Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution
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Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution

Edited by Emek Basker

This Handbook explores and critically examines current research in economics and marketing science on key economic issues in retailing and distribution. Providing a rich perspective for the discussion of public policy, contributions from several disciplines and continents range from the history of chains and the impact of multinational retailers on international trade patterns; to the US merger policy in the retail context, the rise of the Internet and consumer-to-consumer sales. This state-of-the-art Handbook is an essential reference for students and academics of economics and marketing science and offers outsiders valuable perspectives on operations research, data analytics, geography, and sociology.
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Chapter 3: Retail productivity

Brian T. Ratchford


This chapter presents a review of issues associated with measuring productivity for different sectors of retailing, and reviews recent estimates of productivity changes in these sectors. In an attempt to explain the changes, the chapter reviews published evidence about the drivers of productivity changes in retailing, including scanning technology and other innovations in information technology. One finding is that these changes have created various types of scale economies that have led to the success of larger retailers, and have rendered smaller retailers less competitive. The emergence of Internet retailing and its impact on retail productivity is also discussed. In addition to understanding macro level changes in retail productivity, practitioners and others need to benchmark the performance of firms, sales territories, stores, departments and other entities against best practice. I review methods for accomplishing this, and discuss some published examples.

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