China's Retail Economy
A Geographic Perspective
To Be Published July 15th 2013 by Routledge – 160 pages
Series: Routledge Advances in Geography
Retail is the essential link between production and consumption, and the dynamics of a nation’s economy cannot be fully understood without a good understanding of its retail sector. Yet few Chinese scholars have published in English on the reform and transformation of China’s retail sector. This volume uses the approach of the new retail geography developed by Wrigley, Lowe, and others, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the changes in consumption patterns brought about by extensive economic reform, the current size of the Chinese consumer market, and, more importantly, regional variations within the vast country. This assessment of "demand" establishes the fundamental context for a subsequent examination of the changes in "supply," outlining the transformation of China’s retail economy in the last three decades, including the entry and expansion of foreign retailers, the development of indigenous retail chains as a national strategy to modernize China’s retail industry, changing retailer-supplier relations, and the resultant structural changes in the retail sector. Finally, the volume analyzes the changes in the regulatory system and corresponding policy initiatives, showing how the geostrategies of the major retail corporations are largely dictated by the state spatial strategies of the Chinese government. This volume will be of interest not only to scholars, but also international retailers and commercial real estate developers considering business and investment opportunities in China.
Shuguang Wang is Professor in the Department of Geography at Ryerson University.