International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 1 June 2006


Fernie, J. (2006), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2006.08934faa.001

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


This issue of the journal covers a range of topics from authors in the US, Finland and the UK. Our first paper by Jason Carpenter and Marguerite Moore discusses consumers’ choice of grocery retail format in the US. Based on a random sample of 454 grocery consumers, their work shows that different demographic groups choose a variety of formats based on specific store choice attributes. For example, consumers of speciality stores favour attributes in relation to high service levels whereas there is more of an emphasis upon price competitiveness for traditional supermarket shoppers. Not surprisingly, the superstore format is more likely to be frequented by groups with lower incomes and higher household size.

The next paper, also from the US, is by a research group from a consortium of Mid-West universities who investigated the nature of retail channel use by rural consumers between 2000 and 2003. Using a mailed questionnaire, they analysed whether differences existed between channel groups on how they viewed specific variables such as time poverty, merchandise selection, service, privacy and security during this time period. Johnson et al. found that internet usage had increased, especially with regard to clothing and home furnishings purchase. Nevertheless, they also reported satisfaction with conventional rural stores and indeed the single channel shopper was more attached to their community than the multi-channel shopper.

Our next two papers focus upon supply chain issues, predominantly from a supplier perspective. The first paper from researchers at the Open University and Cranfield University assesses the effectiveness of merchandisers deployed in two rival DIY chains to improve the availability of their timber products in their stores. Although the relationships between retailer and supplier have been developed over a long period of time, it was evident that there were inter-organisational tensions in the relationship. Control over task specification and work environment was divided and they conclude that there was a need for all organisations to take practical steps to ensure that responsibilities are clearly defined and understood. The next paper by Arlo Lindblom and Rami Olkkonen discusses category management factors in the fast moving consumer goods market in Finland. They surveyed 83 manufacturing firms through a mailed questionnaire to explore possible sources of manufacturers’ control over category management tactics. It was clear from the results that manufacturers felt that retailers were in charge of overall tactics but large manufacturers have some control over these tactics especially in the area of in-store promotions (less so on pricing). The final paper is by the team from Manchester Metropolitan University and discusses an approach to sustaining competitive e-tail advantage in fashion marketing. The paper focuses upon SMEs and applies the “web weaving” model to achieve profitable, sustained growth in the “pure play” fashion e-tail sector.

John Fernie