What does a retailer mean?
A business or company that sells to the consumer directly. A retailer will buy goods from a manufacturer, distributor or wholesaler and sell them on to the customer at a marked up price. Retailers needs to be registered and may be official retailers for a certain line of products.
An example of a registered retailer would be a business that sells a certain brand of mobile phone. As a registered outlet and retailer not only will he sell the mobile phones but will also be able to honor the sale with a guarantee from the manufacturer. When purchasing things such as electronic goods it is always advisable to buy them from official retailers.
People often think of large retailers like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Target when the term retailer is mentioned, but retailers can also be small retailers like a corner grocery store or a family operated pharmacy.
In nearly all cases a retailer does not manufacture the products they sell. Naturally there are exceptions, but typically the retailer is just the final link in the distribution chain. They are the businesses that deliver goods and services directly to consumers. This makes them different from wholesalers who sell directly to other businesses (often retailers).
In general there are four main product categories sold by retailers. These products categories are foods, durable goods (those that last a long time such as appliances and cars), soft goods (those that last a shorter life-span such as clothes), and discretionary products such as books, art, and gifts.
While you might think of a retailer as a business with a physical location, not all retailers have a brick-and-mortar presence. Two of the largest retailers in the world are Amazon and Alibaba, both of which sell their products online.
The term retailer can also be used to describe the less traditional sellers as well. An artist who sells carvings or paintings at markets or fairs is also a retailer. So is a food truck if they are selling to the public with the aim of making a profit.
In addition to selling products, retailers can also be service providers. For example, most appliance retailers also offer insurance on their products in the form of extended warranties, and some also offer delivery, set-up or repair services.