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What is a Discount Retailer & How Can They Save You Money?

What is a Discount Retailer & How Can They Save You Money?

The retail marketplace has evolved in such rapid fashion that manufacturers and retail sales no longer hold the consumer world in the palm of their hand. Once an industry dominated by singular retail outlets, the market today has shifted so quickly to that of an online marketplace - for the benefits of options, price comparisons, and ease - that retail sales hold very little power over consumers.

Today, the advantages of shopping online are only contested by discount retailers, who can offer a full shopping experience under one roof, all at reduced prices - yet many people still have misconceptions about what a discount retailer really is.

So what exactly is a discount retailer? Are they simply cheap knock-offs of brand-name items?

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.


What are Discount Retailers?

Simply put, discount retailers have taken a page out of the typical department stores like Sears, Macy’s, The Bay and have come to be known as 'Big Box stores'.  Although they offer a variety of merchandise seen in department stores, the Big Box stores have taken the concept to a new level with lower margins and a narrow approach to only lead sellers within those departments. They offer low prices because of vastly efficient and lower-cost distribution processes under one management team or head office.

Discount retailers are sometimes also referred to as ‘full-line’ discount stores, ‘mass merchandisers’ and ‘wholesale clubs’ that require memberships. Their approach to product sell-through rate or turns is linked to their ability to sell items at reduced costs and low margins- not a lapse in product quality.   

Usually located outside of major metropolitan areas they succeed in surrounding busy neighbourhoods.  One of the defining principles of discount retailers is that it’s almost always easier to sell more to the same customer, by providing a proven variety of goods - than it is to sell one type of product to a customer base or to offer too broad a selection of goods in a specific department. The idea of one-stop shopping is a pivotal principle of discount retailers, who may sell - for example - home decor, furniture, and appliances, groceries, produce, and clothing, versus a retailer that only sell stationary or patio sets.



Discount retailers are often confused with that of cheap retailers that opt to sell knock-offs and low-cost alternatives to popular brands and products. While they are able to sell products to the public at reduced rates, their brands and quality are not affected. Many discount retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco, K-Mart, and Target are all examples of discount retailers that sell brand name quality products at competitively priced rates due to exemplary distribution practices, lower retail margins, and bulk product purchases.

There may have been a misconception in the past that discount retailers are Liquidation or Outlet type stores only.  However, the retail landscape has changed in the last 20 years where Big Box stores have now become lead discount stores.  Outlet and Liquidation stores have also thrived in the last 20 years as an avenue for the Big Box stores to alleviate inventory problems that occur with the change of season, shelf pulls, and customer returns by offering an even deeper discount experience. 

They are widely known in the retail sector as Reverse Logistics specialists.



The advantages of shopping in departmental discount retail stores go beyond the reduced prices and savings that can be realized. On the side of the retailer itself, there's the advantage of being able to provide customers with a plethora of related goods in one location, eliminating travel in between retailers. A customer may come into the store to purchase a new pair of shoes but leave with new gym clothes, a hat, and a gym bag.

Advantages for the shopper include the ability to inspect and directly cross-compare products in-person, while online shopping only accommodates customer testimonials and word-of-mouth. The greater inventory options provide shoppers with choice, offering perspective new relation of the purchasing journey. Being able to thoroughly inspect and compare goods is a key characteristic of discount retailers that benefits the shopper.

Further, buying in-store alleviates the customer from having to pay expensive shipping costs, which can offset your potential savings. With discount retailers, shoppers benefit from greater sales confidence and fewer conflicts related to the online shipping industry, tracking numbers, lost packages, and damaged goods. The instant gratification of purchasing in-person is supplemented by the ability to have your questions answered by sales staff, rather than having to rely on testimonials, phone calls and email correspondence with manufacturers.


At bronershop, we're all about helping people afford more and finding creative ways to experience life without the expensive price tag. Visit us here, or drop by one of our stores in British Columbia for deals on your favourite brand names.

For the best bargains, check out our current flyer, or browse our new arrivals.

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