The Retail Revolution - Can Europe Match U.S. Productivity Performance?
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Over the last 30 years, retailing has transformed from a low-technology sector to one of the most intense users of information and communication technologies (ICT). The technologies in this sector reward scale and scope, enabling large centralized chains and “big box” stores to expand rapidly. U.S. firms, relatively unfettered by regulation and custom, have ramped up to take advantage of this opportunity. The marriage of new technologies and organizational change is at the heart of the U.S. trade sector’s productivity. Europe has not changed as rapidly, and its regulatory environment, particularly as it relates to land use, is a big burden.