One of the first critical steps is to break the mind-set that equates manufacturing with job growth. The notion that gains in manufacturing will bring equivalent gains in jobs is deeply rooted in the minds of many South Koreas because of the important role manufacturing played in the early development of their economy. Over the long run, however, gains in manufacturing bring ever higher levels of automation and thus come at the expense of jobs. Indeed, between 1995 and 2002, nearly 22 million manufacturing jobs disappeared from the global economy despite numerous policy efforts to promote employment in that sector. No mature economy today, not even Germany or Japan, generates net job growth in manufacturing. South Korea is not immune to this trend, having lost nearly 740,000 manufacturing jobs from 1995 to 2008. Today, manufacturing accounts for 4.1 million jobs out of 23.6 million total.
What we are seeing today is only the beginning. Soon it will be hard even to define e-commerce, let alone measure it. Is it an e-commerce sale if the customer goes to a store, finds that the product is out of stock, and uses an in-store terminal to have another location ship it to her home? What if the customer is shopping in one store, uses his smartphone to find a lower price at another, and then orders it electronically for in-store pickup? How about gifts that are ordered from a website but exchanged at a local store? Experts estimate that digital information already influences about 50% of store sales, and that number is growing rapidly.
Oxxo is the largest chain in the country, with more than 15,000 stores around the country. Other convenience stores, such as Tiendas Extra, 7-Eleven, SuperCity, ampm, and Circle K, are also found in Mexico. The first convenience store in the country, Super 7 (now a 7-Eleven), was opened in 1976 in Monterrey, Nuevo León. There are also some regional chains, like Amigo Express and CB Mas, that operate in Comarca Lagunera, Super Q and El Matador in Queretaro, Coyote in central Mexico, and JV in northeastern Mexico. Stores sell fast food like coffee, hot dogs, nachos and prepaid cellphones between MXN$20 and MXN$500, mainly Telcel and Movistar, newspapers, magazines, and Panini products and other novelties.
Misceláneas (literally meaning "place where miscellaneous items are sold" and otherwise called tiendas de abarrotes (grocery store) in some parts of the country) are smaller, family-run convenience stores often found in central and southern Mexico. They operate in many locations, from rural communities to suburban residential neighborhoods, usually located in front of or below the family's residence. They often fulfill the role of neighborhood meeting points and places to disseminate community news. While offering a more limited, and sometimes varied, assortment of items than corporate chains, they fill a void in areas where corporations do not operate. Usually they sell homemade snacks such as tortas and sandwiches, made by the owners. They also provide items in smaller quantities than would be offered for sale in larger stores and markets; for example, selling single cigarettes along with full packs. 2b1af7f3a8