The 5 key functions of retailing

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Most of the brands rely on the sector specific retail universe to get their goods close to the consumer and achieve sales targets.

The retailers are so important for the brands as they drive 5 important key retailing functions:


The retailers are mainly structured by offerings. They can be specialized in a specific product line or generalist that sales many products under the same roof in a structured way. Sorting is when a retailer will place your products in the most relevant section of the store. Let’s say for example you are a chocolate brand, the store will place your products in the chocolate and sweets section. Within the same section, you can negotiate to get your brand in the prime location with the most visibility spot by simply applying the strategy of <<Eye level is buy level>>.

2-Breaking Bulk:

As brand or a producer of goods, your main role is to produce products and distribute them in bulk. The retailer or the retail stores main mission is to sell individual items to the consumer. The retailers in this phase will buy the products from you as a producer in bulk and sell them to the end user as single products or individual item. This is what retailers are strong in doing and this is real definition of breaking bulk.

3-Holding Stock:

When you produce products in bulk, you work closely with your retail partners to optimize the stock and to make sure a higher service level of your product availability across your retail universe. Majority of the retailers nowdays offer the possibility to stock products at their facility and ensure the continuity of your sales. This will facilitate your fulfillment and cut your frequent channels invoicing to the minimum.


Adds-on is the possibility to link your product to another product that could be in the same line or completing your line. When you visit a furniture shop to buy a specific item like a desk for example, the retailers will place products that will complete your purchase like a chair, desk lamp..etc. The retailers will boost your brand as they are professional in creating the best adds-on and by increasing their average spending basket at the shop, they are boosting your sales as well.

5- BTL Activities:

Retailers are the place were you can interact with your target consumers. The brands retail marketing team will deploy specific activities at the store level which falls under what we call Bellow the line marketing or BTL marketing. Those marketing activities will help the brand boost sales at the shop level , get the customers to try the product prior to buying and interact with them for a better understanding of needs, quality and retail price assessment.

Author: Jalal JIHAZI
(Global Retail TV Director)

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