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Article Dans Une Revue International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management Année : 2021

Competitive strategies of small independent retailers


Purpose : Despite the critical role given to small independent retailers (SIRs) in the revitalisation of city centres, little knowledge exists about their actual competitive strategies. Existing literature rather is normative, recommending SIRs to focus on customer orientation. Thus, the aim of this study is to identify the types of competitive strategies really adopted by SIRs.Design/methodology/approach : This qualitative study is based on 13 semi-structured interviews of the booksellers, beer and wine merchants we met around Paris (France) in 2018. Data analysis was conducted in two stages: each interview was coded to bring out themes, which were then linked in cognitive maps.Findings : Five types of SIRs' competitive strategies emerged from the study, depending on their main focus of attention. Either SIRs have no weapon to fight against external factors and they suffer competition or they have limited means and focus on their relationship with customers or even they possess a specific resource they can rely on (innovative character, skills, values) to go beyond ordinary customer orientation.Practical implications : The typology should be a useful tool for SIRs interested in competitive strategies and for municipalities looking for new insights to succeed in the revitalisation of their city centres.Social implications : Revitalisation of city centres is a big challenge for many Western cities, especially small- and middle-sized ones.Originality/value : To the best of our knowledge, the typology that comes from this study is the very first one on SIRs. Theoretically, it may help organise researches on SIRs' competitive strategies. Pragmatically, it provides a better understanding of SIRs' competitive strategies.
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Dates et versions

hal-03179166 , version 1 (21-10-2021)



Fabien Eymas, Faouzi Bensebaa. Competitive strategies of small independent retailers. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 2021, 49 (8), pp.1232-1245. ⟨10.1108/IJRDM-06-2020-0212⟩. ⟨hal-03179166⟩
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