|Retail format innovation and survival of small stores: Evidence from the Japanese shoe trade, 1974-2022
|Institute of Current Business Studies of Showa Women's University Working Paper
|Institute of Current Business Studies of Showa Women's University
|This study discusses how a group of small and medium-sized shoe retailers in Japan survived in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Modern retail history research regards small and medium-sized retailers as non-innovative, because historians observed them at a macro level, focusing on their closeness to the local community in Japan and Western countries. This study suggests that, by taking those perspectives, researchers might have overlooked the existence of innovative small and medium-sized retailers. This study uses micro-level and non-local community perspectives. By subdividing small and medium-sized shoe retailers based on retail format using a combination of written and oral sources, this study shows that a group of small and medium-sized shoe retailers survived through innovative retail format to meet universal needs beyond the community, which large retailers failed to meet.