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WHAT ARE THE BASIC FUNCTIONS OF A RETAIL OPERATION?

This chapter introduces the key elements of retailing activities. Retailing is the activity involved in selling goods and services to final consumers. The primary functions of a retailer are to provide an assortment of goods that consumers need, market goods through effective pricing, engage in marketing communications, and use in-store merchandising strategies; provide a means to conduct a transaction; and offer e-commerce capabilities that are in tune with today's consumer expectations.

WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS CLASSIFICATIONS OF RETAILERS OPERATING IN CANADA?

Many types of retail operations exist in Canada, and the businesses fall into various classifications. When retailers are classified based on ownership, stores are categorized as retail chain stores, franchised chain stores, and independent stores. When classified according to products and services offered, there are specialty stores, limited-line stores, warehouse outlets, and general merchandise stores. In terms of services provided, there are full-serve stores, limited-serve stores, and self-serve stores. Non-store retailing is an alternative for selling goods. This category of retail operations includes vending machines, direct selling, catalogue marketing, temporary displays and kiosks, pop-up stores, and online retailing.

Emerging trends in retailing are creating challenges and opportunities for retailers. Among these trends are the growth of large-format warehouse outlets, big-box stores located in power malls, and steady growth in online retailing. Traditional retailers must adapt to the changes or suffer the consequences. Having e-commerce capabilities is now an essential component of a retailer's operation. Time-pressed consumers appreciate the convenience of online buying and the delivery of goods directly to their household.

HOW DO MARKETING MANAGERS IN A RETAIL ENVIRONMENT UTILIZE THE RETAILING MARKETING MIX??

The key components of the retailing marketing mix include selecting a good location, building a brand identity that resonates with targeted consumers, creating an atmosphere conducive to a pleasant shopping experience, carrying an appropriate selection of merchandise, offering appropriate services, and communicating with customers in a meaningful manner. The marketing manager must assess all of these variables and devise marketing strategies that will encourage store traffic, build sales, and ultimately form a strong relationship with customers.