shopping for many needs.The final category we’ll discuss includes automatic vending machines.

Vending machines dispense certain types of goods without the need for a salesperson or an attendant. Consumers can insert their money into the machine, make their selection, and retrieve their item through a door or chute. Vending machines usually dispense beverages, snacks, and tobacco products.

Lesson Summary

Retail trade comes in many forms, with the same basic concept: the sale of new or used goods to the public for personal or household use.

Among the different types of retail trade operations are the following:

  • Itinerant and fixed shops
  • Department stores
  • Chain stores
  • Mail-order houses
  • Teleshopping
  • Franchises
  • Consumer cooperative stores
  • Hypermarkets
  • Automatic vending machines

The smallest of these would be the merchant who sells on the street or at a market, with no permanent store location, known as an itinerant merchant, while the largest would be the hypermarket.


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