Summary by Laura Deady
“Retail buying is a very sexy job,” explained Dean Edward Mazze as he enumerated and judged the rules of this “discipline.” In his presentation, Dean Mazze elaborated on such aspects of retailing as customer importance, marketing, research, trends, and fiscal intentions. Dean Mazze’s presentation forced the audience to interpret retailing as a progressive and profitable career option.
Dean Mazze began his discussion by outlining the general characteristics and expectations of retailing. He explained that retailing is “probably the quickest way to learn a lot about marketing.” It was interesting to explore this trade as not only a career, but as a vehicle of learning, allowing one to advance within the field of retailing, and thus, through related disciplines. Incentive for one to enter the field of retail buying is the potential to become an entrepreneur. Much of the retailing business is dependent upon the consumer. This idea is defined by Dean Mazze’s “marketing concept;” this concept puts emphasis strictly on the customer, since it is inevitable that without those who buy, there would be no need for those who sell. Thus, the retailer must ascribe to the needs of the consumer by way of intense research and informed decision making. Also, one of the main components of business is that one must utilize the market in an effort to make money. Money in retailing comes with “repeat business,” again relating to the importance of the consumer.
The bulk of Dean Mazze’s presentation was dedicated to the enumeration of the “ten trends in business.” The first trend in business is the disintegration of the “mom and pop stores” due to intensifying competition with larger, corporate enterprises. Also, the children of those who own these types of shops do not wish to inherit what their parents have built. The second trend is the tendency for retail chains to acquire other chains, thus stressing the pertinence of the “power of bigness.” The third trend in retailing is that retailers have begun to create indigenous brands in order to lower the prices of these products and place them in more effective store locations. The fourth trend is the successful reign of the discount store, which attracts consumers with extremely low prices. Characterizing the fifth trend are those category killers taking up a small percentage of the market, yet accounting for a larger percentage of the business than the market majority. Trend number six assesses the sophistication of new retailers in regard to an increase in college degrees, customer appeal, and progressiveness. The seventh trend in business, and surely one of the most important, is the internet. The internet has created a business within itself, as well as a transformation in businesses within all areas of interest. The internet has capitalized on the consumer’s interest in saving time. The eighth trend is the retailer’s increased recognition of external factors such as technology, globalization, and politics. Trend number nine is retail technology and the retailer’s interest in having no inventory while satisfying all consumer needs. Lastly, the tenth trend in business is the decline of the major malls, which is without doubt a reaction to the internet and other retailing technologies.
The discipline of retailing is continuously progressing with the development of new technology, new consumers, and new innovators. The two strongholds within this field is its dependence upon the will of the consumer, and the retailer’s monetary aspirations. Trend forecasting within the fashion industry is quite dependent upon the study of fashion history, external influences, and where the consumers want to move next. Trends within retailing appear to reflect this same reliance and the ability to forever develop.
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