The term retailing is derived from the French word “retailer” which means ‘a piece of‘ or ‘to cut up‘. This implies the breaking of bulk quantities of the retailer. The retailer acquires large quantities of the products and cuts them up into smaller quantities and sells them to individual consumers. However, a comprehensive retail marketing function requires a combination of many activities.
Functions of retailers
Generally, retailers are involved in the following functions:
1. Function of breaking bulk: Retailers break up large quantities into smaller units such as individual canes, bottles, packets, appropriate for consumer use.
2. Function of creating place utility: Retailers create place utility by transporting goods to the point of consumption.
3. Stocking Varieties of goods: Retailers buy varieties of goods from various manufacturers or wholesalers. Thus, a retailer provides a wide range of choice enabling the consumers to select the products of their choice.
4. Providing credit facilities to customers: Retailers grant credit facilities to consumers and thus increase their short-term purchasing power.
5. Providing information to customers and wholesalers: Retailers act as a link between the buyers and wholesalers / manufacturers. In the distribution channel, retailers are in direct contact with customers. Retailers supply market information to manufacturers either directly or through wholesalers.
6. Estimating the demand and arranging the purchase of the product: Retailers create demand for products by communicating with their customers. This demand creation is quite helpful for manufacturers and wholesalers.
7. Acting as consumer’s agent: The retailers anticipate the wants of the consumers and then supply them the right kind of goods at a reasonable price. Their job is to make the consumer’s buying as easy and convenient as possible.
9. Connecting link: The retailers are the connecting link between the wholesaler and the ultimate consumer.