History of Retail Industry

Module 7 Research Paper Table of Contents History of Retail Industry History of Retail Industry Retail history goes back all the way into the 1800s. Granted a retail business now compared to back in the 18th century are night and day. Retail in the 18th century was considered a general store only in populations over 5000 and would consist of items that were necessities. Like today, you don’t have multiple retail stores to choose from like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. There was one store and that was all shoppers had to buy from.
Department stores were gradually introduced which gave customers a chance to choose between brands and products at one location. JC Penney founded in 1902 to Piggly Wiggly in 1916 who was the first to offer checkout lines and self-service. In 1961, Target was founded with Wal-Mart in 1962 and Kohls right behind them in 1963. It wasn’t long and Best Buy, Kmart, TJ Maxx, Costco, and many more retail stores opened their doors to the industry of shopping. It didn’t take long for the retail industry to take off and attract consumers of all kinds with the convenience of shopping and with it came to experience as well. From department stores to grocery stores they transformed their ways of selling to gives customers not only the products they want but the atmosphere that was appealing. With Wal-Mart opening its doors in 1962 it made the 1960s the revolution in the world of retail. Today, the retail industry is booming, yes with the recession it hurt some of the smaller businesses but for the most part, they have stayed afloat. We did lose some big retail businesses in 2008 such as Linens N Things, Mervyns and Circuit City.
Consumers can be at home, at work, or even in their car and make a purchase with the ease of the fast-moving technological innovations that has touched each aspect of the retail value chain. The retail industry has built such a successful business by offering consumers a value-based experience along with convenience and the biggest of all, choice. Corporate Stakeholders The term stakeholder is a person or group that affects and organization’s decisions, policies, and operations.

With this being said, the retail industry needs to make stakeholders understand the role in the industry to help protect and improve their reputation as well as build confidence in consumers. Corporate stakeholders have to be more than a moral responsibility to the company. They need to be a part of much more from how much consumers spend to supporting key policy issues and in the end will change the shareholder value. Social, Economic, and Political Setting The retail industry does a lot for the social and economic setting. Wal-Mart alone does a great deal for the communities where their stores are located. Not only do they provide jobs for around 1. 5 million people, but they also have competitive pricing to help local economies. Their competitive pricing brings in more than 312 billion dollars.
So not only is Wal-Mart a thriving company they believe in a family work culture as well as supporting their local communities. Many retail stores leave a big footprint in their communities and worldwide. They rally around charities and do their part to put a stamp on the map. On the other hand, most in the retail industry tries to keep business and politics separate which seems to be the safest position to take. Some retail businesses like Wal-Mart and Coca Cola are open to their affiliation with the Republican Party and seem to help their image with the traditional consumers but most do not want to take a chance of offending their customer base. Domestic and International Ethics
Starbucks who opened their doors in 1971 to forty-one year later they have become a global company with more than 19,000 stores in 60 different countries. They have made the Ethicsphere Institute’s World most Ethical Company List for six straight years. They introduced the Ethical Coffee sourcing program in 2001 to help farms in Central and South America improve their crops while remaining environmentally aware. They helped local nurseries plant over 200,000 seedlings to restore natural forest cover as well as decreasing the use of herbicides and chemical fertilizers with farmers. They also helped train farmers to help reduce the use of carbon by replacing more than 200,000 trees. Ecological and Natural Resources
The retail industry has regulations made by the Environmental Protection Agency that they have to comply with to meet regulatory obligations as well as helping reduce environmental impacts such as waste management, product selection, and construction of new facilities. Retail businesses may have state regulations to comply with as well as Federal regulations. Many in the retail industry are taking great strides to help impact the environment. There are four areas that highly impact the environment. One is the choice of raw materials for clothing has big impacts on the environment. Cotton is known for its rigorous use of water and pesticides and the so-called natural dyes that rely on the harvest of millions of insects to reach the “natural” color.
The second is manufacturing. Textile dyeing and finishing mills can be high producers of water pollution and carbon dioxide emissions and by improving their mills to reduce water, energy and chemical use can really reduce the footprint of their global supply chain. The third is transportation which unfortunately manufacturers and retailers are on other ends of the globe which any mode of transportation sends some sort of pollution into the environment. The last impact is consumer care which many consumers may not even be aware of how a few simple steps can help reduce environmental impacts tremendously. One is washing in cold water and air drying if possible.
Dry cleaning is another risk to the environment due to the chemical that is used to clean the clothes called perchloroethylene which has been known to cause many health effects with exposure to this at high levels. So it is not just the retail businesses that can help make changes to better our environment it also falls on the shoulders of designers to use fabrics that don’t require dry-cleaning and to the consumers that purchase to make choices that help the environment. Clean by Design launched its program in 2009 to help reduce the environmental impacts by using the buying power of multinational corporations by improving processes in the environment to reducing emissions and waste.
It is astonishing to see by 2011 that Target, Wal-Mart, Gap, Levis, H; M, Nike, and Li; Fung are all participating in this program and hopefully they corporations will continue to get inboard and the list will continue to grow. Social Issues In today’s lively and unstable business world of the retail industry they are always faced with social issues such as customer choices, brutal competitors, complex global economy, and the use of the internet. Retailers are constantly trying to find new ways to make their business more profitable and ways to get more shoppers through their doors. The retail industry has caught on to engaging with society and consumers on a personal level. They are adapting and changing to the environment around them and constantly developing new ways to serve their customers with trust and brand loyalty.
Just like Timberland Company did in 2008 by making a “nutrition label” on their shoebox to show the environmental impact it has from beginning to delivery of the shoe. The company did this in hopes of giving consumers the information they need to make environmentally smart decisions on buying. Not only did Timberland Company do this they also comprised their shoebox that is made up of 100 percent recycled post-consumer waste fiber, no chemical glues, and only soy-based inks to print labels. Timberland is just one of many retail stores that take a stand on social issues. Target is another big business in the business industry that comes to mind.
From opening its doors in 1988, Target has always tried to be a step above in the industry with the competitive edge logos to its reputation for low prices and offering organic foods in their superstores. They always try to maintain their mission statement which reads, “to make Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and exceptional guest experiences by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. ® brand promise”. They not only cater to the consumers they are extremely involved with schools and the communities that surround them. They are partnered with St. Jude which is a huge plus for them and provides disaster relief and is always raising funds for our country’s children.
Another company that has taken great strides to make their place in this economy just as their mission statement says to “Inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time. Rating of the industry’s overall social responsiveness I believe the retail industry for the most part is trying to take the right steps to make a difference in the economy and help ensure the environment is a first priority. Over the years we have seen so many big corporations leave footprints in the global economy as well as making the appropriate changes to better the community and environment we live in.
References Retail

(2010). Retrieved from http://www. ceres. org/roadmap-assessment/sector-analyses/retail Wal-Mart. (2012, December 9).
Retrieved from http://corporate. walmart. com/our-story/heritage/history-timeline https://corporate. target. com/about/history/Target-through-the-years (2012, March).
In Starbucks Ethical Coffee Sourcing and Farmer Report. Retrieved November 8, 2012, from http://assets. starbucks. com/assets/6e52b26a7602471dbff32c9e66e685e3. pdf Clean by design. (n. d. ).
Retrieved from http://www. nrdc. org/international/cleanbydesign The evolution of retailing. (2009, 12).
Retrieved from http://www. kpmg. com/CN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/Evolution-retailing-o-200912. pdf Ken, A. (2012, March 31). Wal-mart company.

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