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Retail productivity and scale economies at the firm level: a DEA approach

  • Keh, Hean Tat
  • Chu, Singfat

We investigate the concept of productivity in retailing. In the literature, there are unresolved issues concerning the construct of retail output and measurement methodologies. In accordance with recently developed theory, we define the output of the retail firm as a set of explicitly priced market goods accompanied by distribution services that are implicitly priced. We operationalise these services, and measure productivity of a chain of grocery stores using data envelopment analysis. We also find evidence of increasing returns to scale. Managerial implications of the findings are provided.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 75-82

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:31:y:2003:i:2:p:75-82
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  1. Ofer, Gur, 1973. "Returns to Scale in Retail Trade," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(4), pages 363-84, December.
  2. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  3. Roger Betancourt & David Gautschi, 1990. "Demand Complementarities, Household Production, and Retail Assortments," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(2), pages 146-161.
  4. Banker, Rajiv D. & Chang, Hsihui & Cooper, William W., 1996. "Equivalence and implementation of alternative methods for determining returns to scale in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 473-481, March.
  5. Beckman, Theodore N. & Buzzell, Robert D., 1958. "Productivity: Facts and fiction," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 24-38.
  6. Walter Y. Oi, 1992. "Productivity in the Distributive Trades: The Shopper and the Economies of Massed Reserves," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 161-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Banker, Rajiv D. & Thrall, R. M., 1992. "Estimation of returns to scale using data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 74-84, October.
  8. Brian T. Ratchford & James R. Brown, 1985. "A Study of Productivity Changes in Food Retailing," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 292-311.
  9. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
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