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Chinese Food Retailers: Literature Review - Dissertation Example

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Chinese Food Retailers: Literature Review A look into Chinese food retail industry ‘Food Retailing in Asia’ dated June 2009 by Ridely for Victoria Government Department of Primary Industries provides a vivid picture of the present day Chinese food retail market…
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Chinese Food Retailers: Literature Review
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Download file to see previous pages According to the report, though international brands have established successful retail outlets in major cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing, the nation’s inland still remains untouched. In fact, one can see various forms of retail outlets in the Chinese market. They are supermarkets, hypermarkets, convenience stores, and the traditional market which include wet markets, variety stores, and fruit stands. Out of them, the supermarket sector is entirely dominated by state-owned retailers, and they rarely sell imported food because they do not purchase products directly from an importer (“China’s Retail and consumer industry research report” 5). Here, it becomes evident that China is not a nation well-suited to foreign food retailers. According to Gale, there are various reasons; first of all, agricultural food products account for only 4% of China’s total imports, and most of the time, China exports more agricultural products than it imports (para. 3). However, as China liberalizes and as China enters the WTO, Gale identifies a better opportunity for foreign retailers as imports are rolled back. First of all, China has liberalized its economy, and import licensing requirements are eliminated (para. 8). The result of all these changes is a rise in the presence of foreign retailers and imported products in China. As there is a considerable rise in the income of people and as there is rising tourism in major cities, the demand for imported, frozen and processed food started rising. Admittedly, this change is also linked to ‘the rise of a new generation’ which is educated, working and busy; and the joining of women in the labor force too is a reason behind this trend (Gilmour and Gale 14). According to Gilmour and Gale, though the traditional stores and supermarkets with little import are mainly government-owned or local, there is the new format called hypermarkets which are dominated by the international sellers like Wal-Mart (15). They offer a variety of products and services at low prices and make products popular among the customers. Then, there are convenience stores which are aimed at the busy people or urban areas. Such stores too present imported products. As one reaches the inland china, there are the ‘traditional wet shops’ which offer fresh vegetables and meat, variety stores which offer a variety of products, and fruit stands which stock a few varieties of fruits without refrigeration(Gilmour and Gale15). It is followed by the study by Bin, Ni and Peng which provides an even better idea about the food culture of the Chinese. The scholars, quoting the IGD report, point out that between 2000 and 2005 the growth rate of food industry in China was 18.4%. So, it is calculated that China will be the world’s second largest food retail market after USA (ii). Admittedly, the writers notice a considerable change in the food habit of Chinese people as their income increases. It is pointed out that the Chinese people who are traditionally interested in fresh, healthy food are now getting more and more interested in frozen, processed food. However, this trend is only seen in cities, though the trend has gradually seeped into third tier cities also (6). Similarly, Gilmour and Gale point out that the Chinese food sector has matured considerably. The new world consumers, according to them, look for convenience and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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