Over the last decade, a “new” sharing economy has emerged. So far, the supply chain literature has focused on platforms delivering crowd-logistics services that connect businesses and consumers (B2C). The literature has paid little attention to platforms that facilitate products exchanges between consumers. This article aims to develop a first supply chain conceptualization for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) product exchanges stimulated by the sharing economy. How to conceptualize C2C product exchanges from an Supply Chain (SC) perspective? Do such C2C product exchanges form what might be called “sharing supply chains”? What are the characteristics of these sharing supply chains?
The authors rely on a single case study of Vestiaire Collective (VC), a C2C platform that links consumers buying and selling second-hand luxury goods. This case was not selected because it is a typical C2C product platform, but because it is an “extreme” case (Yin, 2014) meeting Siggelkow's “talking pig” criterion (2007).
The authors demonstrate that VC intermediates a “sharing supply chain”, whose features differ from forward and reverse supply chains. The authors stress that strong physical intermediation is crucial in this extreme case. The authors then contrast this extreme case with other forms of sharing supply chains to identify the variables leading to these alternative configurations. Finally, the authors develop theoretical propositions regarding the physical intermediation role that these platforms may play.
The authors' article extends the scope of the supply chain concept by identifying sharing supply chains alongside other types of chains. The article also points to the strategic role of SC dimensions in the sharing economy. The authors hope that this article will lead to further research on sharing supply chains.
Roussat, C., Carbone, V. and Rouquet, A. (2022), "Conceptualizing sharing supply chains – lessons from an exemplary case", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-10-2021-0670
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