Executive Summary

Retailing includes all the activities in selling goods or services directly to final consumers for personal, nonbusiness use. Retailers can be store retailers, nonstore retailers, and retail organizations. Nonstore retailing is growing and includes direct selling, direct marketing, automatic vending, and buying services. As new retail forms have emerged, competition between them has increased, the rise of giant retailers has been matched by the decline of middle-market retailers, investment in technology has grown, and shopper marketing has become a priority. Like all marketers, retailers must make decisions about target markets, channels, product assortment and procurement, prices, services, store atmosphere, store activities and experiences, communications, and location. A private-label brand is one that retailers and wholesalers develop. Private labels are rapidly gaining ground, creating marketing challenges for manufacturers’ and national brands.

Wholesaling includes all the activities in selling goods or services to those who buy for resale or business use. Wholesalers can perform functions better and more cost-effectively than the manufacturer can. These functions include selling and promoting, buying and assortment building, bulk breaking, warehousing, transportation, financing, risk bearing, dissemination of market information, and provision of management services and consulting. The most successful are those that adapt their services to meet suppliers’ and target customers’ needs. Producers of physical products and services must decide on market logistics—the best way to store and move goods and services to market destinations and to coordinate the activities of suppliers, purchasing agents, manufacturers, marketers, channel members, and customers.

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