Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Las secuelas de la crisis a través de la información financiera de las empresas de la distribución y el comercio al por menor español: Pequeñas vs grandes empresas

Remedios Ramón Dangla


Purpose: In this paper, we analyze the evolution of the financial information of companies in
the retail trade sector to show how and how much the actual crisis has affected them.
Design/methodology: In this paper, we have established the hypothesis about the particular
behavior of the sector due to its specialization in the sale of basic goods and the strong
position of the trade chain in the market. For the analysis we searched an example of
companies from the SABI database, then we sorted the sample by size and linked theirs to per capita income and domestic consumption through a lineal regression. We looked for the
economic variable than were explaining the evolution of the results of the sector better and
studied the evolution of efficiency, operability, profitability or financial solvency ratios. We
analyzed the statistically significant changes on the accounting ratios depending of the company
Findings: The retail trade sector could be could be listed as counter-cyclical sector but all
companies have lost profitability although the small ones have lost more and have had to
reorganize their financial structure as a result of the crisis. On the contrary, the big companies
have kept their high level of indebtedness and even their negative working capital. The
specialization in the sale of products with a low elasticity demand-income and the power in the
markets have allowed that these big companies don´t suffer important changes in their revenue
and expenditure results.
Research limitations/implications: This investigation describes and analyzes, with statistical
techniques, the evolution of several accounting ratio of the companies of the retail and the
relation with economics variables. However, a study of other financial information and the
utilization of other statistical techniques could explain with more accuracy the reasons of these
Originality/value: On very few occasions the retail sector has been analyzed through their
financial statements. The actual crisis has caused a restructuration in most of the companies,
specially in the indebtedness level. However, the big companies of the retail sector haven´t
needed deleverage. The difference of the crisis effect between companies of different sectors
and between the size of the same sector, is presented as a different approach.

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