A retail trade is a business enterprise that carries out the sale of commodities and services directly to the final consumers. He/she usually purchases commodities in large scale from wholesale merchants and sells them in small scales to the final consumers. He/she represents the last stage in the distribution where products move from the hands of traders to ultimate consumers or users. It is, thus, that branch of business which deals with the sale of commodities and services to the final consumers, for their personal, non-business use.
There are various ways of selling the goods such as personally, by telephone, or by vending machines and also, the products can be sold at various places such as in a store, at the customer's house or any other place. Some of the usual situations that we face in our day to day life for example, are the sale of ball pens or some magic medicine or book of jokes in the roadways buses; the sale of cosmetics/detergent powder, door-to-door sales; and the sale of vegetables on the road side by a small farmer. But as long as the commodities are sold to final customers, these will be considered as cases of retail sales. Thus, irrespective of 'how' the goods are sold or 'where' they are sold, if the sale is made directly to the customers, it will be called as retailing. A retailer carries out various functions in the distribution of commodities and services. He/she buys various products from wholesalers and others, arranges for proper storage of the commodities, sells them in small scale, bears business risks, grades the products, collects market information, extends credit to the buyers and promotes the sale of products through displays, participation in various schemes, etc.
Services of Retailers
Retailers form an important link between the manufacturers and final customers in the distribution of commodities and services in this process. They present useful services to the users, wholesale merchants and producers. Some of them are given below: