The Interactions of Globalisation and Productivity Processes in the Retail Sector

Lead Research Organisation: University of Stirling
Department Name: Marketing and Retail


Globalisation and productivity in retailing are complex constructs. This has become more apparent as the retail sector has been re-structured over the last twenty years, in part as a result of the globalisation processes associated with supply chains and store operations. Although there are strong links between globalisation and productivity, with influences acting in both directions, we presently understand very little about these interactions in retailing and distribution, how they relate to managerial cultures in firms, how they are changing, and the extent to which they differ in different politico-economic regions.

The interactions of globalisation and productivity within the retail sector have implications for the amount, variety and composition of retailers’ product sourcing; the processes that deliver new products, lower priced mass market items and new brands to consumers; and the competitiveness and profitability of the retail firm in each of its markets.

The concepts previously applied to productivity analyses, essentially limited to labour productivity at the store level, are not applicable to the complex relationships that now characterise retailing. Productivity must be seen in a wider context than the store; involve more input variables than labour; and recognise a greater variety of output concepts. This project aims to explore new approaches to the definition and measurement of productivity in a retailing.


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