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This paper sets out to measure the performance of the food-retailing sector of the Canadian economy for the period 1990 to 1998. This study was undertaken to provide a baseline study for the sector due to the major changes that took place after 1998. A second driver was to provide recent information on the sector as the last study of this type was conducted in the 1970s. The paper uses profitability as a measure of performance. The measure was chosen because most firms make business decisions based on their profitability, and profitability provides an indication on the direction of employment, investment, and growth of a sector. We find that that food retailing performed better than both non-food retailers and the general economy over the 1990s. While large retailers performed twice as well as small and medium retailers the latter categories performed better than their non-food counterparts over the period.


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