The wide variety strategy, often seen in boutique or small stores, aims to attract customers with an impressive array of products. While it may not offer a deep assortment of specific items, it can compete with big box stores by providing superior service and a more enjoyable shopping experience. This strategy, exemplified by convenience and variety stores, relies on convenience and personal service to thrive. However, it may face challenges from specialized retailers with a better selection of specific products. In contrast, the deep assortment strategy offers a broader range of sizes, styles, and brands, making it suitable for retailers catering to a well-defined demographic, such as baby boutiques.
What is the wide variety strategy?
The wide variety strategy, as the name suggests, centers around offering a wide range of products. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean stocking a deep assortment of each category of goods. This strategy is more suited to boutique or small stores, where the goal is to impress customers with the sheer variety of items on offer. Here, quality often takes precedence over quantity.
In a store that employs the wide variety strategy, you can expect to find an astonishing assortment of products, which may include:
Food and beverages
From snacks to canned goods, a variety store might carry a diverse selection of food and beverages.
Personal hygiene products
These stores often stock an array of personal care items like soaps, shampoos, and toiletries.
Small home and garden tools
You might find basic tools and gardening supplies tucked away on the shelves.
Office essentials like pens, notebooks, and desk organizers are commonly available.
Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, or other celebrations, variety stores often have seasonal decorations.
Basic electronic accessories and gadgets can be part of the mix.
For green-thumbed shoppers, a selection of plants and gardening products may be available.
Variety stores often carry a variety of toys to cater to different age groups.
From pet food to toys and accessories, these stores might have a section for furry friends.
You can stumble upon a collection of discounted books.
Music, movies, and other forms of recorded media may be on the shelves.
Basic sewing materials like threads, needles, and buttons might be offered.
Basic automotive supplies, such as motor oil, could be part of the inventory.
Variety stores may include home decor items like candles, picture frames, and decorative accents.
The wide variety strategy is driven by the idea that while a retailer might not have the space to stock various sizes and brands of a specific product, it can typically provide what the customer is seeking.
For example, a convenience store may offer a wide variety of products but won’t necessarily stock multiple brands or sizes of each product. Even pharmacy chains like CVS and Walgreen’s have embraced the wide variety strategy by expanding their inventory to include general merchandise beyond medical necessities.
Wide variety vs. deep assortment
Retailers face a critical decision when determining their merchandising strategy: whether to pursue a wide variety or a deep assortment approach. Attempting to do both can be challenging, primarily due to the significant space requirements involved. In today’s retail landscape, large, spacious stores are often associated with big-box retailers. However, retailers with more limited space can choose a deep assortment strategy if they decide to specialize in specific products and offer them in various colors, sizes, styles, and brands.
The deep assortment strategy is often more appropriate for serving a clearly defined demographic. For example, a retailer may choose to cater to new parents by offering a deep assortment of baby clothes, toys, and bedding. These items can typically be found at nearby big box stores like Costco and Walmart. Still, many shoppers may prefer the personalized and specialized selection available at a baby boutique.
In summary, the wide variety strategy relies on offering a broad range of products to attract customers, often in smaller retail spaces. While it may not provide a deep assortment of specific items, it can compete with big box stores by delivering superior service and an enjoyable shopping experience. However, it must contend with the challenge of specialized retailers that offer a more extensive selection of particular products. In contrast, the deep assortment strategy emphasizes a broader range of sizes, styles, and brands and is suitable for retailers targeting well-defined demographics.
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Attracts customers with a diverse product range
- Suitable for boutique or small stores
- Can compete with big box stores through superior service
- Offers a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience
- Limits space for a deep assortment of products
- Risk of losing customers to specialized retailers
Frequently asked questions
What is the main objective of the wide variety strategy?
The main objective of the wide variety strategy is to attract customers by offering a diverse range of products. This strategy is often employed by boutique or small stores to create an impression of a wide selection of goods.
Is the wide variety strategy suitable for all types of retail stores?
No, the wide variety strategy is typically more suited to boutique or small stores. It may not be the ideal approach for big box stores. The strategy relies on impressing customers with a broad product range rather than providing a deep assortment of specific items.
How can wide variety stores compete with big box retailers?
Wide variety stores can compete with big box retailers by offering superior customer service and creating an enjoyable shopping experience. They rely on convenience, personal service, and a friendly atmosphere to attract and retain customers.
What are the risks associated with the wide variety strategy?
One significant risk is that customers may choose to shop at specialized retailers that offer a deeper assortment of specific products. The wide variety strategy can also limit the space available for a deep assortment of goods.
When is the deep assortment strategy a better choice?
The deep assortment strategy is a better choice when a retailer wants to serve a well-defined demographic. For example, offering a deep assortment of baby products might be more suitable for retailers targeting new parents, even though big box stores carry similar items.
- The wide variety strategy attracts customers with a diverse product range and is well-suited for boutique or small stores.
- It can compete with big box stores by providing superior service and creating an enjoyable shopping experience.
- However, there is a risk of losing customers to specialized retailers that offer a deeper assortment of specific products.
- The deep assortment strategy, on the other hand, focuses on offering a broader range of sizes, styles, and brands, making it suitable for well-defined demographics.
View Article Sources
- Market-Linked Investments – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Investment Products – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- What is Finance? – Jacksonville State University
- What is Finance? The Evolution of Financial Ratio Analysis – SuperMoney