From general stores to department stores and superstores, retailing has undergone significant changes in the past two centuries. In their article “The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing, authors Ellen McArthur, Scott Weaven, and Rajiv Dant review a wide range of literature detailing the progression of retailing throughout the years.
[Editor’s Note: We are saddened to report the passing of Rajiv Dant. Dr. Dant held the dual positions of Helen Robson Walton Centennial Chair in Marketing in the Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma and Professor of Marketing, Griffith University. He was a world-renowned scholar in the areas of distribution channels, supply chain management, and franchising.]
The evolution of retailing has interested academics across a range of disciplines including economics, history, geography, and marketing. Due to its interdisciplinary appeal, the corpus of knowledge on retailing is composed of many disparate variables of analysis – from transaction costs and entrepreneurs, to environmental factors and the dispersion of stores. In consequence, the literature that attempts to explain retailing evolution presents as a patchwork, and extant theories remain disconnected because of their narrowness of focus. This literature review applies a macro and systems theory approach to the multi-discipline literature, and links together bodies of work that, until now, have remained conceptually unconnected. This provides a meta typology of six factors that could explain change in retailing: economic efficiencies, cyclical patterns, power inequities, innovative behavior, environmental influences, and interdependent parts of the system in co-evolution.
You can read “The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Macromarketing? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!