Variant of NAICS 1997 - Labour Force Survey (LFS) Industries

7 - Services-Producing Sector

8 - Trade

41 - Wholesale Trade

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in wholesaling merchandise and providing related logistics, marketing and support services. The wholesaling process is generally an intermediate step in the distribution of merchandise; many wholesalers are therefore organized to sell merchandise in large quantities to retailers, and business and institutional clients. However, some wholesalers, in particular those that supply non-consumer capital goods, sell merchandise in single units to final users.

This sector recognizes two main types of wholesalers, that is, wholesale merchants and wholesale agents and brokers.

Wholesale Merchants

Wholesale merchants buy and sell merchandise on their own account, that is, they take title to the goods they sell. They generally operate from warehouse or office locations and they may ship from their own inventory or arrange for the shipment of goods directly from the supplier to the client. In addition to the sale of goods, they may provide, or arrange for the provision of, logistics, marketing and support services, such as packaging and labelling, inventory management, shipping, handling of warranty claims, in-store or co-op promotions, and product training. Dealers of machinery and equipment, such as dealers of farm machinery and heavy-duty trucks, also fall within this category.

Wholesale merchants are known by a variety of trade designations depending on their relationship with suppliers or customers, or the distribution method they employ. Examples include wholesale merchants, wholesale distributors, drop shippers, rack-jobbers, import-export merchants, buying groups, dealer-owned cooperatives and banner wholesalers.

The first eight subsectors of wholesale trade comprise wholesale merchants. The grouping of these establishments into industry groups and industries is based on the merchandise line or lines supplied by the wholesaler.

Wholesale Agents and Brokers

Wholesale agents and brokers buy and sell merchandise owned by others on a fee or commission basis. They do not take title to the goods they buy or sell, and they generally operate at or from an office location.

Wholesale agents and brokers are known by a variety of trade designations including import-export agents, wholesale commission agents, wholesale brokers, and manufacturer's representatives and agents.

44-45 - Retail Trade

The retail trade sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in retailing merchandise, generally without transformation, and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

The retailing process is the final step in the distribution of merchandise; retailers are therefore organized to sell merchandise in small quantities to the general public. This sector comprises two main types of retailers, that is, store and non-store retailers. Their main characteristics are described below.

Store Retailers

Store retailers operate fixed point-of-sale locations, located and designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, retail stores have extensive displays of merchandise and use mass-media advertising to attract customers. They typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption, but some also serve business and institutional clients. These include establishments such as office supplies stores, computer and software stores, gasoline stations, building material dealers, plumbing supplies stores and electrical supplies stores.

In addition to selling merchandise, some types of store retailers are also engaged in the provision of after-sales services, such as repair and installation. For example, new automobile dealers, electronic and appliance stores and musical instrument and supplies stores often provide repair services, while floor covering stores and window treatment stores often provide installation services. As a general rule, establishments engaged in retailing merchandise and providing after sales services are classified in this sector.

Catalogue sales showrooms, gasoline service stations, and mobile home dealers are treated as store retailers.

Non-Store Retailers

Non-store retailers, like store retailers, are organized to serve the general public, but their retailing methods differ. The establishments of this subsector reach customers and market merchandise with methods such as, the broadcasting of infomercials, the broadcasting and publishing of direct-response advertising, the publishing of traditional and electronic catalogues, door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, temporary displaying of merchandise (stalls) and distribution by vending machines.

The methods of transaction and delivery of merchandise vary by type of non-store retailers. For example, non-store retailers that reach their customers using information technologies can receive payment at the time of purchase or at the time of delivery, and the delivery of the merchandise may be done by the retailer or by a third party, such as the post office or a courier. In contrast, non-store retailers that reach their customers by door-to-door solicitation, in-home demonstration, temporary displaying of merchandise (stalls) and vending machines typically receive payment and deliver the merchandise to the customer at the time of the purchase.

The non-store retailers subsector also includes establishments engaged in the home delivery of products. This includes home heating oil dealers and newspaper delivery companies.

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