Drivers of Retail Specialization
Japan’s move away from general merchandise retailing towards clearly defined retail specialists that are independent of manufacturers and take full responsibility for their own destinies can be seen most clearly in three specialist categories: drugstores, consumer electronics, and home centers. In the early 1990s, all three of these categories already existed as separate retail formats. Home center retailing was still in its infancy, but both drugstores and consumer electronics retailers were the epitome of traditional, manufacturer led distribution channels. Manufacturers created both formats and structured them in the form of chains of keiretsu stores.
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