Large Scale Retail Organisations
The retail trade is conducted now on a large scale. The mass production of goods and the concentration of population in urban centres has necessitated the establishment of large-scale retail trading houses. There are many advantages of retailing on a large scale.
However, in spite of the economies of large scale retailing, the small-scale units could not be eliminated because of the various special advantages possessed by them.
Some of the more prominent large-scale retail organisations are as follows:
- Departmental Stores.
- Multiple Shops or Chain Stores.
- mail Order Houses.
- Super Markets.
- Consumer Co-Operative Stores.
- Hire-Purchase Trading Houses.
- Vending Machines.
- One Price Shops.
A departmental store is a large-scale retail organisation having a number of departments under one roof. Each department specializes in one particular kind of trade. All these departments are centrally organized and are under one united management and control. A departmental store is an organisation of several retail stores carried on in one building and under united controlled management. The basic objective of a departmental store is to provide a large variety or merchandise from a pin to an aero plane at one place.
Multiple Shops or Chain Stores
A multiple shop system is a network of branch shops, situated at different localities in the city or in different parts of the country, under a centralized management and dealing in similar lines of goods. Such multiple shops are very common and popular in the West and are known as Chain Stores. According to J.L. Fri, Chain stores is a group of stores handling similar lines of merchandise with single ownership and centralized Location."
The Federal Trade commission defined a chain store as "an organisation owing a controlling interest in two or more establishments which sell substantially similar merchandise at retail prices."
Mail Order Sale Houses
mail order sale is a retail business where orders are placed by post or mail and goods are received either by registered parcel or V.P.P. i.e., Value Payable Post. Under such a type of selling, the seller advertises his products in the leading dailies and magazines of the area and the intending buyers respond to such advertisements by requesting for catalogues and price lists from the seller. The buyers do not inspect the goods before purchasing but place orders on the basis of the advertisements which they see in the newspapers and magazines. After orders are received from customers, the goods are dispatched by V.P.P. or registered mail. The postman of the buyer's locality delivers the goods to him and takes the payment for the same. Thus the post office plays a vital role in such a type of sale, and it is because of this type of sale is also sometimes referred to as "Shopping by Post".
The super market is a large-scale retail institution specializing in necessaries and convenience goods. They have huge premises and generally deal in food and non-food articles. In the words of M. M. ZIMMERMAN, "A super market is a departmentalized retail establishment having four basic departments viz, self-service grocery, meat produce diary products plus other household departments, doing a maximum business. It may be entirely owner- operated or have some of the departments leased out on a concession basis."
Super markets came into existence in the USA during the Great Depression of the thirties. However, the original super markets were established by independent merchants who dealt mainly in food products.
Consumer Co-Operative Stores
A consumer co-operative is a retail business which is owned by the consumers themselves. Their basic objective is to eliminate middlemen. The consumer join together and manage the business and the profit thus earned is retained among themselves in the proportion of their contribution. The society purchases in bulk and avails the discounts and sells in small lots to the members. Some of the co-operative stores are run on a large-scale basis while others are small in size and nature. This form of retailing originated in England in the year 1844 when a group of 28 weavers established the ROCKDALE PIONEERS EQUITABLE SOCIETY with the purpose of establishing a store for the sale of provisions, clothing etc.
Hire-Purchase Trading Houses
According to J. STEPHENSON, in his book, 'The principles and Practice of commerce', "the fire-purchase is a form of trade in which credit is granted to the buyer on the security of a lien on the goods." An agreement is made between the buyer and the seller that the former will take possession of the goods sold by the latter and shall make payments in installments at regular intervals. The ownership lies with the seller until the last installment is paid by the buyer, and in case the buyer fails to make the payment in full, the seller is free to take back the goods from the buyer.
Under the installment payment transaction, the ownership passes on to the buyer from the seller the moment the former pays the first installment. If, however, the buyer does not make the subsequent payments, the seller can sue him in a court of law for getting the payments, but cannot take the goods as such from the buyer.
Such selling machines are extensively used in the West. The vending machine is operated by inserting a coin and the buyer can get the articles. Vending machines are usually acquired to sell articles like cigarettes, soft drinks, chocolates, candles etc. Railway platform and bus tickets are also sold by this method. The articles sold by a vending machine are pre-packed and labeled and are usually of reputed brands. The goods should be uniform in size and shape and less bulky in weight. The installation of such machines is an expensive affair and it needs regular maintenance also. Such machines are quite attractive in appearance and installed at busy shopping centres.
Such shops usually sell small articles at the same price. The usual articles sold by such shops are pens, socks, handkerchiefs, knives, etc., where each article is sold at a fixed price, and the price is usually very low, e.g., each pen for one rupee. The origin of such a type of retail shop was in USA and is associated with the name of Mr. Woolworth. In India, the hawkers and peddlers usually sell cheap articles on wayside pavements.