Spatial implications of organisational and technological change in Japanese retailing
In 1960 department stores were the sole form of large-scale retailing in Japan. The retail industry was otherwise comprised of a very large number of small firms. Two significant trends have occurred since 1960. First, there was the emergence of new large-scale retail formats and their subsequent growth. Second, there was the development of large organisations operating on a multiple store basis. New organisational forms evolved including superstore and supermarket chains, and speciality chain stores. Geographical and historical factors were first examined that have affected the structure of the modern Japanese retail industry. A framework embodying the concepts of threats and opportunities was then used to identify forces that have influenced organisational and technical change since 1960. The following "Threats and Opportunities" were analysed: The Economic Climate. The Changing Japanese Consumer. Technological Change. Relationships Between Retailers and Wholesalers. Changes in Commercial Land Use. Government Policy and Legislation. Major structural trends within retailing during the period 1972-1985 were then examined, through an analysis of 29 retail categories in the Census of Distribution for the period 1972-1985. A sample of nine categories was chosen for, a more detailed analysis, using thematic maps, to show the geographic distribution of outlets in 1985 and selected changes since 1972. One of these categories was comprised of large stores including superstores and many supermarkets. It figured prominently within the changes described in the analysis. The leading six superstore/supermarket companies, by sales February 1986, formed the subjects of case studies, with the objective of obtaining insights into the spatial implications of organisational and technological change within these examples of large-scale retail companies. Their development was described, including their expansion through diversification. The Chandler Thesis was selected, and found to be an appropriate model, in considering the organisational changes occuring within these companies. Finally, some international comparisons were made.