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Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers

Hutchinson, Karise and McGuinness, Donna (2013) Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 41 (6). pp. 461-476. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17090982

DOI: 10.1108/09590551311330834


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how product knowledge is utilised by specialistindependent grocery retailers (SIGRs) and how it can enhance competitive advantage for these firms.Design/methodology/approach – A case study approach was deemed most appropriate to gaininsight into an unexplored area of study. A total of 30 in-depth interviews were conducted over asix-month period supported by the collection of observation data and documentation. A purposivesampling method was adopted and the owner managers of the chosen retailers were interviewed askey informants for the study.Findings – It was found that four main resources created the concept product strategy andultimately explained the success of SIGRs. These relate to knowledge of how to provide a uniqueproduct; knowledge of identifying and sourcing from quality suppliers; knowledge of recipes,preparation and storage methods; and knowledge of how to merchandise products.Practical implications – It is argued that if these specialist grocery firms can achieve sustainedcompetitive advantage from building and exploiting product knowledge, so too can other independentretailers in the sector.Originality/value – This paper provides empirical evidence and theoretical understanding ofproduct knowledge as a competitive advantage for SIGRs, which is a neglected area of study in theretail literature.Keywords Independent grocery retailing, Resource based view, Product knowledge,Competitive advantage, Retailing, Retailers, Product information, United KingdomPaper type Research paper

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School > Department of Business and Enterprise
Ulster Business School
Research Institutes and Groups:Business and Management Research Institute
ID Code:28890
Deposited By: Yvonne Dunwoody (Admin)
Deposited On:26 Mar 2014 13:34
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:13

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