Independent Retailer: Definition & Overview

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  • 0:05 Definition of an…
  • 0:20 Examples of…
  • 1:11 Expanding Sales for…
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  • 3:01 Risk for Independent Retailers
  • 3:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Mckinney

Paul has been in higher education for 17 years. He has a master's degree and is earning his PhD in Community College Leadership.

Independent retailers are businesses that are privately owned. They are usually thought of as single-store operations, and they can offer both high risk and high rewards.

Definition of an Independent Retailer

An independent retailer is someone who is completely responsible for his or her own business. The retailer owns or has bought an independent store and has built the business from the ground up by assessing all needs of the store, which can include staffing, marketing, merchandising, sales, etc.

Example of Independent Retailers

Bailey Jones worked for a large furniture chain store for years. He knew the town he worked in had a customer base that wanted outdoor furniture the chain store did not sell. Bailey decided to open a small independent store that specialized in selling outdoor furniture.

Bailey worked with his local bank to set up a business loan so he would have the funds to start the business. He then worked with a supplier to get the furniture he wanted to sell. Finally, he found a building that he could rent. Bailey worked several months to get everything set up and finally opened for business just before Christmas. His sales were high during the holiday season and continued into the spring of the next year.

Now, Bailey has had his business open for five years. He has added several new sales consultants to help with the volume of customers. Last year, Bailey opened a second location in a town ten miles away.

Expanding Sales for Independent Retailer

With the pressure of mass retailers, it can be difficult for independent retailers to make a profit. It is common to see stores, both independent and other, use drastic discounts to get customers to buy their products. This not only influences heavily on their bottom line, but it can often 'cheapen' what they worked so very hard to build. Instead, independent retailers should tap into their energy and absolute love for their products or services and look at new opportunities for growth by taking advantage of the following:

  1. Target Marketing: An independent retailer should try to reach a brand new demographic by slightly altering current services or products to attract new customers.
  2. Social Media: An independent retailer should integrate a weekly schedule that offers fresh tips, advice, reviews, and standard store information on a main social media network.
  3. Loyalty Programs: An independent retailer should develop a strong loyalty program that not only gives back to big spenders but also to regular customers who may spend less.
  4. Hot Spots: An independent retailer should offer flash sale type opportunities to help create excitement among customers.
  5. New Customer Deals: An independent retailer should treat new clients to an irresistible deal to encourage their business on first sales by offering a more for their money approach than a heavy discount.

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