Retailing has mirrored the increasing prominence of the retail industry. Retailing provides necessary service and a positive contribution to the economy. The importance of retailing is given below:
Retailing shapes the lifestyle of people
Retailing contributes to the economy
Retailing dominates the supply chain
Retailing is interdisciplinary
Retailing offers itself as an academic course.
Retailers have status as employers.
Retailers are gatekeepers within the channel of distribution.
Retailers have scope for expanding internationally.
1. Retailing shapes the lifestyle of the people
Retailing is an integral part of the modern society. It shapes the way of life. In the past, trading of goods was a part of a traditional society. But in recent times, buying and selling of goods have become a brand dominated activity.
2. Retailing contributes to the economy
The importance of retail sector is reflected in its contribution to the growth of an economy. Its contribution is much more visible in the modern era than it was in the past. As the retail sector is linked to the significant portion of the economy, its contribution to GDP is substantial. Retailing is the driving force of the economy. It aims at promoting its sustained growth.
3. Retailing dominates the supply chain
Goods and service flow from manufacturers or service providers to consumers. Where consumers are large in number and are widely distributed, the role of retailers becomes crucial. Retailers serve as a connecting link between the wholesalers and consumers. Due to its dominant position in the supply chain, the retail structure has steadily developed over the years.
Now-a-days, retailing is characterized by large multiple chains rather than small scale independent retailers. The formalization and growing importance of retailing has made it powerful in the distribution channel. Now, retailers are compared with manufacturers which indicates the growing dominance of retailers within the supply chain.
Besides, the annual turnovers achieved by the retailers can be compared with the largest companies in other service industries.
4. Retailing is interdisciplinary
The pace of growth within retailing is accelerating. Retailing has emerged from a number of interrelated disciplines such as geography, economics, management and marketing.
5. Retailing is acknowledged as a subject area in its own right
Potter has described the academic study of retailing as the “Cinderella of the social sciences“. Retailing is an accepted area of academic debate, such as marketing and management, developed fully as an area of study. University research centres focus on retailing and professional appointments in retailing have been made. Academic journals focusing on retailing are being published worldwide.
6. Retailers enjoy status as major employers
In today’s society, retailers are the major employers. It is estimated in developed countries that retail industry employs one in nine of the workforce. Retailers employ a significant proportion of the overall workforce.
More than two thirds of the retail force are women. Also, more than half of retailing employees are employed on a part-time basis. This, highly flexible workforce is capable of adapting to the differing labor demands In the past, retailing employees got lower pay and had longer working hours. But now, the retail sector is becoming more organized with better pay scale.
7. Retailers are gatekeepers within the channel of distribution
Retailers are becoming increasingly important in their role as gatekeepers within the channel of distribution. In the past, suppliers were dominant. Retailers supplied the merchandise that was on offer and consumers selected from them. As retailers have become significantly powerful, they are able to influence suppliers and stock only the brands they wish to sell. So, consumers are able to buy only what is stocked and offered to them by the retailers. Retailers are thus considered as shaping consumer demand.
8. Retailing has scope for expanding internationally
Retailing offers scope for shifting retail operations outside the home market. Retailers who focus on luxury goods markets are expanding their business internationally. Retailers are moving into more geographically and culturally distant markets.