1. Introduction

Retail involves the sale of goods from a single point (malls, markets, department stores etc) directly to the consumer in small quantities for his end use. In a layman’s language, retailing is nothing but transaction of goods between the seller and the end user as a single unit (piece) or in small quantities to satisfy the needs of the individual and for his direct consumption.

2. The Supply chain

  • Manufacturers – Manufacturers are the ones who are involved in production of goods with the help of machines, labour and raw materials.
  • Wholesaler – The wholesaler is the one who purchases the goods from the manufacturers and sells to the retailers in large numbers but at a lower price. A wholesaler never sells goods directly to the end users.
  • Retailer – A retailer comes at the end of the supply chain who sells the products in small quantities to the end users as per their requirement and need. The end user goes to the retailer to buy the goods (products) in small quantities to satisfy his needs and demands. The complete process is also called as Shopping.
  • Shopping – The process of purchasing products by the consumer is called as shopping. However there are certain cases where shopping does not always end in buying of product.

3. Importance of retail management

The various processes which help the customers to procure the desired merchandise from the retail stores for their end use refer to retail management. Retail management includes all the steps required to bring the customers into the store and fulfill their buying needs.

Retail management makes shopping a pleasurable experience and ensures the customers leave the store with a smile. In simpler words, retail management helps customers shop without any difficulty. You just can’t afford to make the customer wait for long. The merchandise needs to be well organized to avoid unnecessary searching.  Retail management saves time and ensures the customers easily locate their desired merchandise and return home satisfied.

An effective management avoids unnecessary chaos at the store.

Effective Management controls shopliftings to a large extent.

  • The retailer must keep a record of all the products coming into the store.
  • The products must be well arranged on the assigned shelves according to size, colour, gender, patterns etc.
  • Plan the store layout well.
  • The range of products available at the store must be divided into small groups comprising of similar products. Such groups are called categories. A customer can simply walk up to a particular category and look for products without much assistance.
  • A unique SKU code must be assigned to each and every product for easy tracking.
  • Necessary labels must be put on the shelves for the customers to locate the merchandise on their own.
  • Don’t keep the customers waiting.
  • Make sure the sales representatives attend the customers well. Assist them in their shopping. Greet them with a smile
  • The retailer must ensure enough stock is available at the store.
  • Make sure the store is kept clean. Don’t stock unnecessary furniture as it gives a cluttered look to the store. The customers must be able to move freely.
  • The store manager, department managers, cashier and all other employees should be trained from time to time to extract the best out of them. They should be well aware of their roles and responsibilities and customer oriented. They should be experts in their respective areas.
  • The store manager must make daily sales reports to keep a track of the cash flow. Use softwares or maintain registers for the same.
  • Remove the unsold merchandise from the shelves. Keep them somewhere else.
  • Create an attractive display.
  • Plan things well in advance to avoid confusions later on.
  • Ask the customers to produce bills in case of exchange. Assign fixed timings for the same. Don’t entertain customers after a week.

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