Chain Stores, Consumer Mobility, and Market Structure
AbstractHomogeneous products are often sold by chains and locals but the chains charge higher prices. We explain this pricing pattern as well as the empirical fact that chains became increasingly dominant at the same time as consumer mobility increased: Consumers bear setup costs whenever they visit a firm for the first time. A chain operating stores in all locations insures consumers against the need to bear setup costs repeatedly when moving to new locations. In equilibrium, the chain charges higher prices and attracts more consumers than locals. As consumer mobility increases, the chain's market share and profit increases.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 167 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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Web page: http://www.mohr.de/jite
Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
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