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The word ‘Retailer’ had been derived from the French word ‘Re-tailer’

which means ‘to-cut again’. Obviously then, retailing means to cut in

small portions from large lumps of goods. A retailer is last middlemen in

the chain of distribution of goods to consumers. He is a link between the

wholesalers and the consumer.

The American Marketing Association defines retailing as “the activities

involved in selling directly to the ultimate consumer for personal and

non-business use. It embraces direct-to-customer sales activities of the

producer, whether through his own stores or by house-to-house

canvassing or by mail-order business. The retailer is an intermediary in

the marketing channels and is a specialist who maintains contact with

the consumer and the producer and is an important connecting link in

the mechanism of marketing.

haracteristics of Retailers:

C (i) A retailer is the link between a wholesaler and the ultimate

consumer and he is the last intermediary in distribution.

(ii) A retailer buys goods from wholesaler in bulk and resells them to
consumers in small quantities.

(iii) A retailer maintains a personal contact with his customers.


(iv) A retailer makes sufficient shop display of his wares to attract

(v) Retailers perform all the marketing functions which a wholesaler
performs and in addition emphasises on advertisement.

(vi) Retailers deal in a variety of merchandise and are often known as

general merchants.

(vii) Usually retailers are classified into two major groups, viz., small
scale retailers and large scale retailers.


(vii) Retailers aim at providing maximum satisfaction to their customers

in limited area.

Pre-Requisites of Retail Trade:

The success of retail trade is based on a proper combination of the

following factors:

(i) Locations:


The ultimate success of a retailer depends on the location of his shop.

Proper selection of location is important for a retailer to establish his

(ii) Price:

A proper pricing policy can give better results for a retailer if he can
combine low prices with good quality to attract consumers.

(iii) Sales Promotion:


A retailer must arrange for proper sales promotion campaigns in order to

familiarise the customers of that area with his products.

(iv) Prudent Buying Principles:

Every retailer ought to be a shrewd purchaser; only then he can give his
best to his customers. Careful buying earns rich dividends in retail trade.

(v) Knowledge of Merchandise:

Modern business is so complex and the variety and quality of goods
being so diverse, a retailer must have adequate and latest knowledge of
the wares he sells. It would not only enable him to answer customer
queries satisfactorily but also to handle the complications of his
business. Thus adequate knowledge of merchandise is another pre-
requisite feature of retail trade.