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Industry in its simplest sense may be defined as all those economic tasks that involve the processing of raw materials and making the products in factories. Canadian industries are booming at a whirlwind speed. Economy of Canada is 16th largest one worldwide. Canadian industry comprises of highly adroit labor pool. Manufacturing industry is one of the flourishing industries in Canada. Canada’s chief manufacturing trade includes automobile, aerospace, food, machinery and clothing. But converting unprocessed material into final product is not the only task to be done.
After the product is ready to use, selling it is another crucial mission to be accomplished. This demands the contribution of retailers and wholesalers.Retailers and wholesalers are often confused as one, but it is not true. Retailers are those who sell the products from some market place like shopping complex, departmental stores etc. in small quantities to the customer directly.
Wholesalers, on the other hand are those who deal with sale of goods in the bulk amount and at discounted prices.
They sell the products for resale to other retailers, agents, or some other commercial or industrial users etc. wholesalers perform basic marketing for the companies from which they purchase merchandise and for those to which they sell merchandise. Canadian retail sector plays a vital role in linking the production and sale of a product and thus has a significant effect on the economy. As per Ronald Savitt and Dennis Johnson (2015) retail trade organization of Canada is broadly classified in two types, namely retail chains and independent retailers.
Retail chains are those retailers who manage more than 4 stores in same kind of business and those stores are owned by a single owner. Examples of retail chain retailers are Hudson’s Bay, Sobeys, Shoppers Drug Mart, IGA etc. independent retailers are those who just operate 1 to 3 stores.
Few examples are Home Hardware, Best Western, Boston Pizza, Subway, Mr. Lube, Giant Tiger, 7-Eleven etc. Based on amount of service, they can be categorized in three parts :- self-serve retailers such as Irving, limited service retailers such as Home Depot Canadian Tire and full service retailers like Tim Hortons.Although anticipating and creating innovative ideas to have a strong communication and relationship bond with consumers is critical for retailers, but as consumer purchasing behavior is changing day by day, so retailers have had to adapt to it and work accordingly so as to stay in the competitive arena within retail marketplace. Price decisions is one of the strongest marketing strategy of the retailers, but the price of product also depends on the manufacturer from whom the retailer is supplied with the products that are to be sold. Numerous schemes such as standard markup, break-even, anchored pricing, market expectations, prestige pricing etc are used by the retailers to decide the price of a particular product.
The standard markup technique does not involve competition. Break-even refers to the number of product units that retailer needs to sell in order to make profit after break-even point. Anchored pricing method is competition based. It may also be termed as bargaining method. It is the mutual discussion of retailer and consumer. If the consumer is willing to pay the anchored price, retailer may adjust it down slightly so that the new price looks very appealing to the consumer. Match market expectation refers to the concept of supply and demand. If the demand of an item is more, it will result in greater profit to the retailer. Prestige pricing technique involves charging higher prices so as to impart high image of the product. Another marketing strategy involved is promotion decisions. These include a partial refund or discount to consumers by the retailer for the purchase of a product. It may even include some gift cards, coupons or free vouchers for further purchase of any item from that retailer. Besides these, place decision is another marketing strategy practiced by the retailers. It refers to the idea of deciding that critical location where the product to be sold is in most demand. Joe Fresh, West 49 and Harry Rosen Menswear are few clothing retailers of Canada. Naked And Famous, Canada Goose, Roots and Sorel are some of the Canadian textile retailers.
The major emerging trends in the retailing of Canadian manufacturing industry are online retail, social media, green retailing, experiential retailing, wearable retail technology, use of gift cards, international retailing, shopper marketing, etc. Online retailing is most transpiring retail trend in Canada. Dwaine Chamberlain (e-commerce specialist and webmaster at Boathouse Row Inc.) claims that till next year the online retailing business will expand to more than double. Flexible delivery and return policy is one of the major contributors to its growing popularity. As per Angela Westfield (2018) Amazon, Sephora and Wallmart are among the best online retailers of Canada. Green retailing refers to the process of improving retail value which involves environment protection through eradicating trash, reducing cost and increasing efficiency. Kathy Kerr (2018) in one of her articles mentions that solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, and even beehives are sprouting across various Canadian stores. Saje Natural Wellness, Freedom Clothing Collective and The Bee Shop are some of the best green retailers in Toronto, Canada.
Experiential retailing technique involves the idea in which consumers are offered a chance to have experience of a product rather than only buying it. Customization and exclusivity are the key points contributing in development of this technique. Digitizing brick-and-mortar shop can create a smooth effect on consumer’s mind which will lead to more consistent purchase. Thus, experiential retailing acts like a tool to streamline the workflow and benefit from it. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, American Eagle and Indochino are some experiential retailers of Canada as stated by Lara O’ Keefe (2018) in one of her articles.Wearable Technology may be termed as Blanket Technology that can be worn on the body. It may be either in the form of an accessory or part of the clothing. It creates opportunities for retailers.
Tom Emrich (2013) mentions MYO (gesture control armband), Nymi (wristband using heartbeat for authentication), Recon Jet (Google glass for sports), Muse (headband which senses the brain), Hexoskin (the biometric shirt), PUSH (gym-band measuring strength) and Kiwi Move (sensor based multi functioning device) as seven Canadian wearable technology retail companies that are changing the world. Retailers use various gift cards or free coupons to bind the customers to themselves. Retailing with foreign retailers is another budding trend in Canadian retailing. It contributed in making huge profits to retailers. Craig Patterson (2018) tells that last year due to International retailing 40 new brands opened in Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Toronto). Another example that best fits here is that Vancouver’s Artizia is expanding into U.S, just carefully choosing the right location for its unique stores. Wholesalers also play an important role in distribution channel of Canadian manufacturing industry. Product acquisition, warehousing, promoting and selling, transportation, etc are few activities that wholesalers perform.
Wholesalers are masters in the process of taking the finished manufactured products and placing them on store shelves. So, the first key step of a wholesaler is product acquisition which means to choose which product to purchase and distribute. They look for products which have strong consumer appeal and purchase them. Warehousing is another task which is to be accomplished by a wholesaler. Warehouse is a place where the distributor organizes the manufactured material and stores it until further purchase by some retailer or store. For pulling products for an order, inventory software program is used by wholesalers. Every wholesaler is gifted with good marketing skills. Wholesale representatives meet with new retail panorama to sell goods. With new prospects, they try to convince buyers that certain products are highly trending and offer good amount of profit. Also, distributors must sometimes proffer discounts to buyers for clearing their shelf space which is to be filled with some new, less familiar brand. Another central activity of a wholesaler is the physical transportation of goods and logistics related to it.
Depending on the amount of material to be distributed and location of buyer, means of transport is used. Staff of warehouse takes order from inventory then pull the goods from shelves, packs and loads them on transport vehicles. After the order is ready to move, notice is sent to the buyer to know that items are on the way. According to Michael R Pearce and Ken Jones (2013), wholesalers fall into four basic groups, namely merchant wholesalers, agents and brokers, sale branches and offices of manufacturer and specialized wholesalers. Merchant wholesalers are those who buy and sell products on their own and take legal credits for it. They are further classified as full service wholesalers and limited service wholesalers (also called limited line wholesalers). Full service wholesalers are those who perform all the marketing functions from carrying stock to delivering it where as limited line wholesalers perform fewer services. They include cash-and-carry firms.
Agents and brokers sell goods to others on commission. Sale branches and offices of manufacturer consists of those who distributed their own manufactured products. Specialized wholesalers include co-operative marketing associations, petroleum plants, terminals and liquefied petroleum facilities.As wholesalers are an important part of manufacturing industry, they also face growing competitive pressure and increasing customer demands. To cope up with it, they follow some strategies. They target the market decisions. Within the target batch, they identify the consumers who can profit them more and try to build better bonding and relationship with those consumers by designing attractive offers for them. Assortment of product and its service is another important decision that a wholesaler needs to make.
Wholesalers find the blend of services which are most valued by customers and work accordingly. They make their pricing decisions in such a way that it can increase the supplier’s sale. This is something done by offering some special price breaks. Wholesalers also locate some mediocre rented, less toll areas and then put little investment for their physical settings and offices. As mentioned by Canadian Business Staff in 2017, Steeped Tea (wholesaler of tea), The Canadian Trade House (wholesaler of food products) and Agricle (wholesaler of police and military clothing ) are some examples of renowned wholesalers of Canada.The blooming trends in wholesale distribution include Omni-channel wholesale selling, expanding into global markets, automations. Omni-channel selling is a fully fused approach that provides buyers a unified experience across online and offline channels. As said by Glen Korstrom (2015), many wholesalers are embracing Omni-channel strategy for sale.
Omni-channel services are ace in the hole as they allow wholesalers to compete on global level. Suited example of this is Walmart Canada. Expansion into global markets is must as wholesale business is emerging overseas. Wholesales need on to focus on their buying and supplying chain work flows, ensure their online market transforming into worldwide trade, implement cross-channel marketing strategy and streamline the cross boarder payment techniques. As published by Hollie Shaw (2013) a suited example for this is Costco Wholesale Canada. Louise Wendling (senior vice president and country manager at Costco Wholesale Canada) says that their goal is to set about 110 stores internationally.
Automation and tracking are new innovations that allow wholesalers to manage their tasks more effectively. Through this they can make informed decisions about warehousing, staffing and shipping. Aartech Canada is one of the Canadian wholesalers practicing this technique.To recapitulate, retailers and wholesalers serve as a major link between manufacture and customers. With their (retailers and wholesalers) help a larger population is served will all the products required for their use. Canadian wholesale trade is comparatively more than the retail sale. As per Canadian statistics, in 2018 retail trade is approximately $50.9 billion and wholesale trade is approximately $63.2 billion. Thus, it can be said that generally wholesalers earn more profit than retailers. Both the retailers as well as wholesalers contribute a part in Canadian economy. They play a vital role in Canadian manufacturing industry and thus are essential parts of it.
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