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hr services in retail

hr services in retail

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Published by nivedita gupta

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Published by: nivedita gupta on Apr 16, 2009
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HR SERVICES IN RETAIL MANAGEMENTDEFINITION AND SCOPE OF RETAILING:The word retail is derived from the French word retailer meaning to cut a pieceoff or to break bulk. In simple terms, it implies a first-hand transaction withthe customer.Retailing can be defined as the buying and selling of goods and services. It canalso be defined as the timely delivery of goods and services demanded by consumersat prices that are competitive and affordable.Retailing involves a direct interface with the customer and the coordination ofbusiness activities from end to end- right from the concept or design stage of aproduct or offering, to its delivery and post-delivery service to the customer.The industry has contributed to the economic growth of many countries and isundoubtedly one of the fastest changing and dynamic industries in the world today.TYPES OF RETAIL OPERATIONS:Retail operations enable a store to function smoothly without any hindrances. Thesignificant types of retail operations consist of:- Department store- Specialty store- Discount/Mass Merchandisers- Warehouse/Wholesale clubs- Factory outletRetail Management System targets small and midsize retailers seeking to automatetheir stores. The package runs on personal computers to manage a range of storeoperations and customer marketing tasks, including point of sale; operations;inventory control and tracking; pricing; sales and promotions; customer managementand marketing; employee management; customized reports; and information security.THE EMERGING SECTORS IN RETAILING:Retailing, one of the largest sectors in the global economy, is going through atransition phase not only in India but the world over. For a long time, the cornergrocery store was the only choice available to the consumer, especially in theurban areas. This is slowly giving way to international formats of retailing. Thetraditional food and grocery segment has seen the emergence ofsupermarkets/grocery chains (Food World, Nilgiris, Apna Bazaar), conveniencestores (Convenio, HP Speedmart) and fast-food chains.It is the non-food segment, however that foray has been made into a variety of newsectors. These include lifestyle/fashion segments (Shoppers' Stop, Globus,LifeStyle, Westside), apparel/accessories (Pantaloon, Levis, Reebok),books/music/gifts (Archies, MusicWorld, Crosswords, Landmark), appliances andconsumer durables (Viveks, Jainsons, Vasant & Co.), drugs and pharmacy (Health andGlow, Apollo).The emergence of new sectors has been accompanied by changes in existing formatsas well as the beginning of new formats:- Hypermarts
 
-Large supermarkets, typically 3,500-5,000 sq. ft.- Mini supermarkets, typically 1,000-2,000 sq. ft.- Convenience stores, typically 750-1,000sq. ft.- Discount/shopping list grocerThe traditional grocers, by introducing self-service formats as well as value-added services such as credit and home delivery, have tried to redefinethemselves. However, the boom in retailing has been confined primarily to theurban markets in the country. Even there, large chunks are yet to feel the impactof organized retailing. There are two primary reasons for this. First, the modernretailer is yet to feel the saturation' effect in the urban market and has,therefore, probably not looked at the other markets as seriously. Second, themodern retailing trend, despite its cost-effectiveness, has come to be identifiedwith lifestyles.In order to appeal to all classes of the society, retail stores would have toidentify with different lifestyles. In a sense, this trend is already visible withthe emergence of stores with an essentially `value for money' image. Theattractiveness of the other stores actually appeals to the existing affluent classas well as those who aspire for to be part of this class. Hence, one can assumethat the retailing revolution is emerging along the lines of the economicevolution of society.RETAILING SCENARIO- GLOBAL VIEW:Retailing in more developed countries is a big business and better organized thanwhat in India. According to a report published by McKinsey & Co. along with theConfederation of the Indian Industry the global retail business is a worth astaggering US$ 6.6 trillion. In the developed world, most of it is accounted forby the organized retail sector.The service sector accounts for a large share of GDPin most developed economies.And the retail sector forms a very strong component of the service sector. Inshort, as long as people need to buy, retail will generate employment.Globally,retailing is a customer-centric with a emphasis on innovation in products,processes and services.With total sales of US$ 6.6 trilloin, retailing is the world is largest privateindustry, ahead of finance and engineering. Some of the world largest companiesare in this sector: over 50 Fortune, 500 companies and around 25 of the Asian Top200 firms and retailers. Wal-Mart, the world second largest retailer, has aturnover of US$ 260 billion, almost one-third of India GDP. As many as 10% of the world billionaires are retailers. The industry accounts forover 8% of GDP in western countries, and is one of the largest employers.According to the U.S.Department of Labor, more than 22 million Americans areemployed in the retailing industry in over 2 million retail stores. RETAIL INDUSTRY IN INDIA:Retail is India’s largest industry, accounting for over 10 percent of thecountry’s GDP and around eight percent of employment. Retail in India is at thecrossroads. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industrieswith several players entering the market. That said, the heavy initial investmentsrequired make break even hard to achieve and many players have not tasted successto date. However, the future is promising; the market is growing, government
 
policies are becoming more favourable and emerging technologies are facilitatingoperations.Retailing in India is gradually inching its way to becoming the next boomindustry. The whole concept of shopping has altered in terms of format andconsumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in shopping. Modern retail hasentered India as seen in sprawling shopping centres, multi-storeyed malls and hugecomplexes offer shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof.The Indian retailing sector is at an inflexion point where the growth of organisedretail and growth in the consumption by Indians is going to adopt a higher growthtrajectory. The Indian population is witnessing a significant change in itsdemographics. A large young working population with median age of 24 years,nuclear families in urban areas, along with increasing working-women populationand emerging opportunities in the services sector are going to be the key growthdrivers of the organised retail sector.Big in size and turnover, Indian retailing industry is characterised by certainattributes.The network of retailers reaches every nook and corner of the country. So anyproduct produced anywhere in the country can be easily accessed by the buyers fromany location. Thus the spatial convenience of Indian retailers is vary high.Secondly, in India the retailing industry is an unorganised lot consisting of, inmost of the cases, small entrepreneurs. And the virtual omnipresence of the Indianretailer can be attributed to these small entrepreneurs only.The second attribute gives rise to the following characteristics- Power of the retailers, as such is very less, and in many cases it isnegligible. This weakness has been exploited by the manufacturers and the strongerpartners of the marketing channel. The retailers, in general, abide by the termsand conditions set by the manufacturers and other "big brothers" of the channel.- The manufacturers cannot directly reach all retailers in a particulargeographical area. Therefore, the manufacturers cannot maintain the desiredrelationship with the retailers, which in turn, makes management of the channelcomplicated. This also makes the possibility of a direct feedback loop from theretailers almost remote.- Therefore, the member operating between the manufacturers and retailers becomemore powerful as they can block the channel of communication between the two. Sothe dependence of retailers on other channel members increases to a high extent.Thus the participation of retailers in the flows of marketing mix becomes lowerthan desired.- The financial strength of the Indian retailers, in general, is very low andhence the investment capabilities. This makes the retailers more dependent on theother channel members.- However, these characteristics are peculiar to the small retail outlets and maynot be present at every kind of retail level.Retail Shopkeepers:India has sometimes been called a nation of shopkeepers. This epithet has itsroots in the huge number of retail enterprises in India, which totalled over 12million in 2003. About 78% of these are small family businesses utilising onlyhousehold labour. Even among retail enterprises that employ hired workers, the

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