Neil Towers (The Business School, The University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 9 February 2015



Towers, N. (2015), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 43 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-11-2014-0153



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 43, Issue 2

There is a broader contemporary retail focus throughout the five submissions to this issue. The topics of the submissions include the decoy effect is tested in the framework of sales promotion, the characteristics, perception and measurement of innovation within retail firms, consumer innovativeness as a variable of online retailing adoption intention, sellers' strategies for offering bargains on consumers' satisfaction, considering buyers' characteristics and involvement and retail internationalization from a Spanish perspective.

In the first contribution by Sellers-Rubio and Nicolau-Gonzalbez, the decoy effect is tested in the framework of sales promotion, by conducting several experiments to investigate how the effect is influenced by the presence or absence of a store brand. The experiments consider three brands (two national brands and one store brand). All the brand names and prices employed in the experiment were real. The results indicate that, as expected, the inclusion of a decoy in the choice set significantly increases the consumer's relative preference for the promoted product. However, more importantly the results also show that store brand consumers are more influenced by a decoy than national brand consumers.

The second paper by Hristov and Reynolds aims to develop a more complete understanding both of the characteristics of innovation within retail firms and of the ways in which retailers perceive innovation and measure its effectiveness. While there is a broad consensus that innovation is an application of new ideas that stimulate economic performance, the term attracts a wide range of interpretations that are largely contingent upon the context within which innovation occurs. These aims are achieved through analysis at the level of the firm by means of qualitative research in the form of a series of in-depth interviews with more than 50 senior retail executives and other industry experts internationally. The results show that whilst retailers clearly recognize the important role of innovation for successful business performance, innovation in retailing nevertheless possesses a range of sector-specific meanings and measurement approaches that are distinct from more generic understandings of the phenomenon.

The third contribution by Thakur and Srivastava seeks to develop and empirically test a conceptual model to establish how consumer innovativeness can be used as a variable to positively influence online retailing adoption intention both directly and reducing consumer perceived risk. The literature concerning personal innovativeness toward information technology and major components of perceived risk have been systematically reviewed to develop a conceptual model. The impact of innovativeness and perceived risk on online shopping adoption intention has been empirically validated by structural equation modeling using a sample of 433 internet users in India. The results reveal consumer innovativeness as a key construct to improve online retail adoption intention both directly and by its effective role in reducing consumer risk perception of using internet channel for making purchase of physical goods.

The purpose of the fourth contribution by Hung and Cheng proposes that online group buying is different from the traditional purchase model in that an aggregation of purchases on the internet can lead sellers to adopt various bargaining strategies. When buyers and sellers do not have the opportunity to meet face to face, consumer satisfaction is an important consideration for sellers.

This study investigates the influence of sellers' strategies for offering bargains on consumers' satisfaction, considering buyers' characteristics and involvement. Data are analyzed by employing the multivariate analysis of variance. The results demonstrate that the stage decreasing range strategy results in the highest level of consumer satisfaction with online group buying. In addition, consumers' cognitive style, computer self-efficacy and involvement have a significant moderating effect on the relationship between incentive strategy and consumer satisfaction. The findings show that for group buying consumers, stage decreasing range strategy reveals certain advantages, such as a short waiting time for gathering group buyers. Enterprises or online sellers that propose special offers for online group buying as part of their competitive strategy should consider the stage decreasing range strategy. Moreover, enterprises and sellers can adjust their operations according to consumers' individual characteristics and construct good relationships in online group buying.

The need for retailers to internationalize is a growing reality in developed markets. Research examining problems in this process argues that the barriers to internationalization should be studied based on the situation in each country, and that public organizations which implement policies to support internationalization do not always adapt to company needs. The final contribution by Fayos-Gardó, Calderón and Mollá seeks to contribute to the limited existing research on the subject of Spanish retail internationalization, analyzing the problems faced by SMEs and the role of public support organizations in helping them. By means of in-depth interviews with experts the barriers faced by Spanish retailers in their internationalization processes were analyzed and found a predominance of endogenous as opposed to exogenous barriers. Also the appropriateness of support policies for retail needs was studied. The results show that the current international economic climate and restricted access to financing, combined with the small size of retailers, their lack of experience in internationalization processes, and the potential that still remains in the local market, are an inducement not to venture into other markets. Additionally, there is a lack of awareness on the part of public organizations about the reality and needs of the retail sector. In addition, the study of retail internationalization as a discipline seems to be in constant flux (Table I).

Neil Towers

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