Under this classification, retailers are divided based on the width (i.e., number of different product lines) and depth (i.e., number of different products within a product line) of the products they carry.
- General Merchandisers – These retailers carry a wide range of product categories (i.e., broad width), though the number of different items within a particular product line is generally limited (i.e., shallow depth).
- Multiple Lines Specialty Merchandisers – Retailers classified in this category stock a limited number of product lines (i.e., narrow width). However, within the categories they handle, they often offer a greater selection (i.e., extended depth) than is offered by general merchandisers. For example, a consumer electronics retailer, such as Best Buy, would fall into this category.
- Single Line Specialty Merchandisers – Some retailers limit their offerings to just one product line (i.e., very narrow width), and sometimes only one product (i.e., very shallow depth). This can be seen online where a relatively small website may sell a single product, such as computer gaming software. Another example may be a small jewelry store that only handles watches.