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The Quantitative Development of West German Retailing between 1949 and 2000.

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Banken, Ralf
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The study contains tables with information about the quantitative development of the West German retailing from 1949 until 2000 along with a detailed description of the data series. The data here describe well the development of the German mass society in this period. Since the monetary reform the retail industry experienced not only a proliferation of sales volumes with a growing product range till this day, but also the market structures were changing radically. Today no more corner-shops, owner-managed stores and fussy competition characterize the image of the industry, but aggressively priced discount stores, hypermarkets, chain stores, specialty stores and large corporations that held sway since the 1960s in the wake of continued concentration of business companies. A massive rationalization allowed the rapidly increasing stock turnover and the product range extension of the stores. The dynamics of retail trade and its structural characteristics are indicators for the development of German society into a mass consumer society. Due to it’s strong focus on industrial production neither the Economic History nor the History of Companies and Enterprises have done it’s research in the field of retailing so far. The recent History of Consumption gave the retail-industry no more attention up to now, apart from a few exceptions. Without a doubt, the lack of long-term quantitative studies for a longer period, which examine the structural change of the retail trade (market vendors, types, structures, including sales of individual product areas), also due to the difficult data situation. Caused by the repeated change of the Federal Statistical Office’s frame of survey the compilation of data series of overall retail-trade turnover for the period of the Federal Republic of Germany is a very complex project. The present study is based on a newly constructed data set, in which statistical material of the Federal Statistical Office (sales statistics), of the Association of German Retailers (sales of individual product areas, margins etc.), and of the economics research literature (types of operation, etc.) is summarized, made comparable, and long time series were reconstructed. The primary investigator examines in the first part of his study the history and the structural transformation of West German retailing since 1949, particularly by means of quantitatively analyzable parameters such as the number of companies, operating forms, the development of the turnover, and other things. The data series, which are the basis of the study, are available in extensively documented form. Furthermore, the primary investigator had to compile numerous time series on the basis of different sources on the one hand dued to a problematic state of source material or, on the other hand he had to standardized the time series because of different design bases. Topics: Data-Tables in HISTAT (Topic: Groß- und Einzelhandel, Gastgewerbe – wholesale and retail, hotel and catering industry ): Tab. 01: Sales in the West German retail according to the turnover tax statistics in 1.000 DM (1950-2004) Tab. 02: The economic share of the retail industry (1950-2004) Tab. 03: The companies in the retail sector by size (1956-1997) Tab. 04: The number of retail firms (1950-2004) Tab. 05: The turnover of retail trade, according to the HDE in DM (1949-2001) Tab. 06: The sales area of the retail trade in Mio. qm (1962-2005) Tab. 07: The sales area of the retail trade in Mio. qm (1962-2005) Tab. 08: Volume of sales in retail sales to sales areas in Mrd. DM (1950-1994) Tab. 09: Volume of sales in the retail by type of business and distribution scheme, in Mrd. DM (1962-1980) Tab. 10: Share of sales of different types of business in % (1980-2000) Tab. 11: The number of taxable businesses (1962-1992) Tab. 12: Employees in retail (1949-2001) Tab. 13: Sales area and volume of sales by types of business (1956-1987) Tab. 14: Development of product lines (amount of articles) in food retailing (1958-1988) Tab. 15a: The development of Hypermarkets, supermarkets and discounters (1966-1988) Tab. 15b: The development of supermarkets and discounters (1968-1979) Tab. 15c: The number of hypermarkets and discounters (1968-1972) Tab. 16: The development of discount supermarkets (1955-1997) Tab. 17: Sales in retail trade by retail sector in Mio. DM (1962-1992) Tab. 18: Sales in retail by type of business in Mio. DM (1962-1980) Tab. 19: Grocery stores by type of business and by distribution systems, number of business companies (1957-1988) Tab. 20: Development of ALDI (1955-1997) Tab. 21: Number of discounter chain stores (1979, 1997)
Temporal Coverage
  • 1949 / 2000
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
    Federal Republic of Germany between 1950 and 2000 (in part till 2004), till 1960 without Saarland and West-Berlin. The five new Länder appear in the statistics at different times between 1990 and 1994.
Collection Mode
  • Sources: Statistisches Bundesamt: Umsatzsteuerstatistik des Einzelhandels (Umsatz, Unternehmenszahl, Größenklassen u.a.). Arbeitsberichte der Hauptgemeinschaft des deutschen Einzelhandels (HDE). Daten aus der wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Forschungsliteratur (z.B. Datenreihen für den Handel des Handwerks, das Aufkommen neuer Betriebsformen oder den Versandhandelsumsatz).
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 51
    Number of Variables: 116
The inclusion of the Saarland and of West-Berlin did not cause a bias of the sales trend and the data series.
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8418 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Banken, Ralf, 2007: Schneller Strukturwandel trotz institutioneller Stabilität. Die Entwicklung des deutschen Einzelhandels 1949-2000, in: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2007/2. Die bundesdeutsche Massenkonsumgesellschaft 1950-2000. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, S. 117-145.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 84 | Registration Date: 2011-03-14

Banken, Ralf (2011): Die quantitative Entwicklung des bundesdeutschen Einzelhandels 1949 – 2000.. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.