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Journal Articles International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management Year : 2007

Perspectives on retail format innovation: relating theory and practice


Purpose: neither retail formats nor business models are static entities. Retailers develop new formats, manage existing formats and discard formats over time, as a consequence of many contributory factors in the retail environment. The paper provides a brief summary of our existing understanding of the retail innovation process and of the longer term retail format lifecycle, before placing this alongside recent UK research into the contemporary practice of format innovation. It explores four features of recent format change in the UK that provide the basis for distinctive business models. Design/methodology/approach: analysis is derived from interviews with retail practitioners and supported by quantitative evidence from government statistical sources. Findings - The paper concludes that whilst existing models of retail format change can risk oversimplifying and formalising what are often experimental, incremental and often accidental processes, they can complement our understanding of longer term trends in UK retail formats. Practical implications: the evolution of retail formats, together with the retail business models of which they are an expression, has been a continuing source of interest amongst stakeholders ranging from consumers, developers and investors. Findings demonstrate that innovation is seen as providing an important source of diversity and renewal for urban and suburban spaces. Originality/value: the paper is of interest to practitioners and students of retail management.


Dates and versions

hal-00952139 , version 1 (26-02-2014)



Jonathan Reynolds, Elisabeth Howard, Christine Cuthbertson, Latchezar Hristov. Perspectives on retail format innovation: relating theory and practice. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 2007, 35 (8), pp.647-660. ⟨10.1108/09590550710758630⟩. ⟨hal-00952139⟩


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