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Horizontal alliances amongst small retailers in Brazil

Flávia A. Ghisi (Universidade de São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil)
José A.G. da Silveira (Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Tore Kristensen (Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)
Martin Hingley (Harper Adams University College, Newport, UK)
Adam Lindgreen (Hull University Business School, Hull, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




Application of the horizontal alliance paradigm has particularly relevance to small retailers. It is a powerful mechanism for independents and non‐integrated chain retailers to develop competitive advantage, maintaining and improving their performance. The purpose of this article is to analyse the theory of alliance in the context of the retail sector.


Both quantitative and qualitative research was carried out with horizontal retail alliances in Brazil.


Focusing on the alliances among independents and non‐integrated chain retailers, our discussion covers specifically the following issues: the reasons for forming a strategic alliance in retail; minimum criteria for the alliance activity amongst retailers; steps that managers must take to create a competitive retail alliance; critical core competencies to be developed on the retail alliance; types of retail alliances; and, finally, forms of strategic retail alliances and stages/steps to develop a retail alliance over time.

Research limitations/implications

The study considers horizontal alliances in a Brazilian retail context, which is in some ways unique, however, key principles and findings are very much transferable.

Practical implications/implications

The study is of value not only to researchers of retail horizontal alliances, but offers retail practitioners specific experience and guidance.


It was identified from the literature that there have been relatively few theoretical and practical studies available that analyse the relationship between the outlined themes concerned with alliances and small retailers. The discussion in our paper provides useful information and new insights to both academics and practitioners.



Ghisi, F.A., da Silveira, J.A.G., Kristensen, T., Hingley, M. and Lindgreen, A. (2008), "Horizontal alliances amongst small retailers in Brazil", British Food Journal, Vol. 110 No. 4/5, pp. 514-538.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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