5.5 Importance of Retail Economics
Retailing has a tremendous impact on the economy. It involves high annual sales and employment. Retail involves the selling of goods to end users. While meeting the needs of customers, following are some of the functions performed by a retailer:
Customer Convenience: Perhaps the most important role of bringing the ready to be consumed goods to the doorstep of the consumer is performed by the retail community. Consumers benefit from retailing as retailers perform marketing functions that makes it possible for customers to have access to a broad variety of products and services. Retailing also helps to create place, time and possession utilities. A retailer 's service also helps to build a product 's image. Retailers stock goods and ensure the availability of products and services just when the customer needs them. Convenience Stores operate over extended hours through the week and give customers greater flexibility and choice.
Accessibility: Products and services have no value for consumers until they are acquired and used by the customers. Retailers acquire products and services from different places and. assort them at a single point as per the needs of the consumers and thus facilitate customers ' access.
Convenience of Size: Retailers break bulk and serve the products in smaller quantities and sizes as desired by the customer. For example, shampoo is available in small sachets. The retailer helps consumer by providing appropriate products, service and advice in the packing and quantities desired by them.
Associated Services: A vibrant retail sector benefits the consumers by providing range of products and services efficiently. Retailing can be done in either fixed locations or online. Ret...
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...ful retailers also recognize that people want to see the improvements in the general level of consumption and social cohesion over time. Retailers have to boost their perceived value to the community by acting as a focal point and through effective public relations and promotional campaign including sponsorships. This encourages social responsibility behaviour by the organizations where public welfare programs get funded by a certain percentage of purchase prices of company 's products ( P&G- “padhega India tabhi to badhega India or Whisper’s – education and welfare for girl child program).
Retailers today can no longer be accurately characterized as intermediaries that buy from suppliers and sell to customers. Today they serve as ecosystems in which value is created and delivered to customers and, subsequently, appropriated by the retailer and its business partners.
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