This blog contains my thoughts and views about retailing and retail change and is very much my own voice, providing some immediate commentary on current themes (mainly). I do though have other outlets for my research and writing and whilst they get a mention on the blog they are rarely spotlighted.
So I thought I would start 2021 by reflecting on my published, journal articles from 2020. And to something akin to amazement I seem to have published seven (7!) in 2020. Now when I say ‘I’, there is a massive need to say thanks to my co-authors who have in the main driven this output. Details of the papers can be found in the Journal Articles 2020 section of this blog and copies are available from the University of Stirling’s research depository, if you do not have easier access (see the references and DOIs at the end of this post).
It would not be entirely accurate to say that there is a consistent theme to the seven articles but they do perhaps share some common elements around the consumer–retailer interaction and the ways in which this is changing.
Two of the papers began life as MSc projects and it is through the efforts of my researcher Dr Maria Rybaczewska that they have become journal articles on YouTube Vloggers and Slogans, Brands and Student Purchasing.
Maria was also involved in two other papers on Consumer Purchase Decision Making and Employer Image and on Locally Owned Convenience Stores and the Local Economy. There is a link here, despite the different topics, in that both papers reflect that the actions of businesses/retailers alter and impact consumer behaviour in distinct ways.
It is this reflection that consumers react to businesses at various levels and to what they see in front of them that is also the focus of the next two papers, albeit the impact and the contexts are very different to employer image and local convenience stores. Working with colleagues in the Institute for Social Marketing we considered the impact of the Healthcare Retail Standard on Hospital Shops in Scotland. This shows in a small way what can be done to alter the consumer context. At a whole market and health policy level the work with colleagues from the London School of Tropical and Hygiene Medicine on demonstrating how companies ‘tilt’ the market by altering the ‘rules of the game’ (the Non-Market Economy) shows how far we have still to travel in designing retailing that helps customers make better informed choices.
The seventh paper, with colleagues in the Nottingham University, takes the conceptual development of consumer analytics and decision-making into another dimension, and points to the vital role of all forms of data that consumers need and reveal.
So, seven papers in 2020 (though most were of course written prior to the year) in a range of retail, marketing and social science journals. As noted earlier, my thanks to all my co-authors; your assistance has been vital to these outputs. Given 2020 and all that has happened over the year, as well as my role in the Town Centre Review, my article output is not likely to be as productive in 2021.
References (including DOI links)
Smith A, Harvey J, Goulding J, Smith S and Sparks L (2020) Exogenous cognition and cognitive state theory: The plexus of consumer analytics and decision-making. Marketing Theory, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1470593120964947
Eastmure E, Cummins S and Sparks L (2020) Non-market strategy as a framework for exploring commercial involvement in health policy: a primer, Social Science & Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113257
Rybaczewska M, Chesire B J, Sparks L (2020) YouTube vloggers as brand influencers on consumer purchase behaviour, Journal of Intercultural Management, https://doi.org/10.2478/joim-2020-0047
Rybaczewska M, Sparks L and Sułkowski Ł (2020) Consumers’ purchase decisions and employer image, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2020.102123
Rybaczewska M, Jirapathomsakul S, Liu Y, Tsing Chow W, Thanh Nguyen M and L Sparks (2020) Slogans, brands and purchase behaviour of students. Young Consumers, https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-07-2019-1020
Rybaczewska M and L Sparks (2020) Locally-owned convenience stores and the local economy. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.101939
Stead M, Eadie D, McKell J, Sparks L, MacGregor A and A S Anderson (2020) Making hospital shops healthier: evaluating the implementation of a mandatory standard for limiting food products and promotions in hospital retail outlets. BMC Public Health https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8242-7