The Fundamentals of Merchandising Essay example

4355 Words Oct 8th, 2012 18 Pages
The Principles of Merchandising
The past decade has witnessed sea change in the world of retail, of which increasing competition is just one aspect. New and emerging technologies and customers fragmentation has made it even more difficult for retailers to retain consumers who are loyal to their stores. Walters and Hanharan have identified four key elements of the strategic direction that are retailer may take, they are: * Merchandise strategy; * Communications strategy; * Customer service strategy; and * Format and environment strategy.
Among all the elements of retail strategy, that of merchandising is becoming increasingly important, eventually determining the loyalty that a customer may have for a retail store. Over
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Hirschman and Stampfl have categorized the role of the role of the retail buyer extremely well. According to them, a retail buyer has to perform three primary functions, namely: First in line is the role of a change agent, where the buyer influences the buying behavior of consumers by offering new products and services and assortments. Second is the role of a gate keeper, where the buyer is responsible for the goods right from the suppliers to the end consumers. Last, the buyer plays the role of opinion leader, in conjunction with the role of change agent, and influences consumer opinion, but does not necessarily induce a buying decision.
Associate or Junior buyers usually buy specific items for a department or division of a firm which is too

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