Retail is a very vast industry, there are several categories to explore & learn about. They allow to present the most effective way of managing the products and create ease for the shoppers.

If you think about this categorization in retail as the business revolves around sustaining life and goods that provide a lifestyle.

Retailers began to realize that giving customers different experiences and offerings a great way to increase profits. This gave rise to different types of retail establishments that we see today that depend on consumer behavior and manufacturer abilities. Each of them differentiates themselves from the rest based on the products they offer and the how the manner in which it is offered.

Classification of Retail Stores:

1.Department Stores: Department stores are set up by offering customers everything under one roof. They present all types of options to consumers and end up fulfilling their shopping needs. They are well-known for offering products at different pricing levels and for the variety of products that they offer.

Range of products:

  • Apparels
  • Non-Apparels (Watch, Foot-wears, Perfumes…)
  • Electronic Appliances
  • Books
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Toys
  • Home Furnishings
  • Cosmetics
  • Sportswear/Swimwear

Example- Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Pantaloons, etc.

2.Specialty Stores: As the name “Specialty”, says these stores are into one particular product and would not sell anything rather than a specific product range. They are more on high customer satisfaction. They are known for having a very narrow product line. The customers purchasing from these are less price-driven. These outlets are specialized in given merchandise like men’s clothing or women’s clothing only.

Example –You will find only Van Heusen merchandise at Van Heusen store and nothing else, thus making it a specialty store. You can never find Blackberrys merchandise at a Van Heusen outlet.

3.Discount Stores: These stores give a maximum discount to the consumers on the products they sell. They believe in competing based on low prices, high turnover, and high volume. The discount stores generally offer a limited range and the quality in certain cases might be a little inferior as compared to the department stores.

Example – Walmart is a fine example, also Mega mart.

4.Hyper/Supermarkets: Supermarkets are one of the most common types of retail outlets. They are large, departmentalized, self-service stores that specialize in food and some non-food items. FMCG products are the main focus in such stores when compared to consumer durables.

The product assortment is given great importance in supermarkets as the products need to be displayed in a manner such that customers get attracted to them, and they sell faster.

Range of Products:

Bakery products


 Meat Products, Fish products





 Soft drinks

 Frozen Food

 Canned Juices

Example- Big Bazar, Reliance Fresh, D-mart

5.Convenience Stores: Usually located in residential areas. They offer limited products with the added value of convenience it. They are generally small establishments with fast service and a focused approach.

6.Warehouse Stores: Retail format stores are not much bothering with their interiors and product displays. They have limited stock, supply in bulk at a huge discounted price.

7.Malls: Under one roof, you get several brands of retail stores operating. Several retail formats selling their brand merchandise at a common platform.

8.E Trailers: This type of format works for people who have a hectic schedule. Nowadays, it’s easy to sit at home and book on online apps by bearing the shipping charges. The products can be ordered through credit/debit cards or even cash on delivery option can be opted and the products will be delivered at their homes only. 

But there is a disadvantage to it as the product ordered may not reach in the same condition. Many retailers are also tying up with these services to gain business.

Example- Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra.

9.Off-Price Retailers: They are commonly termed as “Factory Outlet”, as in-store you will find varieties of mix merchandises – brands, private labels, fashion brands, etc. They are mostly slightly defective, offseason, old season, and not moving fast and out of fashion colors.

They are away from the regular market and fashion shopping zones inside the city. Generally, they don’t prefer to spend on the store interior much and also on the services in the store. Manufacturers also prefer to have few outlets in each city to push excess or dead stock and reduce the cost of operations. In India, most of the brands that have these outlets at various outlets in the city. 

Example: Reebok, Nike, Arrow, Levis use this extensively.

10.Value Retailers: Non-traditional retailers, categories into gift items, craft items, home décor items at an affordable price – low to the mid-price point. They are based in areas where the purchase isn’t high and have a very small store of about 5000 sq.ft 

They are fast-growing segments in the market. They also specialize in selling items in lower units, which may not be available in the market otherwise.

Example: In India, 49/99 stores have just made a mark in the segment. They sell products within a strict price point to attract customers.

11. Services Retailing: It is a very large subject and as important and wide as store retailing. It can be a childcare center, financial planning center, dry cleaning center, weight loss center, internet parlor, telephone booths, entertainment parks, hotels, etc.

The difference between service retailing and store/merchandise retailing is that products to be sold in service retailing are intangible (for example, healthcare services), perishable (for example, hotel rooms), suffers from inconsistency (financial investment advice), and has to produced instantly (for example Restaurants) for instant consumption.

Visual Merchandising (VM) is a part of Retail that helps to beautify and enhance the Categories & Brands.VM is a mind tool that helps us to an amazing ambiance in-store or to a particular display. It can be done anywhere with any product or merchandise. It is spread all over Retail, in any category from Apparels to Non-Apparels.

It is fun to do VM, where we keep on playing with elements of designs like colors, forms – 2d & 3d, shape, harmony, balance, proportion & repetition. The Elements of design help us to understand the products or merchandise more in detail.

VM is a business derived concept designed for all categories like Apparels – innerwear, lingerie, menswear, women’s wear & kids wear, also in Non-Apparels – accessories, luggage, footwear, handbags, cosmetics & perfumes, a home category in Retail. 

6 Categories of Indian Retail Sector: 

1.Food Retailers: Traditional types of retailers, who operate small single-outlet businesses mainly using family labor. There are a large number of and variety of retailers in the food-retailing sector. Supermarkets account for a small proportion of food sales in India. Consumers prefer to shop at supermarkets due to higher standards of hygiene and attractive ambiance.

2.Health & Beauty Products:

With the growth in income levels, customers have started spending more on health and beauty products. Single-outlet retailers domi­nate the market. This business is ex­pected to grow significantly in the future due to the growing quality con­sciousness of buyers for these products.

3. Clothing & Footwear:

There are numerous clothing and footwear shops at the shopping centers and markets operating all over India. Modern clothing and footwear stores have modern products and attractive displays to lure customers. With rapid urbanization, and changing patterns of consumer tastes and prefer­ences

 4. Home Furniture & Household Goods: Despite the large size of the market, very few large and modern retailers have established specialized stores of these products. 

5.Durable Goods: A great variety of consumer electronic items and household appliances became available to the Indian customer. Intense competition among companies to sell their brands provide strong growth to retailers doing busi­ness in this sector.

6.Leisure & Personal Goods: The need for lifestyle due to better economic opportunities have encouraged consumer expenses on leisure and personal goods in the country. There are specialized retailers for each category of products-books, music products, etc in this sector. 

It is done in-store using basic terms like Current season, Color blocking, Folding types, ongoing Campaign, Planogram implementation with the help of brand standards & Norms.

When working with a particular Brand or Company, provide yourself with the standard Brand norms to get a unique display in the world of Retail. Organizing & managing things as per the standard norms lead to a “Beautiful Display” is the work of a Visual Merchandiser. 

Visual Merchandising acts as “A Silent Seller” to help the brands perform best & lead to their Targets. It also helps customers to get their requirements conveniently.

“Design is thinking made Visual


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