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The Structure of the British Rail System


The Structure of the British Rail System

By Steve Burt, Alan Hallsworth, Jonathan Reynolds

Even though retailing is becoming more global, local retail systems are influenced to an inordinate degree by national cultural, institutional and regulatory environments.  Thus, retailing in the United States is the product of a national culture that is automobile-oriented, and a regulatory environment that promotes unfettered price competition.  Recent innovations in retailing, such as "branding", and big box "category killer" and department store new retail formats, are the product of such a free market environment.  Conversely, retailing in Japan, where automobile ownership and disposable income levels are similar to those in the United States, is the produce of an environment that protects traditional retailing through a variety of types of practices that discourage automobile use, avoid price competition, protect small family-owned stores in familiar locations, and resist new retail formats.  Likewise, the structure of the British retailing system is influenced by a variety of social, cultural and economic forces which underpin national and local planning and regulatory environments.

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