The general retailing industry comprises three predominant sectors: multiline retail, specialty retail, and internet retail. Multiline retailers are made up of general merchandisers and department stores. This segment of retailers offer varied products, and may also include warehouse clubs and superstores. Specialty retailers focus on one section of the retail market at a time, such as apparel, computer and electronic, home improvement, sporting goods, or auto parts, amongst others. Internet retailing is inclusive of every sale made through the internet. Within these major sectors, there are subsectors of the merchandise offered through these general retail outlets; food and beverage (such as grocery store, alcoholic suppliers, and specialty food stores), pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care, motor vehicle dealers, and apparel and footwear merchants.
Demand in the general retailing industry is influenced by interest rates, consumer confidence in products, and the personal income of the consumers. Independent companies rely on effective management of supply chains and efficient promotion of their products to appeal to consumers. Small businesses focus on retailing unique products, providing an outstanding retail experience, offering excellent consumer services, and prioritizing their business to a specific locale. Large companies utilize the advantages they have in the areas of purchasing, merchandising, and distribution of their products.