Retail Dogma


What is Merchandise?

Merchandise are the goods that are bought and sold in a trade.

The process that ensures the retailer’s merchandise is available in the right quantities at the stores and displayed in the right way to drive its sales is called merchandising.

Merchandise Example

For example, in retail, the retailer buys products in bulk from a manufacturer or wholesaler, and then displays this assortment at the store to be sold in small quantities to the end customer. The entire assortment the retailer is carrying is called merchandise. This assortment is further broken down into different product categories, which form the product mix.


Merchandise Line

Merchandise lines are groups of products carried and sold by a retailer, and is often used to categorize the types of retail establishments, based on the lines they sell.

For example, pharmacies and drug stores carry a merchandise line that consists of prescription and non-prescription drugs. This is an example of a specialty store, because this type of retailer specializes in one or few, related, lines of products.

Other examples of specialty stores include:

  • Book Stores
  • Beauty Stores
  • Pet Stores
  • Office Supplies Stores
  • Meat Markets
  • Baked Goods Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores

On the other hand, stores that sell a wide variety of merchandise lines are called general-line stores. At these stores, different product groups and categories are sold, with no category being predominant in terms of sales contribution or product mix. An example of that is Dollar Stores and other General Stores.

This categorization is useful in reporting and comparing the different business results by retailer types, which in return helps in establishing industry benchmarks.

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