Retail Conglomerates Key Terms

Connect with basic vocabulary to understand retail conglomerates

Retail conglomerates are the 800-pound gorillas of the sales world. Their importing habits and choices of when to buy domestically or not shape the American retail scene and have a strong effect on world trade. As the main drivers of consumer buying habits, understanding retail conglomerates can help you understand the ins and outs of the retail market as a whole. Use this sheet of key vocabulary to help you understand the complex interrelationships of marketing, wholesale and retail companies within the conglomerates.

Business-to-business wholesale

Business-to-business marketing helps eliminate the middlemen and streamline the transactions from product source to the retailer that will eventually market the product to consumers.


A business or retail conglomerate is not that different from the more mainstream connotation of the word. Think of a retail conglomerate as a collection of diverse retail stores all gathered under the same general business leadership.


B2C or business to customer are terms that refer to transactions between a company or conglomerate and customers, as opposed to b2b or business-to-business transactions conducted only between companies.

Authorized resellers

When retail conglomerates carry popular products, like Apple brand computers and iPods, they often choose to become authorized resellers. Essentially, they are entering into a partnership in which the manufacturer endorses the retail store as an approved source for purchasing its product.

Balance of trade

The balance of trade is essentially a way of measuring how a country's imports compare to its exports. Retail conglomerates can shift this balance through their purchasing habits with foreign and domestic goods.

Sales tax exemption certificate

A sales tax exemption certificate, also known simply as a tax exemption certificate or resale certificate, is a standard business form used as proof that you intend to resell the goods you purchased at wholesale prices.
Washington State Department of Revenue explains the use of a resale certificate in business-to-business transactions.