Competitive Strategies in the US Retail Industry: Consequences for Jobs in Food and Consumer Electronics Stores

Publication Date:
Jan 2009
Project Programs:
Future of Work

In 2005-07, the authors undertook a set of 16 detailed company case studies in the retail sector, looking at both food and consumer electronics retailers. We sought to answer a set of questions: 1) What different mixes of product and labor strategies are in force in US retail chains? Which mixes function well (in a competitive sense) in what settings? In particular, how so these patterns differ between food and consumer electronics retailing? 2) How important does a "fit" or "match" between product and labor strategies turn out to be, and how successful are companies in achieving such a fit? 3) How do these mixes translate into job quality (better or worse in a cross-sectional sense, improving or deteriorating in a time series sense).


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


Join our mailing list for email updates.