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CHAPTER 5 Classifications and Methodology of Retail Research After reading this chapter, you should be able to discuss: Several areas of research...

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CHAPTER 5 Classifications and  Methodology of Retail Research After reading this chapter, you should be able to discuss:  Several areas of research used by fashion retailers to solve  their problems.  The various steps used in the research procedure.  The differences between the observation and questionnaire  techniques for gathering data.  How primary and secondary data are distinguishable from  each other.  The role that the Internet plays in retail research.  Why focus groups have become an important research tool  for merchants to use in making merchandising decisions.  How questionnaires are developed that help retailers assess their potential markets. In the past, fashion merchants were more likely to base their  decisions on intuition than the scientific approaches used today.  They often purchased what they believed best suited the needs of  their customers in terms of style, quality, function, and price. They  offered the services they felt were appropriate to their companies  and hoped that consumers would patronize them. For many  merchants, these methods worked well. They established  successful businesses and enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Others  were less fortunate and were forced to close their doors because  they were unable to attract enough shoppers to make their  businesses profitable. Were the successful merchants just luckier than the unsuccessful  ones? While unseasoned people may talk about success in terms of luck, educated retailers speak in terms of being prepared to tackle  problems, such as focusing in on the right location, designing the  appropriate environment, selecting the merchandise assortment  that suits the market’s needs, and providing the services required 
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by the clientele. They know that success comes from expertise, not luck! Those who specialize in fashion retailing have more concerns than  their counterparts in other retail operations. Not only must they  face the various problems associated with retailing in general but  they must also deal with the sudden changes in fashion, color,  seasons, weather conditions, and so forth. The concept of “survival of the fittest” surely applies to the fashion retailer. To meet the challenges of each day’s problems, most of the major  fashion operations, be they the brick-and-mortar giants, off-site  ventures, or the multichannel organizations, prepare themselves by  studying the marketplace. They must learn as much as possible  about consumer behavior, the demographics of trading areas,  potential customers’ lifestyles (discussed in the preceding chapter), the types of services that will make their clientele want to return,  and what consumers want in terms of price, style, and quality. Many fashion retailers are able to address these and other problems and will continue to do so through a number of retailing research  methods employed by in-house research teams and/or external  agencies. This chapter addresses research theories and techniques that bring  the right information to the world of retailing. THE NATURE OF RETAILING  RESEARCH Retailers must make a variety of decisions concerning store  location, merchandising, advertising and promotion, customer  services, human resources, sales methods, and competition. They  must study each area so that they will be able to function in the  most profitable manner. The following sections list the types of  questions retailers should consider about these areas; some of them relate exclusively to brick-and-mortar establishments and others  relate more to off-site or on-site ventures.
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From Book Fashion Retailing: A Multi-Channel Approach Chapter 5: page 113 Discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, 17, 18 For Discussion 1. Why is it necessary for retailers to conduct research studies for  their companies? 2. What must the retailer learn about the consumer to maximize  potential profitability? 3. What are some of the areas of concern for brick-and-mortar  retailers to assess before choosing a location? 12. What does the term “primary data” mean? 13. List three techniques used to gather primary data and how they  differ from each other. 17. Why do some merchants use traffic counts when researching  prospective locations? 18. What is a focus group? Chapter 6: page 129 Discussion questions 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 For Discussion 2. Why should retailers develop codes of ethics for their employees  and the industry partners with whom they interface? 3. How would you define the term “business ethics”? 11.
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Is it ethical for workers to use the Internet for personal reasons  during the workday at the office? 12. Is it ethical for employees to take sick days when they aren’t really ill? 13. Might workers lie for their supervisor if they are asked to do so?  Why? 14. How can falsifying expense accounts harm the company? 16. Why should retailers become socially responsible?
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