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Wholesaling can also be called jobbing or distributing, and involves selling of merchandise or goods to various user categories. The first category for users are the retailers; the second category for users includes various professional users such as institutional, industrial, and commercial users; while the other category includes other related subordinate services and wholesalers. A more precise definition for wholesaling is that it is the sale of goods to any other user, apart from the ordinary consumer. In the United Kingdom (UK), there exists a wholesale warehouse that is open to general public upon paying a subscription and this is known as Cash and Carry. In the past, wholesalers were located closer to the market than to the raw materials.
The United Nations Statistics Division defines wholesale as the resale of brand new and second hand goods to other wholesalers or professional users, or involves being an agent or broker in purchase of merchandise for, or sale of merchandise to such companies or persons. Wholesalers have many duties that include; frequent physical assembly, sorting, and grading of goods in large amounts, breaking bulk, repacking and redistributing in smaller lots. While many of the wholesalers operate from premises totally independent from each other, foodstuffs’ wholesale marketing can take place at given wholesale markets made up of congregated markets.
When wholesaling exists in the banking industry it is known as wholesale banking, and provides tailored service to the large consumers, which is opposite to retail banking that provides standardize services to many smaller customers.
SERVICES PROVIDED BY A UK WHOLESALER
A UK wholesaler assists with promoting the products sold to retailers, and while number of these services is free, most of them are provided at some fee. Among the most effective forms of promotional assistance is reselected merchandise that features cooperatively with independent retailers.
A UK wholesaler will in some lines of goods, help with stock control. The wholesaler wills with minimum supervision; help the retailer keep the desired stock level needed for supplying customer, thus enabling to avoid tying up money in non-moving stock.
Providing market information
A UK wholesaler supplies information to help the small scale retailers’ increase their customer base and satisfaction. Because of the numerous contacts with the distant suppliers and local businesses, a wholesaler accumulates useful information about consumer demand, new developments in trade, supply conditions, and prices.
Increasing satisfaction level for the consumers
Because a UK wholesaler is well positioned between the regional and national suppliers, and the local buyers, he accumulates all the important information about consumer demand including the items they prefer. On reviewing orders, he understands the changing demands for a product and advises customers to make adjustments to their inventory and buying accordingly.
Offer pricing advice
A UK wholesaler often has relevant current information because they economically collect it from their customers than retailers can. Wholesalers who sell their own private brands or co-operative advertising plans often suggest retail prices suitable for the market.
Updating on supply conditions
A UK wholesaler provides up-to-date information about primary market conditions likely to affect a specific product’s supply. Information regarding scarcity and abundance is of great importance before any buying plans are implemented.
Updating on new developments
A UK wholesaler keeps the other market participants informed of new products, new ideas and new methods by regularly circulating publications such as bulletins and newsletters. These media often summarizes relevant information found in other articles, thereby, saving the time and resources that could be spend going through them one at a time.
Providing financial aid
Many UK wholesalers provide indirect financial aid to retailers, especially, making quick and frequent deliveries, which helps in reducing the inventory investment versus sales ratio small. Another indirect aid is trade credit which is very common in the modern system.
Providing insurance counsel
A UK wholesaler tries to assist customers to secure protection against risks from smoke, water damage, fire and theft, usually through alerting customer on their insurance needs, helping customers get claim settled in time, and ensuring insurance is in force.
Real estate assistance
A number of the UK wholesalers keep their retailers updated on stores that are up for sale or for rent, especially, when they are considering a branch store. The information provided is usually up to date because the information is gathered from real estate agencies, salespeople, newspapers, and customers.
A large number of wholesalers provide secondary assistance to their customers, and offers services that help their customers solve long range problems, such as personnel, real estate problems, insurance, and financing.
UK wholesalers especially those in the retail food business, lend funds for modernizing their facilities and premises to retailers. The wholesalers also recommend loans at the bank for retailers and guarantees partial or full repayment.
A UK retailer usually has compiled forms and manuals that retailers can use as basis for transaction records.
Policies and methods
A UK wholesaler will in an attempt to streamline operation with its retailers offer guidance and counsel that will enable them set policies and improve methods