DEVELOPMENT OF RETAIL INSTITUTIONS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
- will learn and understand which features have determined the birth and the development of Large scale distribution systems in the USA and Europe;
- should be able to apply such learning to understand the changes in the economic framework that have influenced (and still influence) the dynamics through which Large scale distribution systems spread;
- should be able to evaluate the performance of Large scale sales channels and critically analyze innovations that are directly and indirectly related to the retail industry
- should acquire a cultural background useful to communicate and interact with private management and institutional regulation subjects concerning issues related to the spread of Large scale distribution;
- will be stimulated in developing their learning skills by experiencing a varied approach in teaching.
A basic knowledge of economic history
Course contents summary
The course takes into analysis the processes that, from the 19th century to the last decades of the 20th century, brought to the birth, development, and change of the large retail sector in Europe and in the United States. To do so, a set of crucial topics will be considered: the retail institutions (Department stores, chain store systems, supermarkets, and hypermarkets); the retail industry development from a comparative geographical angle (USA, Great Britain, and Italy); the social and economic spin-offs of the technologies adopted by large retail firms (as for refrigeration, accounting, transports, etc.)
Readings for attending students:
- Bluestone B. (ed.), The retail revolution: market transformation, investment, and labor in the modern department store, Boston, Ausburn, 1981, pp. 10-35.
- Ellickson P., The evolution of the Supermarket Industry: From A&P to Wal-Mart, 2007, pp. 1-17.
- Hawkins R., The Influence of American Retailing Innovation in Britain: A Case Study of F. W. Woolworth & Co., 1909-1982, in CHARM 2009, pp. 118-134.
- Jeacle I., Emporium of glamour and sanctum of scientific management: The early twentieth century department store, Management Decision 42.9 (2004), pp. 1162-1177.
- Nystrom P., The economics of retailing, New York, Ronald Press, 1915, pp. 195-254.
- Prime N., IKEA: International Development, in Dupuis M. and Dawson J. (eds.), European Cases in Retailing, Oxford, Balckwell, 1999, pp. 33-48.
- Resseguie H, Alexander Turney Stewart and the development of the department store, 1823-1876, Business History Review 39.03 (1965), pp. 301-322.
- Scarpellini E., The Long Way to the Supermarket. Entrepreneurial Innovation and Adaptation in 1950s-1960s Italy, in Jessen R. and Langer L. (eds.), Transformations of retailing in Europe after 1945, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012, pp. 55-70.
- Shaw G. and others, The coming of the Supermarket: The Processes and Consequences of Transplanting American Know-How into Britain, in Jessen R. and Langer L. (eds.), Transformations of retailing in Europe after 1945, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012, pp. 35-54.
- Zimmerman M., The Super Market. A Revolution in Distribution, New York, McGraw-Hill,1955, pp. 16-68 and 289-327.
Readings for non-attending students:
Benson J., Shaw G. (eds.), The evolution of retail systems, c. 1800-1914, Leicester, Leicester University Press, 1992.
- Seth A., Randall G. (eds.), The grocers: the rise and rise of the supermarket chains, London, Kogan, 1999.
Benson J., Ugolini L. (eds.), A Nation of Shopkeepers. Five Centuries of
British Retailing, London, Tauris, 2003
During lessons, issues related to the changing patterns in the retail industry will be discussed drawing on different types of materials: history and marketing essays (mainly in English), integrated by case-studies concerning leading firms in Large scale distribution. It is also envisaged that audiovisual contents will be shown and discussed.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written exam structured in 2 open questions divided in: (a) a general part each providing a maximum of 10 marks, and (b) a section devoted to applied historical cases each providing a maximum of 5 marks.
Knowledge and understanding will be verified by analyzing the contents of both answers.
The ability in applying knowledge and understanding will be verified by analyzing the answers given to the sections devoted to applied historical cases.
Learning skills and the ability in making judgments will verified by analyzing the answers given to the general part of the questions.
Communication skills and the ability in using the proper technical language will verified by analyzing the terms adopted in the answers and the propensity in clarifying their meaning.