Difference Between Wholesale and Retail (With Table)

While running a business, certain things need to be considered seriously. Supply management is among one of them. It is important to critically examine supply management as it decides the future of the company/business. The business has to decide in initially planning whether it wants to deal with a single industry of multiple or several industries.

  • Personal Touch: there is a personal touch in the retailer as the buyer interacts with the customer directly. Ti increases its market value.
  • Last link: it is the last link of the supply chain or management which directly connects with the customers.

    Main Differences Between Wholesale and Retail

    1. Capital requirement is the main thing that needs to be considered before starting. In terms of capital required, wholesale, as mentioned above, is associated with bulk production and the sale of products. Therefore, a high amount of capital is required, and comparatively less capital is required for retail as products are not sold in bulk.
    2. Compared to business size, wholesale is large in size due to bulk selling/buying of the product, whereas retail is of small size as it is done with limited people with limited products.
    3. In terms of business outreach, wholesale is spread in a larger space, in different states, a single wholesale business deals with several products in large quantity with more than a single state or area, whereas retail is limited to a certain space as it deals with limited products in limited states or areas.
    4. Art of selling is required in business to exceed the outreach of the business, in wholesale; this is not required as it already deals in large space and maximum business outreach while retail requires the art of selling to exceed its business outreach which is limited.
    5. Promotion is also essential for a successful business. The wholesale business is not required to promote the business or need comparatively less to promote the business, whereas retail businesses need to promote their business so that they can reach a maximum number of people. This also means that wholesale does not require attracting more customers in comparison to retail, in which customer attraction is essential.


    Therefore, it is clear how both retail and wholesale different from each other. Both of them play an important role in the market. They are opposite from each other in many aspects, such as business size, cost, and capital required, etc. but the similarity is that both of them sell their goods to their respective customers and both of them aim at similar objectives such as they aim at increasing profits, expand their respective business, and other small and long term objectives.

    Other than wholesaler and retailer, there is manufacturer, consumer, distributor, supplier, etc. all of them have their respective role in business and market, a consumer being the end-user, and wholesale being the supplier first identity.


    1. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=270784
    2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-0289.00213
    3. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13598541211269247/full/html
    4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221717310809
    5. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.103.3.575