Development of Modern Retailing
Japan is a modern, industrialized nation in every sense. The retail and distribution system still receives occasional criticism as being somehow different from those in other advanced countries, but it is now rare to hear claims that it operates as some form of non-tariff barrier to trade, unlike the case in the early 1990s (see Czinkota and Kotabe, 1993; Maruyama et al, 1989). The overall structure of distribution is different to Europe and the US but most differences are insignificant from the point of view of corporate business, existing largely at the micro level. As this book aims to illustrate, in many sectors, retailing in Japan is as advanced or even more advanced than in other countries. The level of sophistication, efficiency and, very importantly, profitability in convenience store retailing, home center retailing, increasingly at leading GMS chains and apparel retailers all indicates how much Japanese retailing has changed since the mid-1990s. This chapter provides a brief historical perspective of Japanese retailing and the overall macro level trends and statistics for the industry.
KeywordsSupply Chain Department Store Convenience Store Japanese Market Large Retailer
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