Retailing Theory

Overview:  This section contains manuscripts examining topics related to basic theories in retail.

Arnold, Stephen , “Institutional Theory and Retail Store Patronage”, ACRA Spring   Montreal 2003.This paper identifies the utility of institutional theory in studying retail store patronage.  It uses the constructs of institutional norms, social actors, legitimacy and support and their corresponding measures to interpret the results of two surveys of value-oriented department store shoppers.

Dickinson, Roger, Anthony Herbst and  John O'Shaughnessy, “The Marketing Concept Revisited”,ACRA, Winter 1982.A discussion which makes and reviews criticism of the marketing concept to help better identify its domain and work out the implications of its limitations; offers suggestions for the marketing discipline on the basis of these criticisms. Bibliography.

Dickinson, Roger, “Some Thoughts on the Philosophy of Science”,ACRA, Winter 1984.
A look at the intellectual and philosophical roots of the study of marketing and retailing as an intellectual discipline. The author decries the excessive reliance on quantified empiricism to the exclusion of creativity and insight in marketing research.

Dixon, Donald F , “The Intellectual Heritage of Retailing”,UNK, October  1982.
The paper presents examples of retailing literature and instruction dating from the seventeenth century. It addressed the areas of store location and design, merchandise offering, promotion, and pricing. Starting with the Compleat Tradesman (1684), this paper provides gems of wisdom that are still valid today. It appears that the basic principles of retailing have not changed very much, and moreover, the right location, a good reputation, active turnover, and strong but honest selling have been recognized as the keys to success for over three hundred years. The advice concerning goods which are no longer in style that "one must not hesitate; one must take a loss in order to rid one's self of it at whatever price" is over 300 years old, and yet is not fully appreciated by many merchants in the 1980's. The materials from the 18th and 19th centuries are even more detailed and operational. The paper in total, provides a fascinating insight into the roots of the study of retailing which it portrays. It offers a well documented, insightful picture of the history and development of retail thought over a period of three centuries.

Herbst, Anthony  and  Roger Dickinson, “Theory and the Reality of DCF Methods in Capital Investment Evaluation” ,ACRA, 1986.A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Discounted Cash Flow Theory and Net Present Value Theory. Past Criticisms are analyzed and placed in perspective. Arguments are presented in support of it's correct usage.

Lee, Seung-Eun and Grace Kunz , “Merchandising Theory Development - Assortment Diversity in Relation to Financial Productivity”,ACRA Spring 2000  Toronto (May 2000).The purpose of this study is to contribute to merchandising theory development by testing and refining VSA and ADI using multiple merchandising performance measures.  Included are implications for Apparel Merchandisers and recommendations for future research.

Lee, Tinkook and Maria Vryza, “Paradigm of Retailing with a Strategic Orientation” ,ACRA, Spring 1993.A development of a retailing paradigm building on three weaknesses from traditional paradigms: channel environment, retailers as innovators, and the necessity of a framework for strategy.

McGoldrick, C. Robert, “Is It Still Retailing?”,ACRA, Spring 1984.An analysis of the overlap and ambiguity seen in the concepts of retailing and marketing. Part of the confusion comes about because of the use of both macro and micro concepts in both fields. Marketing has become more macro, dealing with total societal issues while retailing has stressed the operational or micro perspective. The author points out the growing overlap as marketing moves to include the service sector and retailing moves from the entrepreneurial signal store to the challenge of consciously shaping retail institutions to the structure of consumer markets.

Myers, Robert H.,“What! Another Theory of Retail Change”,ACRA, Winter 1983.The paper first defines the concept of retailing institutions and then examines several currently existing important forces that have and/or likely to continue to affect retailing. Discusses how these forces may cause waning of existing retail institutions and generate the development of new ones.

Patton, Charles R., William W. Thompson and M. Wayne Delozier“The Marketing Concept in Retailing--Why Must We Learn It in the School of Hard Knocks?”,ACRA, Spring 1989.Any student who has taken a course in Retailing has had the marketing concept pounded into his head. This paper outlines the mistakes made by Safeway, a giant retailer, in trying to open 500 identical stores, using a new untested model with no windows, in a short period, as a guide toward between retail planning in the future.

Sherman, Elaine, “Retail Catalog Showrooms: Do They Follow the Wheel of Retailing”,ACRA, Spring 1983.An examination of the growth of retail catalog showrooms in the context of the Wheel of Retailing model based on secondary sources. A good concise presentation of the catalog showroom movement through 1982. Bibliography.