Broadbridge, A. (2003), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 31 No. 9. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2003.08931iaa.001Download as .RIS
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David Bennison and Tony Hines have already provided an editorial on this special double issue on Retailing for Communities: Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion. Issue No. 8 contains six papers that have been through the peer review process. In the Retail Insights section we include a couple of papers of practitioner interest that were presented at the conference. These are accompanied by another two papers that complement the special issue on retailing for communities.
The first paper by Andrew Mitchell and Malcolm Kirkup focuses on Castle Vale in Birmingham and explores the role of retail development in urban regeneration. Here, a run-down shopping centre was redeveloped and new tenants attracted to it. A series of in-depth interviews with those associated with the project revealed the reasons behind the success of the scheme. Their paper also outlines some of the challenges that have arisen from the development programme. The paper provides an interesting case study for other retailers thinking of investing in a regeneration area both from the perspective of understanding the opportunities available and also from that of the challenge they may face.
In the second paper David Rex and Angela Blair, both employees of the NHS, describe their work conducted in Sandwell, West Midlands, an area with a poor health record and significant levels of deprivation. They wanted to examine whether lack of access to a balanced diet was a significant factor that could prevent people from eating the kind of diet health experts recommend. Conducting their research on a bicycle, they collected data on the availability and price of a range of different foods in Sandwell, and also interviewed the retailers from the 177 shops. Their findings showed that, while access to chocolate, biscuits and cigarettes is quite good, access to healthy foods is not. They argue that this is not simply explained by supply and demand factors but a range of other factors might be at work. Their paper continues to explore the value of neighbourhood shopping and some current solutions to food access. Their final paragraph provides their vision for the future of neighbourhood shopping.
In the third paper, Sophie Hogg, Dominic Medway and Gary Wamaby consider the implications of the introduction of legislation enabling the creation of the US concept of business improvement districts (BIDs) into the UK. They identify a number of critical success factors including the need for strong leadership, a genuine desire for change and a clarity of objectives and support from the local authority. They outline a number of advantages available to SME retailers, should they become involved in a BID as well as some of the issues that need to be addressed. They conclude that groups of specialist independent retailers might genuinely benefit from engaging in a BID.
In the final paper, Cathy Parker, Tracey Antony-Winter and David Tabernacle discuss the benefits of training and education to smaller retailers, using a case study of Barnet. While other attempts to involve SME retail businesses in education can be criticised as inadequately meeting the specific needs of SMEs, the Barnet case has been a success. This had been partially attributable to the development of a local retail club. This acts as a real world portal and focuses retailers on their immediate trading environment and the opportunities for local learning and development. Their paper explores the development of the local retail club model and the "learning by stealth" philosophy adopted by Barnet College Business Enterprise Department.
We end this issue with a book review by Steven Burt, Professor of Retailing, University of Stirling. He provides a review of Buyer Power and Competition in European Food Retailing by R. Clarke, S. Davies, P. Dobson, and M. Waterson, published by Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham in 2002.
Adelina BroadbridgeUniversity of Stirling