Retailers differ from industrial companies in that they do not produce tangible products. They purchase merchandise from manufacturers in large quantities for resale to consumers at a profit. The domestic Retail Store industry is mature and highly competitive. These companies must provide desirable products, while managing inventory and controlling costs, to succeed. From an investment perspective, the sector generally tracks the broader stock market, on average. Some retail stocks can be volatile, though, making them best suited for short-term accounts. However, there are a few well-established companies suitable for the conservative investors.