Towers, P. (2012), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2012.08940baa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 40, Issue 2
This edition has an interesting retailing blend with submissions investigating ladies buying behaviour during shoes sales promotion purchase in Malaysia, the role of ideology in brand strategy with reference to large-scale food retailing in Italy, the deployment of RFID technology in fashion supply chain management for global fashion producers and retail brand management for UK SME owner managers.
The first contribution by Tong, Lai and Tong examines the ladies buying behaviour during shoes sales promotion purchase in Malaysia using the highly validated Belk’s Model consisting of Social Surroundings (SS), Temporal Perspective (TP), Task Definition (TD), Physical Surrounding (PS) are used as predictors for Sales Promotion Purchase (SPP). The results identify few key predictors during shoes sales promotion. Ladies expressed the importance of first day sales for first buyer’s advantage, and they preferred large shop with music. Moreover, due to multi-racial society in the country, ethnic group interaction on the model did not indicate impact of consumer differences affecting the sales promotion purchase. During a specific festive season sale all ethnic groups take full advantages of the sale. This implies that Belk’s Model is still applicable even in multi sales promotions for a specific product of shoes. However, the study may have slight possibility of biases due to retrospective account of recalling purchase involvement in retails shop(s) during sale promotions. Nevertheless, it is assumed that these biases are minimal as there are six sales per year in the country averaging one sale per two months. This study provides an insight of ladies purchasing behaviour and their preferences of the types of retail outlets, which contributes to retail owners’ sales and shops decoration strategies to attract consumers.
The second paper by Massa and Testa aims to study the role of ideology in brand strategy with reference to large-scale food retailing. By means of a thorough case study investigation of highly ideology-focused food retailer Eataly, the study aims to enrich existing theory on retailer branding and to identify ideology-focused brand choices that lead to a preference towards the retailer. It provides both research-related and practical contributions. From a research perspective, it provides empirical evidence on the role of ideology in large-scale food retailing, a field that has been traditionally neglected in the ideology debate. From a practical perspective, it provides a contribution to retailers and brand managers. Three main lessons can be mentioned. First, a company’s ideology should be pervasively applied to each aspect of a brand and it seems to be primarily situated within tangible and physical attributes, rather than within symbolic features, at least in the case investigated. Second, an explicit ideology is not exempt from risks. Third, ideology can be subject to multiple interpretations that may give rise to unintended consequences.
The third paper by Azevedo and Carvalho explores the deployment of RFID technology in Fashion Supply Chain Management (FSCM). It highlights the contribution of RFID to FSCM, supporting faster logistics activities, with greater products quality, cheaper and with more responsiveness, improving customer satisfaction. An inductive theory building approach is used to develop a conceptual model for RFID deployment in the FSCM context. Secondary data analysis from a sample of six companies supports the identification and discussion of the real advantages, disadvantages and barriers felt by companies in a fashion supply chain when RFID technology is introduced. For the logistics activities in the fashion supply chain where RFID technology is most widely deployed the main barrier identified to the deployment of RFID is the problem of interoperability. The costs associated with the technology are the main disadvantage pointed out by the companies. A conceptual framework is proposed exploring the RFID advantages and disadvantages across the fashion supply chain, the main barriers to its introduction and the fashion supply chain logistics activities in which RFID could be found. This represents an important contribution to companies in this industry to become more aware of RFID. Also, new companies that are thinking on introducing this technology could overcome easily its barriers, improving its advantages and minimising its disadvantages.
The final contribution by Mitchell, Hutchinson and Bishop explores the meaning of the term “retail brand” to SME owner managers and how this impacts upon brand management practice. This research utilises a case study approach, which involved twelve SME retailers located in two regions of the UK, combining qualitative interview data with desktop research and documentary evidence. The findings confirm that the owner manager is central to the brand management function in SME retail firms and that the retail brand encompasses both symbolic and functional meaning to the owner manager. It is recommended that SME owner managers set an overall direction for branding across all aspects of the retail business and in doing so existing retail brand models may be utilised as a tool kit for SME brand managers. The research begins to address a significant empirical lacuna in branding at the SME retail marketing interface and adds to wider marketing discourse, through the presentation of terminological adaptation within a small retailing situ.
Professor Neil Towers