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Retailer–supplier relationships before and after the Resale Prices Act, 1964: A turning point in British economic history?

Retailer–supplier relationships before and after the Resale Prices Act, 1964: A turning point in British economic history?

Mercer, Helen (2014) Retailer–supplier relationships before and after the Resale Prices Act, 1964: A turning point in British economic history? Enterprise & Society, 15 (1). pp. 132-165. ISSN 1467-2227 (Print), 1467-2235 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/es/kht056)

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Abstract

This article provides an analysis of the impact of the abolition of individual resale price maintenance (irpm) in 1964 on the relationships between retailers and suppliers, and, wider, on defining features of the UK economic structure. It outlines how, between 1956 and 1964, rpm supported a complex competitive environment, but with the balance of power lying with manufacturers’ control over pricing. It shows how this unravelled after 1964, the Act providing the legal pre-requisite of today’s dominance by large retailers – both as oligopolists and oligopsonists. The study delineates how a different set of business relationships came to dominate the retailing sector – based around the mutual dependence between multiple retailers, commercial property investors and the financial sector. By tracking this shift in the business relationships, it is possible to point up two new historical conclusions. First, we can assert that the Act bears comparison for its significance in British economic history with the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. Secondly we can see the historical origins of a new dynamic in the development of the British economy – namely the symbiotic relationships between multiple retailing, commercial property and the financial sector.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: resale price maintenance, retailing, Resale Prices Act, competition policy, multiple retailers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 01 May 2018 08:57
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT a
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11479

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