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Justin Fox

Costco Is a Bigger Disrupter Than Amazon

Warehouse clubs changed shopping more than e-commerce has.
Along with Wal-Mart.

Along with Wal-Mart.

Source: Area 52 Advertising Inc./Getty Images

During the past two decades, retailing in the U.S. has been transformed by a dramatically different new sales channel, say University of Chicago economists Ali Hortacsu and Chad Syverson.

They don’t mean e-commerce. The biggest change in retailing, Hortacsu and Syverson argue in a new article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, has instead been the rise of warehouse clubs and supercenters: