Assessing The Productivity Of The UK Retail Sector

Reynolds, Jonathan, Howard, Elizabeth, Dragun, Dimitry, Rosewell, Bridget and Ormerod, Paul (2005) Assessing The Productivity Of The UK Retail Sector. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 15 (3). pp. 237-280.


Several recent comparative studies have shown a labour productivity gap in respect of UK retailing when compared with other countries, notably France and the USA. This article seeks to identify, through an overview of existing data and related research, the extent to which retail productivity in the UK compares to global competitors and attempts to reach a consensus on the factors that determine retail productivity, while highlighting common performance
measures for retailers and Government to use in measuring future productivity trends. Methods employed include a review of published studies; interviews with industry participants in the UK and a small number of leading retailers in the USA; and an analysis of a specially created
database of the performance of over 200 US, UK and French retail companies. The authors find that it is unwise to draw definitive conclusions from aggregate international economic analyses of the sector; that a wide variety of efficiency indicators are employed by the sector in practice; and that there are significant differences in the structure, operating and regulatory environment for
retailing in the UK which impose costs on retailers that are not necessarily incurred in other countries.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Productivity, retailing, international, labour, efficiency, regulation
Subject(s): Retail
Centre: Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2010 12:46
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2018 09:01

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