Reconceptualizing Ethnic Retail
By Dr. Shuguang Wang and Dr. Tony Hernandez
The ethnic retail economy in Canada that has evolved into a complex business sector. The ethnic consumer market has grown rapidly and now has a critical mass market appeal drawing attention from an increasing number of mainstream retailers. Our research discusses the definition of ethnic retail and provides examples from the grocery, general merchandise and retail banking that are all sectors in which businesses are leading in the development of ethnic retail strategies. We argue that existing ethnic economy theories have become inadequate to inform and guide the study of contemporary ethnic retailing. New theories can only be developed through more research and more case studies that focus on the evolution of existing ethnic business models and the development of new forms of ethnic retailing. As the Canadian market becomes increasingly diverse there will be the continued need to further understand ethnic consumers and how best to serve them.