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The significance of retailing cannot be undermined. Both developing and developed economies are affected by the retail industry. The concept of retailing as stated by Risch (1991) is the potential ways and means to attract a customer, to purchase the products. Discount retailing and large retail chains have changed the dynamics of the retail industry, but these stores have come into foray after significant changes that have been noted in the dynamics of the industry. The history of retail industry dates back to the year 1800. This was the era where the concept of general stores was prevalent in the close vicinity. The concept of big department and discount stores emerged in the year 1902. Since then there has been a considerable change in the industry (Marc, 2011). Retail industry across the world is divided into two types of stores known as the Department and Discount stores. Back in the 1980s the retail revolution brought the next chain of events. Kotler & Kelles (2006) has specified that the goods were being differentiated on the basis of males and females, as well as on the basis of the taste of the individual. Consumption took new paradigm similar to culture which was witnessing the transformation.

Retail sales are the contributor to the economy as stated by Berman & Evans (2006). As stated the retailing is generally divided into Departmental and Discount stores. Department store is a place where non food items such as clothes, products for the day to day use, and footwear are stored. These department stores can have products from multiple brands, while it can have the products of department store brand also. Department stores offer various categories of merchandise which are divided into various departments. These departments have their separate store managers (Britannica, nd). These stores are categorized on the basis of the products they keep. It can be general merchandise stores, kids stores, and fashion stores.

Meanwhile, discount stores have been gaining the prominence offlate and are different from traditional brick and mortar stores that do not offer discounts. Discount stores as stated by Britannica (n d) sells the produces at a lower costs compared to traditional stores. The merchandise in these stores can be different. There are some stores that are providing a particular kind of products that are known as category killers. Discount stores are also of certain kind, which offer discounts to selected categories of customers. These stores are called closed door stores.    

Emergence of Modern Retailing

The merchandise of the early retailers was of a single product, this situation continued till the post industrial age. The consumer preferences changed on account of increase in incomes. The location of the retail stores that were governed by few retailers like Sears, and J C Penny among others were based in large cities. The period that started from 1900 and ended till 1945 is marked for its innovation. The innovations in automobiles, and technology provided impetus for the retail stores to emerge. The concepts of one stop shop and optimal pricing emerged. After the era of the World War II, came the stage of the baby boomers and the concept of retailing yet again reshaped itself. Advertisements with the help of newspapers and Television became the part of the retailing. The period that continued till 1975 saw the evolution of new department stores and retail chains (IBM, nd)

The late 1990s and early part of the retailing in the year 2000 brought electronic products in the markets. Discount stores gained prominence in that period. E-commerce presence increased and the retailing took a new leap forward as the people found discounts more attractive and comfort of shopping paved way for companies like Amazon (Wrigley & Churrah, 2003).

Looking forward in the year 2020

The analysis of the future is made on the basis of the past. Witnessing the changes in the environment it is pretty certain that the shoppers of 2020 will give more focus on the quality rather than quantity. Retailers will have to bring products that match the psyche of the changed consumer. The growth in the emerging markets such as China and India will be witnessed with the easing of the barriers. Brick and Mortar retailers that are already facing tough competition from the E-commerce markets will further experience depleting sales (IBM, nd)


  1. Barry, B and Evans J 2006, Retail Management: A Strategic Approach, 10th ed., Prentice Hall. Pearson Education Inc., Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
  1. Britannica (n d), Department Stores, [Online], Accessed on 18 August 2014.
  1. Britannica (n d), Discount Stores, [Online], Accessed on 18 August 2014.
  1. IBM nd, Retail 2020: Reinventing Retailing Once Again [Online], Accessed on 18 August 2014.
  1. Marc, L 2011, The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, Hill & Wang.
  1. Kotler, P and Kelles, K L 2006, Managing Retailing, Wholesaling and Logistics, Marketing Management, Pearson Prentic Hall, Delhi, First Indian Reprint.
  1. Wrigley, N and Currah, A 2003, Globalizing Retail and the E-conomy: The Organizational Challenge of E-Commerce for the Retail TNCs, International Review of Retail and Distribution Management.
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