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The Evolution of the Supermarket Industry: From A&P to Wal-Mart

Handbook on the Economics of Retail and Distribution, Chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp. 368-391, 2016.

21 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2011 Last revised: 29 Sep 2017

Paul B. Ellickson

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Date Written: April 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of the supermarket industry, from the birth of the chain store concept in the early 1900s to the recent rise of the Wal-Mart supercenter. The central message is that the major themes relevant today (the importance of scale and standardization, technological innovation, the introduction of new formats, and the rapt attention of anti-trust authorities) appear throughout its hundred year history. The goal of this paper is to provide a coherent context for current merger policy and broaden our understanding of the processes shaping the economic geography of retail trade.

Keywords: supermarkets, retail trade

JEL Classification: L81, L22, L41

Suggested Citation

Ellickson, Paul B., The Evolution of the Supermarket Industry: From A&P to Wal-Mart (April 1, 2011). Handbook on the Economics of Retail and Distribution, Chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp. 368-391, 2016.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1814166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1814166

Paul B. Ellickson (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

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