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Exploring strategic strengths and weaknesses of retail purchasing groups
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Logistics & Quality Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Cranfield University.
2015 (English)In: International Review of Retail Distribution & Consumer Research, ISSN 0959-3969, E-ISSN 1466-4402, Vol. 25, no 3, 276-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Retail purchasing groups consist of small, independent, specialised stores that join together and collaborate on purchasing and other areas. In comparison to large-scale corporate retail chains, often labelled mega-retailers, retail purchasing groups are based on collaborative external integration between a central unit and the independent, local dealers. The overall purpose of this research is to explore the specific characteristics that underscore a retail purchasing group. The paper has two research questions: (1) What are the strengths and weaknesses of a supply chain structure based on external integration?, and (2) In what areas is the purchasing groups’ ownership structure particularly advantageous in comparison to the mega-retailers’ vertically integrated organisations? This exploratory research is empirically grounded in a case study of two Swedish purchasing groups. The paper argues that under certain market conditions, a decentralised supply chain, which relies on collaborative external relationships, can provide a competitive alternative to a more traditional centralised structure.  The paper elaborate three areas where the structure is particularly advantageous: (1) service-based competition in an industry otherwise focused on cost leadership, (2) in-depth understanding of local conditions and presence, and (3) the ability to incorporate entrepreneurial strengths and innovations in the supply chain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 25, no 3, 276-297 p.
Keyword [en]
retail purchasing groups; competition; supply chain integration; collaboration; organisation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120956DOI: 10.1080/09593969.2014.982679OAI: diva2:850019
Available from: 2015-08-31 Created: 2015-08-31 Last updated: 2015-09-21

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Sandberg, Erik
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