US Retailing and its Global Diffusion

Misha Petrovic

in The Market Makers

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199590179
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724893 | DOI:
US Retailing and its Global Diffusion

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In this chapter, Misha Petrovic addresses the globalization of US retailers, as both buyers of goods from suppliers and sellers of goods to consumers around the world. First tracing the history of modern retailing and then concentrating on the post-Second World War period, Petrovic analyzes how major US retailers pioneered the development of transformative retailing formats, including department stores, supermarkets, chain stores, general merchandising, franchising, shopping malls, and big-box stores. As consumer market makers, modern retailers expanded internationally by replicating successful domestic models. The diffusion of American retail formats occurred in four waves. The first wave, between 1900 and 1945, showed very limited diffusion beyond national borders. During the second wave, 1945–70, big-box retailing spread to Europe and Japan. The third wave, between 1970 and 1990, spread best practices in retailing throughout the industrialized world, and internationalization of the major retail chains began in earnest. The fourth wave from 1990 until the present time has pushed the globalization of retail formats, allowing the largest chains to become global market makers, leading to the integration of global consumer markets.

Keywords: retail formats; chain stores; franchising; shopping malls; big-box stores; supermarkets; self-service; integration of global consumer markets

Chapter.  16808 words. 

Subjects: International Business

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