The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density
The roll-out of Wal-Mart store openings followed a pattern that radiated from the center out with Wal-Mart maintaining high store density and a contiguous store network all along the way. This paper estimates the benefits of such a strategy to Wal-Mart, focusing on the savings in distribution costs afforded by a dense network of stores. The paper takes a revealed preference approach, inferring the magnitude of density economies by the extent of sales cannibalization from closely-packed stores that Wal-Mart is willing to sustain to achieve density economies. The model is dynamic with rich geographic detail on the locations of stores and distribution centers. Given the enormous number of possible combinations of store-opening sequences, it is difficult to directly solve Wal-Mart's problem, making conventional approaches infeasible. The moment inequality approach is used instead and it works well. The estimates show the benefits to Wal-Mart of high store density are substantial and likely extend significantly beyond savings in trucking costs.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2008|
|Publication status:||published as The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density Thomas J. Holmes† Article first published online: 14 JAN 2011 DOI: 10.3982/ECTA7699|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Thomas J. Holmes, 1999.
"Bar codes lead to frequent deliveries and superstores,"
261, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Holmes, Thomas J, 2001. "Bar Codes Lead to Frequent Deliveries and Superstores," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 708-25, Winter.
- Mark J. Roberts, 1986. "Economies of Density and Size in the Production and Delivery of Electric Power," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(4), pages 378-387.
- Katherine Ho, 2005.
"Insurer-Provider Networks in the Medical Care Market,"
NBER Working Papers
11822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Katherine Ho, 2009. "Insurer-Provider Networks in the Medical Care Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 393-430, March.
- Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2004.
"Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
10450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1331-1370, 09.
- Jonathan Levin (Stanford University) & Pat Bajari & Lanier Benkard, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 627, Econometric Society.
- J. Levin & P. Bajari, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," 2004 Meeting Papers 579, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier & Levin, Jonathan, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Research Papers 1852r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Douglas W. Caves & Laurits R. Christensen & Michael W. Tretheway, 1984. "Economies of Density versus Economies of Scale: Why Trunk and Local Service Airline Costs Differ," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 471-489, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13783. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.