In a departmental store, the whole business is carried on in one building and the customers are drawn to it. In multiple shops, big manufacturers approach customers by setting up shops near the customers.

Have you ever observed that there are some retail stores running in your town or city having the same name, same decoration and dealing in the same type of products under a single brand name. For example, there is Raymonds, Nirula’s, McDonalds, etc. These are multiple shops. They sell similar range of commodities at the same price in all their shops.

These shops are usually owned and run by big manufacturers or producers. They open a number of branches at different localities in a city or in different cities and towns in a country. These shops are also called Chain Stores. Multiple shops deal with similar types of goods mostly of everyday use e.g., shoes, textiles, watches, automobile products, etc.

The price is uniform for similar items in all the shops. These shops are usually conveniently located in the main market place or in busy shopping centers.

Merits of Multiple Shops

The multiple shops offer the following advantages to buyer and sellers.

  1. All multiple shops are often built alike, that helps customers to recognise the shops easily. They have similar window display, interior decoration of the shop and arrangement of the counter, furniture, sign boards, etc.

  2. They facilitate elimination of middlemen (wholesalers and retailers) in the process of distribution.

  3. These shops enjoy the benefits of large-scale purchase or production of goods (centralised purchase or production). Also, due to common advertisements these shops are able to save on the cost of advertising.

  4. The customers can get the goods at a cheaper rate because of low operating cost and elimination of middlemen in the process of distribution.

  5. Since the customers get genuine and standardised goods directly from the manufacturers, chances of duplication of goods and cheating does not arise in these shops. Also, standard quality and uniform price of products help in winning the confidence of customers.

Limitations of Multiple Shops

In spite of all the above merits, multiple shops also suffer from the following limitations.

  1. These shops deal in a limited variety of products and restrict the choice offered to customers.

  2. Sales are made on cash basis only and the customer cannot avail of credit facilities from these shops.

  3. Customers cannot bargain with sales person while buying the product. The prices of the product are fixed by the head office and individual shops have no control over it.

  4. Each of the multiple shops is generally managed by the branch managers and they strictly follow the instructions of the head office. Often, they do not take initiative or special interest in satisfying the customers.