Functions of a Retailer
1. He sells in small quantities to consumers: The retailer purchases in small quantities from the wholesaler and breaks the goods down into units for the customers.
2. He provides after-sales services: He provides after-sales services like installation, repairs, servicing, etc. to the consumer.
3. He grants credit facilities to the consumers: The retailer can grant credit facilities to the consumers so as to enable them enjoy goods without payment immediately.
4. Stock variety of goods: The consumers can buy varieties of goods from the retailers, hence they are exposed to a wide range of goods.
5. He supplies information to the wholesaler and manufacturer: The retailer is in the best position to collect information and feedback about the market, as well as the needs of the consumers and make it available to the wholesaler and manufacturer.
6. He sells at convenient locations and hours: The retailer sells goods to the consumers at any time of the day and at convenient places.
7. Ensures door-to-door services: The retailer ensures that goods are brought to the doorstep of the consumers or nearer to their houses.
8. He gives advice to the consumers: He can advice the consumer on the quality, uses, specifications and performance of products.
Differences in function between the Wholesaler and Retailer in the distribution of commodities
The wholesaler buys in large quantities from the manufacturer and sells in small quantities to the retailer, while the retailer buys in smaller quantities from the wholesaler and sells in bits to final consumers.
The wholesaler requires a large space (warehouse) to store his goods while a retailer requires a small space (shop) to display his wares.
The wholesaler stocks limited varieties of goods in his warehouse, but the retailer stocks several varieties of goods in his shop making it possible for consumers to make choices.
The wholesaler acts as an intermediary between the retailer and the manufacturer while the retailer acts as an intermediary between the wholesale and final consumers.
The wholesaler interacts freely with the manufacturer, while the retailer relates freely with the final consumers.
One spends more money on a particular product while the other spends less.
In terms of distance, the wholesaler travels longer distances to a retailer. Sometimes, the wholesaler can finance the manufacturer, the retailer rarely does any of such financing. Finally, grading, blending and repackaging of goods can as well be done by the wholesaler which is beyond the scope or duty of the retailer.
These points in distributive trade may be the simplest and easiest to note, nevertheless they are worth noting and reading.