Retail Terms: Must Read

Retail chainA firm that consists of multiple retail units under common ownership and usually has some centralization of decision making in defining and implementing its strategy.
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Services retailerOrganization that offers consumers’ services rather than merchandise. Examples include banks, hospital, health spas, doctors, legal clinics, entertainment firms, and universities.
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SKU (stock keeping unit)The smallest unit available for keeping inventory control. In soft goods merchandise, an SKU usually means size, color, and style.
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specialty catalog retailerA non store retailer that focuses on specific categories of merchandise, such as fruit (Harry and David), gardening tools (Smith & Hawken), and seeds and plants (Burpee). [Go to their website and understand how they operate]
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Specialty storeStore concentrating on a limited number of complementary merchandise categories and providing a high level of service in an area typically under 8,000 square feet.
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Super-centerLarge store (150,000 to 200,000 square feet) combining a discount store with a supermarket.
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SuperstoreA large supermarket between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet in size.
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Television home shopping / Tele-shoppingA retail format in which customers watch a TV program demonstrating merchandise and then place orders for the merchandise by phone.
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Value retailersGeneral merchandise discount stores that are found in either low-income urban or rural areas and are much smaller than traditional discount stores, less than 9,000 square feet.
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varietyThe number of different merchandises categories within a store or department.
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vending machine retailingA nonstore format in which merchandise or services are stored in a machine and dispensed to customers when they deposit cash or use a credit card.
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warehouse clubA retailer that offers a limited assortment of food and general merchandise with little service and low prices to ultimate consumers and small businesses.
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Disinter-mediationwhen a manufacturer sells directly to consumers, thus competing directly with its retailers.
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Electronic agentComputer program that locates and selects alternatives based on some predetermined characteristics.
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