Chapter 9: Retailing

Chapter Summary:

In this chapter, we begin our discussion of resellers by examining the role retailers serve in reselling a marketer’s products. We begin by setting out reasons why selecting resellers is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. We then turn our attention to a detailed look at retailing, which in terms of sales volume and number of employees is one of the largest sectors of most economies. We show that retailing is quite diverse, and marketers, who want to distribute through retailers, must be familiar with the differences that exist among different retail options. The chapter concludes with a look at the key concerns facing today’s retailers.

Key Issues:

  • Importance of Resellers
  • What is Retailing?
  • Benefits of Retailers
  • Ways to Categorize Retailers
  • Retail Formats
  • Concerns of Retailers

Cited References:

  1. “2017 Economic Census for Retail Trade.” United States Census Bureau.
  2. For insight on how the pandemic hastened growth of self-service in the resort industry see: Bailey Schulz. “Pandemic Accelerates Adoption of Self-Service Tech in Resorts.” Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 24, 2020.
  3. For many years the largest department store in terms of square footage was Macy’s in New York City. However, today the largest store is Shinsegae located in Seoul, South Korea which covers more than 3 million square feet. For more see: Shinsegae. Wikipedia.
  4. For a list of top franchises see: “Franchise 500 Ranking.” Entrepreneur Magazine.
  5. For the purpose of this discussion, we also include many kiosks under the vending category. To learn more about advanced vending machines or kiosks see: Kiosk Marketplace.
  6. The concerns listed in this section represent decisions controlled by retailers. As we will see in Chapter 19, uncontrollable external forces are also a concern. In fact, the impact of the coronavirus was devastating with many major retailers going out of business as listed here: Emily Pandise. “From Friendly’s to J. Crew, Main Street Bankruptcies Continue.” NBC News, May 15, 2020.
  7. For more information on RFID tags see: “What is RFID?” American Barcode and RFID.
  8. For more on contactless payments see Forms of Payment in Chapter 18.
  9. Some retailers experiment with temporary locations under a retail concept called pop-up stores or flash retailing. For more see: “Pop-up Retail.” Wikipedia.
  10. When it comes to the marketing decisions, retailers can often find success for several different reasons such as selling great products (e.g., Apple stores), offering excellent personalized care (e.g., Zappos), attracting customers with low prices (e.g., Walmart), or providing ordering and delivery convenience (e.g., Amazon). However, while these examples of retail success may suggest it is about being great at one key marketing element (e.g., being good at customer service), what all successful retailers have in common is they expend great effort in researching customer needs and in capturing customer data in an effort to fully understand their target market. Thus, we have another example of how the key to marketing success is almost always about knowing and understanding customers through marketing research.