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Encyclopedia > Chain store

Chain stores are a range of retail outlets which share a brand and central management, usually with standardised business methods and practices. Such stores may be branches owned by one company or franchises owned by local individuals or firms and operated under contract with the parent corporation. Features common to all chains are centralised marketing and purchasing, which often result in economies of scale, meaning lower costs and presumably higher profits.


These characteristics also apply to chain restaurants and some service-oriented chain businesses.


Some argue that the standardised products which result from such centralisation are culturally detrimental; for example, chain music stores are frowned upon by some for stocking works of more popular music if they exclude less well known, usually independent artists. Critics of chains allege that they are economically damaging to communities because they extract capital that otherwise would recirculate in the local economy with independently owned businesses.


The displacement of independent businesses by chains has generated controversy in many nations and has sparked increased collaboration among independent businesses and communities to prevent chain proliferation. Such efforts occur within national trade groups such as the American Booksellers Association and Council of Independent Restaurants of America as well as community-based coalitions such as Independent Business Alliances. National entities like the American Independent Business Alliance and The New Rules Project promote these efforts in the U.S. In Britain, the New Economics Foundation promotes community-based economics and independent ownership.


By 2004, the world's largest retail chain, Wal-Mart, was the world's largest corporation in terms of gross sales.


See Also

External links

  • American Independent Business Alliance (http://amiba.net)
  • The New Rules Project (http://newrules.org)
  • New Economics Foundation (http://www.neweconomics.org/)

Independent Trade Groups

  • American Booksellers Association (http://bookweb.org)

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Chain store - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (295 words)
Chain stores (also called retail chains) are a range of retail outlets which share a brand and central management, usually with standardised business methods and practices.
Such stores may be branches owned by one company or franchises owned by local individuals or firms and operated under contract with the parent corporation.
Features common to all chains are centralised marketing and purchasing, which often result in economies of scale, meaning lower costs and presumably higher profits.
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