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Canada's Leading Retailers: Characteristics, Strategies, Dominance

by R. Gomez-Insausti
2000-02

This paper provides an overview of the adjustments in market strategies and investment process that Canada’s top eighty-one retail corporations have carried out to overcome recent economic changes. From a political-economic perspective, this study analyzes the main characteristics of large retailers such as participation in sales, origin of capital, chains’ size, geographical extent, employment and dominant format outlets. It identifies leading groups of retailers in each retail category to assess their process of investment during a period of reorganization. It also evaluates the degree of market control reached by leading corporations in each retail subsector. The study shows that there is an increasing concentration of the market in the hands of a few corporations, which affects both supply and demand at any market level.

The goal of this research is to learn what leading retailers have done to dominate the market and to indicate what competitors can do to develop alternative strategies. Overall, information on market characteristics has been critical to adjust market strategies successfully. The complexity and dynamics of large retail organizations requires update technology and information.

This research has been supported by the CSCA comprehensive database on the top retailers in Canada, which is currently expanded with specific information on the location of approximately 23,000 stores that belong to these corporations. This is crucial to assess in detail the spatial component in the process of investment by large retail corporations.

Price for non-members: CAD 100.

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