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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the changes that have occurred in the domestic economies of Japan, Taiwan, and Korea in the past two decades. It examines, first, the process through which these three economies have changed from relatively insulated manufacturing economies to multi-sector economies whose capacities are closely tied to regional and global economic currents. It then examines how these economies have gone through major economic events—recessions, depressions, and global economic crises—and how these changes have led business groups to refocus on domestic markets. It particularly focuses on the development of the retail sector of these economies, on the adoption of lean retailing techniques, and on the variation in business strategies across the three markets. This examination shows how firms and business groups structure the economies of which they are part. The article contributes to the literature on business systems and varieties of capitalism.

Keywords: retail, East Asia, business systems, varieties of capitalism, lean retailing, consumption, domestic economy, business groups, global financial crises

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