“Why are you doing this? How are you making a difference? What is your reason for being besides making money? There is no engine or vehicle-like business to make a difference.” – Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods.
Retail businesses are an integral part of society and the economy. These essential businesses provide people with access to a wide variety of products and services that sustain us. Brick-and-mortar retailers offer customers a physical shopping experience, while online retailers provide convenience and access to global markets. There are many retail stores; each offers customers value in different ways. This blog looks at department stores, specialty retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, warehouse clubs, discount stores, and niche retailers. The aim is to demonstrate how retail businesses enhance our quality of life. Stick around to learn more!
Why are Retailers Important?
As people go through trials and tribulations of life, we often overlook the essential nature of the retail stores, supermarkets and specialty shops. In fact, we take them for granted! However, retail businesses provide essential products and services to us for consumption, use, or pleasure. Moreover, Retailers are the vital conduit that connects manufacturers to customers.
Retail stores also create a convenient shopping environment and enjoyable atmosphere for people to evaluate and choose between brands, volumes, sizes, prices, and preferences. Lastly, retailers participate in supply chain activities and undertake marketing functions that allow people to find and access the goods they need and want to live reliably.
How do Retail Businesses “Add-Value” to the Lives of People?
In retail, the term “add-value” (or value-added) is the utility that goods or services provide consumers. Companies usually define the value they provide customers through their value proposition. Value proposition refers to the benefits customers receive from products in exchange for their hard-earned dollars. The following are five ways retail outlets can add value for customers, they include:
Types of Retail Outlets and the Value they Offer Consumers
“I was reading all these reports that were down on retail brick-and-mortar, saying it’s all about online…I think brick-and-mortar is an amazing opportunity to use our stores and our store staff as a vehicle to truly engage with the community in a way no other retailers are doing.” – Jim Brett, President, West Elm.
Department stores are large retail outlets divided into departments selling many consumer products, including home furnishings, electronics, clothing, footwear, toys, cosmetics, groceries, and others. These large retail outlets specialize in offering a wide range of goods without a signature brand. Department stores design their business models to serve the needs of all social classes.
Specialty Retail Stores
Specialty Retail stores are businesses that focuses on selling a specific or narrow line of products. Specialty stores are often retail businesses that focus on particular product categories. For example, home improvement stores, florists, sporting goods stores, and bookstores are all specialty stores. The purpose of specialty stores is to offer specific expertise, efficient customer service, and higher-quality specialized goods.
Supermarkets or grocery stores are large retail markets selling groceries, fresh produce, meat, bakery, dairy products, and sometimes an assortment of nonfood goods. These stores provide the everyday food items that keep society functioning.
A convenience store is usually a small retail outlet that provides consumers with a convenient location to purchase various consumable goods and services quickly and easily. Shopping at a convenience store is efficient because of the smaller selection of items, the proximity of the parking lot to the store, and the short checkout lines.
- 88% of Americans say convenience stores are essential businesses. (NACS)
Convenience stores are critical retail outlets that provide essential services and quick access to basic necessities. Additionally, convenience store culture often leads to good quality products and services that save time and hassle.
Retail Drug stores / Pharmacies
Drugstores specialize in selling prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and various health-related items. In addition, these specialty stores may also offer cosmetics, toiletries, greeting cards, and a variety of household items such as cleaning supplies and packaged foods and drinks.
The primary function of pharmacies is to ensure that prescription drugs are safely dispensed to patients as physicians prescribe. Also, pharmacists advise patients about their medications, including the correct dosages, when to take them, and possible side effects. In addition to fulfilling prescriptions, capable pharmacies offer preventive healthcare services such as vaccinations. And new technologies at a pharmacy can assist patients with prescription reminders and alerts which help reduce medical errors.
Warehouse (or wholesale outlets) clubs operate extensive facilities and charge patrons annual membership fees. These large retail outlets sell brand-name grocery items, appliances, clothing, and miscellaneous goods at substantial discounts. Furthermore, to attract shoppers, warehouse clubs may sell large, wholesale quantities of the store’s products at a discount, making these clubs attractive to bargain hunters and small business owners.
The main advantage that warehouse and club stores have is that they can offer their products at a lower price than traditional retail stores. This is because they sell their products in bulk and do not have the same overhead costs as traditional retail stores. Also, warehouse clubs play a strategic role in the supply chain by enabling inventory distribution, sorting, or cross-docking processes that strive to meet the increasing market demand.
Discount stores in retail are stores that sell products at prices lower than those asked by traditional retailers. Some discount stores are similar to department stores offering a wide range of goods at low prices. These are often referred to as discount department stores. These low-price retailers aim to develop a large customer base and generate high revenues through large sales volumes. At the same time, shoppers can buy good quality products at low prices.
Niche Retail Stores
Niche retailers are businesses that sell a single product type or goods within a specific category or niche. These retailers usually appeal to a particular target audience, allowing them to meet the unique demands of that group. Moreover, they face few direct competitors by focusing on serving a specific market. However, the pool of consumers seeking out niche product offerings is small, making it challenging for these retailers to grow.
“My company is an extension of me, so when I designed my stores, I wanted people to feel that they were in my home.” – Tory Burch.
Retail businesses are invaluable in our daily lives, communities, and the economy. They provide us access to a wide range of goods and services at different price points and value offerings. Each type offers customers something different, from department stores to specialty retailers depending on their needs and preferences. Brick-and-mortar locations offer a physical shopping experience, while online stores provide convenience and access to global markets. By supporting these businesses, we improve our quality of life and enhance the vitality of our communities.
Thank you for reading our article!
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