Retailers can be classified based on their general pricing strategy. Retailers must decide whether their approach is to use price as a competitive advantage or to seek competitive advantage in non-price ways.
Discount retailers are best known for selling low-priced products having a low profit margin (i.e., price minus cost). To make profits these retailers look to sell in high volume. Typically discount retailers operate with low overhead costs by vigorously controlling operational spending on such things as real estate (e.g., location of retail outlet), design issues (e.g., store layout, website presentation), and by offering fewer services to their customers.
The objective of some retailers is not to compete on price but alternatively not to be seen as charging the highest price. These retailers, who often operate in specialty markets, aggressively monitor the market to insure their pricing is competitive but they do not desire to get into price wars with discount retailers. Thus, other elements of the marketing mix (e.g., higher quality products, more attractive store setting) are used to create higher value for which the customer will pay more.
Retailers targeting exclusive markets find such markets are far less price sensitive than mass or specialty markets. In these cases, the additional value added through increased operational spending (e.g., expensive locations, more attractive design, more services) justify higher retail prices. While these retailers are likely to sell in lower volume than discount or competitive pricing retailers, the profit margins for each product are often much higher.