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What was new in the 1980s? International retailing in Britain from 1850–1991

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This paper relocates the recent wave of internationalization in retailing in a much longer historical context. Utilizing a newly compiled database of all foreign entrants into British retailing since 1850, the paper reviews trends in overall entry patterns before considering the entry patterns in different retail trades. New empirical data on the branch counts of foreign entrants from 1850–1991 are presented. These data clearly indicate that what was new about the 1980s was not their number per se but the concentration of large numbers of relatively small entrants in clothes retailing. This analysis of the very long term developments of international retailing in Britain therefore concludes that any account of the upsurge in foreign entrants into British retailing in the 1980s needs to take the concurrent developments of high street demand for clothing more fully into account.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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