retailing


retailing
/ree"tay ling/, n.
the business of selling goods directly to consumers (distinguished from wholesaling).
[1400-50; late ME; see RETAIL, -ING1]

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Selling of merchandise directly to the consumer.

Retailing began several thousand years ago with peddlers hawking their wares at the earliest marketplaces. It is extremely competitive, and the failure rate of retail establishments is relatively high. Price is the most important arena of competition, but other factors include convenience of location, selection and display of merchandise, attractiveness of the establishment, and reputation. The diversity of retailing is evident in the many forms it now takes, including vending machines, door-to-door and telephone sales, direct-mail marketing, the Internet, discount houses, specialty stores, department stores, supermarkets, and consumer cooperatives.

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      the selling of merchandise and certain services to the consumer. It ordinarily involves the selling of individual units or small lots to large numbers of customers by a business set up for that specific purpose. In the broadest sense, retailing can be said to have begun the first time one item of value was bartered for another. In the more restricted sense of a specialized, full-time commercial activity, retailing began several thousand years ago when peddlers first began hawking their wares and when the first marketplaces were formed.

      As with most other business activities, retailing is extremely competitive, and the mortality rate of retail establishments is relatively high. The basic competition is price competition, but this is moderated somewhat by such non-price forms of competition as convenience of location, selection and display of merchandise, attractiveness of the retail establishment itself, and intangible factors such as reputation in the community. Competition for sales has led to a blurring of traditional product lines in retailing, and many establishments offer a much wider variety of merchandise than their basic classification would indicate (e.g., drugstores may carry food, clothing, office supplies, hardware, etc.).

      The diversity of retailing is evident in the many forms this commercial activity now takes, including vending machines, door-to-door sales, telephone sales, mail-order houses, specialty stores, department stores, supermarkets, discount houses, and consumer cooperatives. Whatever form it takes, however, the essence of good retailing remains the same: attractive, appropriate merchandise offered for sale in an attractive, eye-catching manner at a reasonable price at a convenient location. See also marketing.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • retailing — [[t]ri͟ːteɪlɪŋ[/t]] N UNCOUNT: oft N n Retailing is the activity of selling goods direct to the public, usually in small quantities. Compare wholesaling. She spent fourteen years in retailing. ...the car retailing industry …   English dictionary

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  • retailing — noun Date: 14th century the activities involved in the selling of goods to ultimate consumers for personal or household consumption …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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