We investigate the drivers and persistence of profits in EU food retailing by focusing on differences between “top competitors” and fringe food retailers using a sample of 12,786 firms from France, Spain, and Sweden between 2006 and 2014. We detect a high degree of profit persistence in food retailing, presumably caused by strong bargaining power towards processors. Moreover, we find that profit persistence is higher for “top competitors” such as members of Top‐5 chains regarding sales and that independent/specialized supermarkets generate lower profitability. The results provide insights regarding power imbalances in food retailing and thus support the development of managerial strategies as well as measures to enhance market efficiency.
food retailing GMM dynamic panel model profit persistence profitability drivers