We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What are Retail Sales?

By Patti Kate
Updated: May 16, 2024

Retail sales refers to selling of goods and merchandise by a sales agent, company, or main distributor. In retail, the manufacturer does not sell his goods directly, but instead offers his merchandise through the aforementioned distributor, who most often will set the price according to the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). In many cases, the distributing company may offer discounts and sales that reflect lower prices than those set by the seller.

There are many aspects of retail sales. Devising strategic concepts and innovative plans to increase productivity and sales is the main purpose of retail marketing. A popular way for the public to buy goods through retail is by shopping for chain store sales and at independent outlets and stores. There are numerous categories of retail sales products that are offered to the public.

Electronics are extremely popular and generally best-selling items in retail. This may include the sales of appliances, such as refrigerators and stoves, or televisions and stereo systems. Cellular phones and computers are electronic products sold in retail as well.

Clothing is very profitable commodity in retail sales. This is due to the great need and variety available. Furniture is another item that is widely sold and purchased at retail. Automobile accessories are also in great demand. Other products that are sold in the retail market include food and liquor.

In retail sales, a retail investor may purchase products and goods through a seller. The retail investor does not sell these goods to the public. Instead, he will acquire them for his own use, investment, or personal inventory.

Other integral aspects of retail sales include management and marketing. In retail management, a keen knowledge of the business end and public awareness is essential to success. In managing a retail store, it is important to efficiently maintain operations within the business. Ensuring the public's needs are met is a crucial aspect as well. Marketing works hand-in-hand with management in a retail sales environment.

Being a retail sales associate often means being involved in customer service, managing inventory and stock, and helping to promote healthy sales growth and revenue. Some of the essential duties of a retail associate may include directly assisting customers and closing a sale, as well as answering all inquiries and questions. Resolving customer issues or complaints to a satisfactory conclusion is crucial as well.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By suntan12 — On Mar 16, 2011

@Sneakers41 - I just wanted to say that I went into retail management right out of college. I went into an Executive training program for a major department store and they recruited when they visited by school.

It was a six week training program that allowed us to work in the stores for a few days during our training. We were immediately assigned our stores and after the training we had to report directly to our senior manager at the assigned store.

I worked long hours and had to perform floor moves as well as inventory. I worked about fifty to sixty hours a week on a regular basis.

I liked the challenging nature of the job and how everyday was not the same, but I disliked working weekends which is a must for anyone working in a retail environment. I did enjoy the store discounts which were a really nice perk to the job.

By sneakers41 — On Mar 14, 2011

@SurfNturf - I agree that retail sales training during this time period will let you know quickly if you are cut out for retail or not. I think that many people begin their retail careers working in retail sales jobs and later move on to becoming a department manager followed by a store manager.

The department managers are responsible for the sales revenues of their individual departments and also have to adhere to merchandising standards for their respective departments.

They have to ensure that there is adequate staffing at all times and not allow anyone to have time off during blackout periods such as Black Friday and beyond. In addition, they have to train their employees on proper customer etiquette as well as maintaining merchandising and overall visual standards of the department.

They also have to handle customer disputes that arise when customers complain about something. It is a really exhausting job but it can be fun for the right person.

By surfNturf — On Mar 12, 2011

I think that the best time to look for retail sales jobs are in the last quarter of the year during the fall season. This is the time of year when retailers have the greatest need. The retail sales business from October through December makes up about 70% of the average retailers revenue.

Since the retail sales figures are so high during this time you will most likely be able to find a job and the fast paced environment will allow you to learn the retail sales business in no time. It is really the most exciting time of year for any retailer.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.