This page contains details of some of the recent journal article publications by members of the Institute for Retail Studies. Pre-print versions of these articles are available online from the University of Stirling’s Depository (STORRE) in most cases, or contact the author or Leigh Sparks directly.
*************Award Winning Paper
This paper has recently won the Highly Commended Award for this Emerald Journal as one of the best papers in 2011.
Herbert Kotzab, Christoph Teller, David B Grant and Leigh Sparks (2011) “Antecedents for the adoption and execution of supply chain management”, Supply Chain Management: an international journal, Vol 16 Iss: 4, pp 231-245
This paper develops a conceptual model that includes drivers of supply chain management (SCM) adoption and execution identified in the literature, provides a set of measurement scales that operationalise constructs within this model, empirically verifies a hierarchical order of antecedents that affects the adoption and execution of SCM, and assists management by providing a focus on those SCM conditions and processes that need to be prioritised to increase successful SCM adoption and execution.
Noemi Martinez-Carabello, Steve Burt and Carmen Berne (2011) “determining how and why consumer purchasing of grocery products varies”, African Journal of Business Management, Vol 5 Iss: 16, pp 6917-6926.
In order to broaden the research on household consumption patterns, this paper aims to determine how and why consumer purchasing of grocery and household products varies. Several variables, such as shopping frequency, overall satisfaction with the stores and demographic characteristics of the household and the buyer have been examined. An ad-hoc survey has been used to test the influence of these variables on variety-seeking behaviour. The results support the existence of a direct relationship between the aforementioned variables and variety-seeking behaviour. Available online at: http://www.academicjournals.org/ajbm/PDF/pdf2011/18Aug/Martinez-Caraballo%20et%20al.pdf
Paul de Bruyn and Paul Freathy (2011) “Retailing in post-apartheid South Africa: the strategic positioning of Boardmans”, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Vol 39 Iss: 7, pp 538-544.
This paper details the strategic repositioning of a retail organisation (Boardmans) in South Africa. It describes the social and political transformations that have occurred since the ending of the apartheid regime and discuss the implications of these changes for the retail sector. Many retail organisations initially found it difficult to cope with the needs of non-white customers and were forced to make changes to the way in which they operated their businesses. Boardmans, whilst initially coping in the post-apartheid period, over time, lost touch with its customer base. The paper details how the company’s position was re-established after its acquisition by the Edcon Group. This required an holistic approach that sought to engender change throughout the whole of the organisation.
Jaclyn Pit Ting Tan and Paul Freathy (2011) “Consumer decision making and store patronage behaviour in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) halls in Singapore”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol 18 Iss: 4, pp 285-292. Available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2011.02.002
This paper examines who patronises Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) halls in Singapore and for what purpose. A quantitative study of 400 respondents identifies that TCMs are used primarily for the improvement of health and well-being rather than the treatment of more serious medical conditions. While the patronage of TCM stores is not restricted to the Chinese population, traditional Mom-and-Pop outlets have come under increasing pressure from new market entrants. When choosing a TCM outlet, customers consider price and quality to be important factors while trust in the store keeper was also identified as a key determinant of store choice.
Steve Burt, Ulf Johansson and Åsa Thelander (2011) “Standardized marketing strategies in retailing? IKEA’s marketing strategies in Sweden, the UK and China”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol 18 Iss: 3, pp 183-193 (Available in STORRE at
IKEA is often cited as an example of a “global” retailer which pursues a similar “standardized” approach in every market. This paper systematically assesses the degree of standardization (and adaptation) of four commonly identified retail marketing mix activities – merchandise, location and store format, the selling and service environment, and market communication – within three countries. The conclusions suggest that whilst IKEA operates a standardized concept, degrees of adaptation can be observed in customer facing elements, and in the supporting “back office” processes which support these elements. These adaptations arise from differences in consumer cultures and the length of time, and subsequent exposure to and experience of, the market. This suggests that standardization in international retailing should be considered from the perspective of replicating the concept, rather than replicating the activities.
Leigh Sparks, (2011) “Settling for second best?: Reflections after the tenth anniversary of Wal-Mart’s entry to the United Kingdom”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 Iss: 2, pp.114 – 129 (Available in STORRE at
The paper evaluates the comparative progress of Asda in the UK since its surprise takeover by Wal-Mart in 1999. Wal-Mart expected to become the number 1 retailer in the UK and many commentators saw massive problems ahead for local retailers. These expectations were not met; this paper investigates why.
Eric Calderwood, Paul Freathy, (2011) “Challenges in the supply of perishable products to island communities”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 21 Iss: 2, pp 145-160
This article examines the specific retail challenges associated with supplying to the island communities around the UK. The research identifies a variety of factors that disproportionately influence the efficiency and effectiveness of a retailer’s operations. It also notes that island retailers operate under a significantly different cost base from that of a mainland operation. While national multiple retailers may choose to absorb this additional expense into their overall cost base, many local retailers have followed a conglomerate strategy and operate wholesale or multi-service functions.
Alan Collins, Steve Burt, (2011) “Below-cost legislation: lessons from the Republic of Ireland”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol 21 Iss: 1, pp 33-49. (Available in STORRE at
This article traces the emergence, evolution and demise of below-cost legislation in the grocery industry in the Republic of Ireland. Lessons from the Republic of Ireland suggest that the competitive response to the removal of below-cost legislation, and reductions in prices, may take time and will depend on economic circumstances and a change in the prevailing norms of organisational behaviour and quasi-rent seeking opportunities.
Leigh Sparks, (2010) “Supply Chain Management and Retailing”, Supply Chain Forum: an International Journal, Volume 11, Number 4, pp. 4-12 (Available in STORRE at
Retailers are now the dominant partners in most supply systems and have used their positions to re-engineer operations and partnerships with suppliers and other logistic service providers. No longer are retailers the passive recipients of manufacturer allocations, but instead are the active channel controllers organizing supply in anticipation of, and reaction to consumer demand. This paper reflects on the ongoing transformation of retail supply chains and logistics. If considers this transformation through an examination of the fashion, grocery and selected other retail supply chains, drawing on practical illustrations. Current and future challenges are then discussed.
John Fernie, Leigh Sparks, Alan C. McKinnon, (2010) “Retail logistics in the UK: past, present and future”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 Iss: 11/12, pp.894 – 914 (Available in STORRE at
This paper provides an overview of the logistical transformation of British retailing over the last three decades and discusses likely challenges that face logistics managers in the future. The paper provides one of the few contributions to appraise the research undertaken on retail logistics in the UK over the last 20-30 years.