If you cannot fight them, complement them

The wheel of retailing is turning, one retail format comes and another one disappears. But is it really that simple? In the conclusions of our research we argue “no”.

Our research journey departed from the simple question of why consumers shop in different kinds of retail and service agglomerations (such as malls and high streets) within the same urban catchment. By doing so we focus on the competition between different agglomeration formats from the residents’ point of view.

Empirically we investigated the competitive relationship between high streets/town centres and malls across three European capital cities, i.e. Vienna, Ljubljana and Bratislava. Using surveys of 2,161 consumers resident in these three cities we find limited differences between formats in terms of the investigated drivers of competitiveness. Further we reveal a positive relationships of patronage towards both formats in all cities. The significant difference in why respondents patronise them suggest a partly complementary existence of the two types of agglomeration.

We explain this apparent complementarity through the theory of adaptive resilience that has seen evolved agglomeration formats such as high streets/town centres develop to provide a differentiated offer and consumer attraction compared to enclosed malls. It is the resilience that has let the retail side of high streets evolve their service offer and thus adapt in the face of fierce competition. In other words, it seems as if it is not the death that awaits the high street but change as a consequence of its resilience.

More research related to the topic of marketing and management retail and service agglomerations can be found on the authors’ websites (see links below) and of course in the Journal of Marketing Management.

Read the original research article: Teller, C., Wood, S. & Floh, A. (2016). Adaptive resilience and the competition between retail and service agglomeration formats: an international perspective. Journal of Marketing Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2016.1240705

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Christoph Teller

Christoph Teller

Professor Christoph Teller is Chair in Retailing and Marketing at University of Surrey, UK. His current research foci are the antecedents of supply chain management execution, boundary-spanning activities of store managers, co-opetition in service delivery networks and determinants of food waste occurrence on the distribution stage in the food supply chain.

Steve Wood

Steve Wood

Steve Wood is Professor of Retail Marketing & Management at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey.  He has held previous positions at University of Southampton, in the marketing department of Tesco plc and in retail analysis at Verdict Research.

Arne Floh

Arne Floh

Dr Arne Floh is Senior Lecturer at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. His research interests include all questions of marketing science and relationship marketing. Currently, Arne serves as an Area Editor for Management Decision.

Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this posting are the views of the Author(s), and are not necessarily the views of the JMM Editors, Westburn Publishers Ltd. or Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.