Handbook of Research on Retailing
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Handbook of Research on Retailing

Edited by Katrijn Gielens and Els Gijsbrechts

The advent of e-commerce and the rise of hard discounters have put severe pressure on traditional retail chains. Boundaries are blurring: traditional brick & mortar players are expanding their online operations and/or setting up their own discount banners, while the power houses of online retail are going physical, and hard discounters get caught up in the Wheel of Retailing. Even successful companies cannot sit back and rest, but need to prepare for the next wave of change. In the face of this complexity, it is all the more important to take stock of current knowledge, based on insights and experience from leading scholars in the field. What do we know from extant studies, and what are the ensuing best practices? What evolutions are ahead, and will current recipes still work in the future? This Handbook sheds light on these issues.
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Chapter 17: Retail productivity

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.

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