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Structural change and globalisation of the German retail industry


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  • Wortmann, Michael
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    This paper gives an overview of current developments in German retailing. It describes structural changes in the companies, which include changing formats at shop level, the vertical integration of wholesale and retail activities, and processes of horizontal concentration. Using the example of grocery discountters, it investigates the evolution of a business model which is apparently incompatible with the traditional German production model. Subsequently the paper looks at the relationships between trade and production, where on the one hand concepts of lean retailing will be examined and on the other changes in the division of labour, which we see in the increased significance of private labels. At the same time, we observe an intensified twofold process of internationalisation. While retailers are internationalising their own operations through the setting up or acquisition of outlets and distribution systems abroad, they are also increasingly globalising their sourcing, The emerging global value chains, which are largely controlled by retailers, show highly differentiated patterns of configuration and co-ordination. -- Das Papier gibt einen Überblick über Entwicklungstendenzen im deutschen Einzelhandel. Es beschreibt den Strukturwandel der Handelsunternehmen: den Formatwandel der Betriebe, die vertikale Integration von Groß- und Einzelhandel sowie den horizontalen Konzentrationsprozess. Am Beispiel der Lebensmitteldiscounter wird die Entwicklung eines Geschäftsmodells untersucht, das nicht zum deutschen Produktionsmodell zu passen scheint. Anschließend werden die Beziehungen zwischen Handel und Produktion untersucht: zum einen Konzepte des lean retailing und zum anderen Veränderungen in der Arbeitsteilung, die sich in der Bedeutungszunahme von Handelsmarken ausdrücken. Zugleich ist im Einzelhandel ein beschleunigter zweifacher Internationalisierungsprozess zu beobachten: Neben die Internationalisierung der eigenen operativen Aktivitäten durch den Aufbau oder die Übernahme ausländischer Filialnetze und Distributionssysteme tritt die Globalisierung des Beschaffungswesens und die Entwicklung globaler, von Einzelhandelsunternehmen gesteuerter Wertschöpfungsketten, die sehr unterschiedlich konfiguriert und koordiniert sein können.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Internationalization and Organization with number SP III 2003-202b.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbint:spiii2003202b

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    1. Tewari, Meenu, 1999. "Successful Adjustment in Indian Industry: the Case of Ludhiana's Woolen Knitwear Cluster," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1651-1671, September.
    2. Paul Dobson & Roger Clarke & Stephen Davies & Michael Waterson, 2001. "Buyer Power and its Impact on Competition in the Food Retail Distribution Sector of the European Union," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 247-281, September.
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