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Category killers and big‐box retailing: their historical impact on retailing in the USA

Susan D. Sampson (School of Management, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 February 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the evolution of category killers or big‐box retailers over a 17‐year time span and the impact that this retail format has had on seven retail sectors, sales revenue, and per capita retail consumption in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

Sales revenue, average store size and per capita income were examined over a 17‐year period – 1988‐2004 – for the book, sporting goods, home center, electronic, toy, home furnishings and the grocery sector (warehouse stores) to determine the effect of large retail formats on sales revenue and per capita spending.

Findings

This longitudinal study demonstrates that evolving to big‐box formats had a positive impact on both sales revenue and per capita spending in each of the retail sectors.

Research/limitations/implications

It is a starting‐point for fully understanding the impact of large retail formats on the retail industry.

Originality/value

The evolution of large format retailers has not been studied from a macro view. Most studies have focused on their impact on small markets. This study focuses on the overall trend and examines their impact on the industry and per capita spending.

Keywords

Citation

Sampson, S.D. (2008), "Category killers and big‐box retailing: their historical impact on retailing in the USA", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 17-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550810846974

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited