Towers, N. (2013), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 41 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2013.08941eaa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 41, Issue 5.
This issue includes submissions that explore operational efficiency of a bookshop chain in Turkey, a framework for measuring retail productivity, internationalisation through franchising in Portugal and how packaging strategy for a global telecommunications firm is perceieved by its different markets.
The purpose of the first contribution by Uyar, Bayyurt, Dilber and Karaca study aims at assessing operational efficiency of a bookshop chain in Turkey, and identifying efficiency drivers. The sample includes 79 bookshops within a bookshop chain. The study uses two-step procedure. In the first stage, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is utilised to evaluate the comparative efficiency of bookshops. After assessment of shops’ efficiency by DEA, the results of Tobit regression revealed that shop age has positive significant influence on bookshop efficiency, whereas manager experience, staff experience and education level of the shop manager do not. The contribution of the paper to the literature is of great importance, since no prior Turkish study has dealt with the subject to this extent. Furthermore, although there are studies conducted on various subsectors of retail industry in other countries, there seems to be no study at all conducted on bookshop chains.
The purpose of the second paper by Mishra and Ansari is to develop a framework for measuring retail productivity. It intends to identify all the constituents of retail productivity exhaustively along with their measures and integrate them with a comprehensive model. The paper summarises the significant empirical works from the literature along with their study methods and identifies the gaps. The proposed methodology is a combination of various exploratory methods consisting of secondary data analysis, group interviews, depth interviews, observation and questionnaire survey. A regression based conceptual model including each of the output and input variables of retail productivity. It also provides conception logic and measurement method for each of the variables. It identifies the control parameters too and proposes to handle them in the model. The empirical validation provides the significance of various input parameters. The most significant usage of the model is the standardisation of retail productivity concept as a performance measurement tool and its applicability in individual retail stores (micro level). Hence, it is possible to determine the reasons for performance of retail stores and develop appropriate as well as effective strategies. The identification and elaboration of the various parameters of retail productivity would help retailers to redefine and focus on key decision areas.
The third paper by Forte and Carvalho attempts to analyse the internationalisation through franchising, using as a case study the internationalisation process of Parfois, a specialised retail brand based in Northern Portugal, and operating in the fashion accessories business. A case study approach was adopted based on information collected from various sources, including the company's web site, the World Bank database, some news reports about Parfois, and also from interviews with those responsible for the internationalisation of Parfois. The paper identifies that the firm is willing to open its own stores in the European market, where it feels comfortable, allowing franchisees to assume the investment risk in other world regions, with particular relevance for the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In the international competitive market, it is important for other retail brands to understand how a relatively small retail brand, based in a depressed European zone is able to expand worldwide. Furthermore, the lack of existing literature about internationalisation through franchising in specialised retailing companies adds value to this study.
The final contribution by Nilsson, Fagerlund and Körner presents the results of a study of how packaging strategy for a global telecommunications firm is perceieved by its different markets. The purpose is to explore how the balance between a globally standardised and locally adapted packaging strategy can meet different needs for different markets. A case study approach was adopted using interviews and field studies. The results suggest that the focal company's packaging strategy does not meet the needs of every market. Most importantly the results indicate differences in packaging needs in markets where the packaging is shown before the product is purchased compared to those where it is shown afterwards. The models developed in the paper were valuable in the analysis of the packaging strategy and could be used by professionals in other firms in the fast moving consumer electronic goods industry (Table I).