International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 19 July 2011



Towers, N. (2011), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 No. 9. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2011.08939iaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 39, Issue 9

For this edition, there is a retail marketing theme from three papers that address the environmental elements in retail supply chains and retail capability from different perspective. The final paper provides a greater understanding of hypermarket retailers’ marketing efforts.

The first contribution by Daniel Hellström and Fredrik Nilsson examines the strategic potential of logistics-driven packaging innovation in retail supply chains, and suggest propositions for further research and development, providing practitioners with a better basis on which to make strategic packaging and logistics decisions. An in-depth case study was conducted at a large global retailer which had implemented an innovative unit load carrier. The case study highlights a previously inaccessible phenomenon, as this type of unit load carrier has only been implemented on a large-scale in the studied retailer’s supply chain. In order to explore the impact of the innovative unit load carrier the case study draws on a longitudinal research approach. These insights emphasise the need for a systems perspective in order to understand the total impact of packaging innovations on supply chains.

The next paper by Herbert Kotzab, Hilde M. Munch, Brigitte de Faultrier and Christoph Teller develops a scale that evaluates the environmental elements in retail supply chains and examines the environmental supply chain management initiatives of the world’s largest 100 retailing companies and compared the specific environmental activities of three retailers from Denmark, France and the UK. The empirical evaluation has been undertaken through an investigative approach applying a web-scan framework which included the analysis of websites and publicly published documents such as annual reports and Corporate Social Responsibility reports. They identified 34 environmental sustainability initiatives which were grouped into eight categories and the level of environmental supply chain management was characterised as either very operational or very short-term oriented. Long-term oriented green-design-initiatives were hardly observed. The detailed analysis of the three selected retailers showed entirely positive results, which is a critical issue. It seems that political environmental correctness does not allow for reporting on failures or inadequate initiatives. Most of the findings refer to success stories showing that environmental goals were achieved and over-achieved.

The third paper by Harri Lorentz and Juhana Lounela aims to identify the relevant assessment criteria for retailer supply chain capability from the perspective of foreign food manufacturers in an emerging market context and to evaluate the development level of Russian retail chains in this sphere. A four-level capability assessment model was created with operational assessment criteria allocated into management, logistics or marketing categories. The results indicate that management related criteria have a dominant role in assessing the supply chain capability of a retail chain company. Furthermore, the priority weight of logistics capability is only somewhat higher in comparison to marketing capability although it is ranked significantly lower in comparison to management capability. This research provides practical insight on how to assess retailer supply chain capability in general, and describes the level of development of various capabilities and functional areas among Russian food retailers.

The purpose of the final paper, by Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan and Chompunuch Punyapiroje is to contribute to our understanding of hypermarket retailers’ marketing efforts by exploring consumers’ attitudes toward the marketing practices of three retailers (Tesco-Lotus, Big C, and Carrefour) in Thailand. A non-probability convenience sampling procedure was employed and three versions were tailored to each specific hypermarket retailer using similar questions related to consumers’ attitudes toward different areas of marketing practices. The measures were adapted from the Index of Consumer Sentiment toward Marketing and Consumers’ Attitudes toward Marketing. The results showed that although Thai consumers displayed different attitudes toward retail services, positive advertising and fair price they expressed similar attitudes toward business provisions and product quality across samples. The inference from this case study was that multinational hypermarket retailers need to understand the similarities and differences related to areas of their marketing practices to be able to market effectively to their Thai consumers.

Neil Towers

Related articles