Supersize It: The Growth of Retail Chains and the Rise of the 'Big Box' Retail Format

54 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2009 Last revised: 1 Nov 2011

See all articles by Emek Basker

Emek Basker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies; University of Missouri - Department of Economics

Shawn D. Klimek

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper documents and explains the recent rise of "big box" general merchandisers. Data from the Census of Retail Trade for 1977-2007 show that general-merchandise chains grew much faster than specialist retail chains, and that general merchandisers that added the most stores also disproportionately increased their product offerings. We explain these facts with a model in which a retailer's scale economies interact with consumer gains from one-stop shopping to generate a complementarity between a retailer's scale and scope.

Keywords: Retail, Chain, Big Box, Superstore, Economies of Scale, General

JEL Classification: L11, L25, L81

Suggested Citation

Basker, Emek and Klimek, Shawn D. and Pham, Van H., Supersize It: The Growth of Retail Chains and the Rise of the 'Big Box' Retail Format (September 1, 2011). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-08-23R. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1440914 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1440914

Emek Basker (Contact Author)

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233-9100
United States

University of Missouri - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

HOME PAGE: http://emekbasker.org

Shawn D. Klimek

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States
(301) 763-2861 (Phone)
(301 763-5935 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ces.census.gov

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
(254) 710-3521 (Phone)
(254) 710-6142 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.baylor.edu/van_pham

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