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Types and Functions of Retailers in Marketing

Retailing includes all the activities involved in selling goods or services- directly, to final consumers. A retailer is defined as a middleman who sells, mainly, to the ultimate consumer, in small quantities.

He/she may sell to institutions, but most of his sales are made to industrial or household consumers. The retailer is the last link and the most important intermediary in the chain of distribution. Mass production, in the present day set-up, is geared to the requirements of the ultimate consumer.

Retailers are, directly, in touch with consumers and, thus, occupy a strategic position in the whole chain of distribution.

The basic feature of retail trading is the purchase of goods from wholesalers and selling them in small lots to consumers.

The retail shop is one of the oldest and most widely used business establishments in any country. The retail business originated through the use of peddlers engaged in house-to-house sales.

This was followed by the opening up of small retail shops, usually, owned by sole proprietors or small partnership firms, which are frequented by customers for obtaining their requirements; examples of these retailers are those small business owners located around us.

Read Also: Functions of Middlemen in Marketing

Functions of Retailers

The following are some of the functions of retailers:

i) Estimation of the probable demand of consumers.
ii) Assembling various types of goods from different wholesalers.
iii) Sale of various products to consumers.

iv) The physical movement of goods from the wholesaler’s warehouses to their stores.
v) Storage of goods to maintain an uninterrupted supply of goods to consumers

vi) Assumption of risk of loss of goods by fire, theft, deterioration, and so on, as long as they are not disposed of by consumers.

vii) Extension of credit to selected, regular customers.
viii) Providing information about the tastes and preferences of consumers to wholesalers/manufacturers.

Read Also: Meaning and the Scope of Consumerism

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