The Market Makers

How Retailers are Reshaping the Global Economy
  • Editor:
  • Gary Hamilton with Benjamin Senauer, Misha Petrovic
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Date: 2011

This book describes and analyzes the transformation that occurred in retailing in the last half of the twentieth century and demonstrates that this transformation has substantially changed the global economy. This transformation is both obvious and largely unrecognized. It is obvious, because the transformation is a part of our everyday lives. In the United States, in 1954, there were only 500 shopping centers across the country, most of which were by today’s standard very small. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the shopping centers in the USA alone number over 50,000, many of which are gargantuan. This same expansion is happening throughout the world. In fact, the largest shopping centers are no longer in the USA, but are scattered around the globe. Many of the newest and largest of them are now in Asia. As pervasive and obvious as these changes are, there has been surprisingly little research on the global effects of retailing. This book is among the first books to address this important topic in a systematic and highly readable manner. The authors demonstrate that retailers and merchandisers increasingly organize the global economy by developing two types of markets, consumer markets and supplier markets. Using point-of-sales information, retailers anticipate and try to create consumer markets for the goods they sell. Based on this information, retailers also create and maintain supplier markets for the goods that they buy from manufacturers and that they in turn sell to consumers. Retailers attempt to “make” both types of markets, by setting prices and the terms and conditions of exchange. The extraordinary success that retailers and merchandisers have enjoyed in making both types of markets has had far-reaching consequences on how all national economies perform in an age of global retailing.