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Brian Ratchford and Dinesh K. Gauri

Changes in retail productivity (i.e., the ratio of outputs to inputs) can have a substantial impact on the general performance of the economy. Also, since differences in productivity between retail firms can create important competitive effects, retail managers need to understand how their firm’s productivity compares to the productivity of their competitors, and they need to be able to pinpoint areas of strengths and weakness. For both of these reasons retail productivity has a long history of research. Since the Internet and information technology have triggered major changes in the nature of retailing, understanding retail productivity has become especially important in recent years. This chapter presents and compares different approaches to measuring productivity. Next, it discusses the drivers of productivity change, and highlights the trends in retail productivity over time. Finally, by summarizing previous empirical studies, it benchmarks productivity between different retail firms and stores.