American retailing is sometimes depicted as a collection of gigantic air‐conditioned enclosed exurban shopping malls populated by large scale enterprises that feature unlimited hours, unlimited parking, and almost unlimited credit. Such a stereotype is quite inaccurate as a picture of the current situation. It probably is also inaccurate as a prediction of the near, or even the distant, future since most of the tendencies that are taking American trade in the direction of the stereotype are subject to some inherent market or cost limitations. But, the current trends in American distribution do include increases in scale, in suborganisation, in credit usage and in store hours.
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