Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers

Karise Hutchinson, Donna McGuinness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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
LanguageEnglish
Pages461-476
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Grocery
Retailers
Product knowledge
Competitive advantage
Owner-managers
Key words
Retailing
Product information
Grocery retailing
Design methodology
Empirical evidence
In-depth interviews
Product strategy
Documentation
Suppliers
Resources
Resource-based view
Preparation
Sourcing

Cite this

@article{2073a1a3d3c7482cbf41be5df35ceec5,
title = "Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers",
abstract = "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",
author = "Karise Hutchinson and Donna McGuinness",
note = "Reference text: Alexander, A. (2008), “Format development and retail change: supermarket retailing and the London co-operative society”, Business History, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp. 489-508. Alexander, A., Phillips, S. and Shaw, G. (2008), “Retail innovation and shopping practices: consumers’ reactions to self-service retailing”, Environment and Planning, Vol. A No. 40, pp. 2204-2221. All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group (APPSSG) (2006), High Street Britain: 2015, APPSSG, London. Altintas, M.H., Kilic¸, S., Senol, G. and Isin, F. (2010), “Strategic objectives and competitive advantages of private label products: manufacturers’ perspective”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 773-788. Amcoff, J., Mo¨ller, P. and Westholm, E. (2011), “The (un)importance of the closure of village shops to rural migration patterns”, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 129-143. Ashworth, C.J. (2011), “Marketing and organizational development in e-SMEs: understanding survival and sustainability in growth-oriented and comfort-zone pure-play enterprises in the fashion retail industry”, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 25-38. Ashworth, C.J., Schmidt, R.A., Pioch, E.A. and Hallsworth, A. (2006), “Web-weaving. An approach to sustainable e-retail and online advantage in lingerie fashion marketing”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 497-511. Barnes, H., Parry, J. and Taylor, R. (2004), Working after State Pension Age: Qualitative Research, No. 208, DWO Report, CDS, Leeds. Barney, J. (1991), “Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage”, Journal of Management, Vol. 17, pp. 99-120. Bazeley, P. and Richards, L. (2007), The NVivo Qualitative Project Book, 2nd ed., Sage, London. Bertozzi, P. (2001), “Gli Strumenti di Intrattenimento a Disposizione Dell’impresa di Distribuzione: Costi e Benefici”, Micro and Macro Marketing, Vol. 3 No. 412, p. 431. Boyatzis, R.E. (1998), Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Broadbridge, A. and Parsons, L. (2003), “Still serving the community? The professionalisation of the UK charity retail sector”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 31 No. 8, p. 418. Byrom, J., Medway, D. and Warnaby, G. (2001), “Issues of provision and ‘remoteness’ in rural food retailing – a case study of the southern western isles of Scotland”, British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 6, pp. 400-413. Chugan, P.K. and Pingle, S.S. (2012), Global Recession to Global Recovery: Epoch Strategies for Marketing, Family Business and Entrepreneurship, available at: http://Ssrn.Com/ Abstract¼2005720 (accessed February 15, 2012). Clarke, I. and Banga, S. (2010), “The economic and social role of small stores: a review of UK evidence”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 187-215. Coca-Stefaniak, A.J., Parker, C. and Rees, P. (2010), “Localisation as a marketing strategy for small retailers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 9, pp. 677-697. IJRDM 41,6 472 Coca-Stefaniak, A., Hallsworth, A., Parker, C., Bainbridge, S. and Yuste, R. (2005), “Decline in the British small shop independent retail sector: exploring European parallels”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 12, pp. 357-371. Coviello, N.E., Ghauri, P.N. and Martin, K.A.M. (1998), “International competitiveness: empirical findings from SME service firms”, Journal of International Marketing, Vol. 2, pp. 8-27. Cummins, S. and Macintyre, S. (2002), “A systematic study of an urban foodscape: the price and availability of food in greater Glasgow”, Urban Studies, Vol. 39 No. 11, pp. 2115-2130. Dawson, J. (2001), “Strategy and opportunism in European retail internationalization”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 12, pp. 253-266. Donovan, R.J., Rossiter, J.R., Marcoolyn, G. and Nesdale, A. (1994), “Store atmosphere and purchasing behavior”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 70, Fall, pp. 283-294. Downe-Wamboldt, B. (1992), “Content analysis: method, applications, and issues”, Health Care for Women Internationa, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 313-321. Drucker, P.F. (1993), Post-capital Society, Harper and Collins, New York, NY. Eisenhardt, K.M. and Graebner, M.E. (2007), “Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges”, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 50 No. 7, pp. 25-32. Fiorito, S.S. and LaForge, R.W. (1986), “A marketing strategy analysis of small retailers”, American Journal of Small Business, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 7-17. Ghauri, P.N. and Gr{\o}nhaug, K. (2002), Research Methods in Business Studies: A Practical Guide, Financial Times and Prentice Hall, Harlow. Gibbs, G. (2002), Qualitative Data Analysis: Explorations with NVivo, Open University Press, Buckingham. Groves, A.M. (2001), “Authentic British food products: a review of consumer perceptions”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 246-254. Guardian (2007), “A warm glow: entrepreneurs start up ‘farmers markets without the draughts’”, available at: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,2015196,00.html (accessed 1 February 2009). Gummesson, E. (2005), “Qualitative research in marketing: road-map for a wilderness of complexity and unpredictability”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, pp. 309-327. Gummesson, E. (2006), “Qualitative research in management: addressing complexity, context and persona”, Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 167-179. Hariga, M.A., Al-Ahmari, A. and Mohamed, A. (2007), “A joint optimisation model for inventory replenishment, product assortment, shelf space and display area allocation decisions”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 181 No. 5, pp. 239-251. Harris, K., Harris, R. and Baron, S. (2001), “Customer participation in retail services: lessons from Brecht”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 359-369. Hart, C., Stachow, G.B., Farrell, A.M. and Reed, G. (2007), “Employer perceptions of skills gaps in retail: issues and implications for UK retailers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 271-288. Hilton, M. (1998), “Retailing history as economic and cultural history: strategies of survival by specialist tobacconists in the mass market”, Business History, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 115-137. Hitt, M., Hoskisson, R.E. and Ireland, D. (1999), “Resource complementarity in business combinations: extending the logic to organizational alliances”, Journal of Management, Vol. 27, pp. 679-690. Utilising product knowledge 473 Hofer-Alfeis, J. (2003), “Effective integration of knowledge management into the business starts with a top-down knowledge strategy”, Journal of Universal Computer Science, Vol. 9 No. 7, pp. 719-728. Hooley, G., Broderick, A. and Moller, K. (1998), “Competitive positioning and the resource-based view of the firm”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 97, p. 115. Hoopes, D.G., Madsen, T.L. and Walker, G. (2003), “Guest editors’ introduction to the special issue: why is there a resource-based view? Toward a theory of competitive heterogeneity”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 10, pp. 889-902. Ilbery, B. and Maye, D. (2006), “Retailing local food in the Scottish-English borders: a supply chain perspective”, Geoforum, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 352-367. Johnson, J.C. and Weller, S.C. (2002), Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method, Sage, London. Kent, T. and Omar, O. (2003), Retailing, Palgrave Macmillian, Hampshire. Kroll, M., Wright, P. and Helens, R. (1999), “The contribution of product quality to competitive advantage: impacts on systematic variance and unexplained variance in returns”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 375-384. Lee, J., Johnson, K.K.P., Gahring, S. and Lee, S.E. (2008), “Business strategies of independent retailers: effects of environmental hostility”, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 251-263. Lusch, R.F., Vargo, S.L. and O’Brien, M. (2007), “Competing through service: insights from service-dominant logic”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 83 No. 1, pp. 5-18. McGee, J.E. (2000), “Toward the development of measures of distinctive competencies among small independent retailers”, Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 2000-2033. Megicks, P. (2001), “Competitive strategy types in the UK independent retail sector”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 315-328. Megicks, P. (2007), “Levels of strategy and performance in UK small retail businesses”, Management Decision, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 484-502. Meneely, L., Burns, A. and Strugnell, C. (2008), “Food retailers’ perceptions of older consumers in Northern Ireland”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 341-348. Miles, M. and Huberman, A. (1994), Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Morris, C. and Buller, H. (2003), “The local food sector: a preliminary assessment of its form and impact in Gloucestershire”, British Food Journal, Vol. 105 No. 8, p. 559. Murphy, M. (1996), Small Business Management, Pitman, Washington, DC. New Economics Foundation (2005), Clone Town Britain, New Economics Foundation, London. Newbert, S.L. (2007), “Empirical research on the resource-based view of the firm: an assessment and suggestions for future research”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 121-146. NIIRTA (2012), Nightmare on Every Street, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, Belfast. Nonaka, I. (1991), “The knowledge-creating company”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 14, pp. 96-104. O’Dwyer, M.L. and Ryan, E. (2002), “Management development – a model for retail business”, Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 26 No. 9, pp. 420-429. O’Neill, M. (2005), Putting Food Access on the Radar, National Consumer Council, London. IJRDM 41,6 474 Paddison, A. and Calderwood, E. (2007), “Rural retailing: a sector in decline?”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 136-155. Pettinger, C., Holdsworth, M. and Gerber, M. 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year = "2013",
doi = "10.1108/09590551311330834",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "461--476",
number = "6",

}

Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers. / Hutchinson, Karise; McGuinness, Donna.

Vol. 41, No. 6, 2013, p. 461-476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Utilising product knowledge: Competitive advantage for specialist independent grocery retailers

AU - Hutchinson, Karise

AU - McGuinness, Donna

N1 - Reference text: Alexander, A. (2008), “Format development and retail change: supermarket retailing and the London co-operative society”, Business History, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp. 489-508. Alexander, A., Phillips, S. and Shaw, G. (2008), “Retail innovation and shopping practices: consumers’ reactions to self-service retailing”, Environment and Planning, Vol. A No. 40, pp. 2204-2221. All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group (APPSSG) (2006), High Street Britain: 2015, APPSSG, London. Altintas, M.H., Kilic¸, S., Senol, G. and Isin, F. (2010), “Strategic objectives and competitive advantages of private label products: manufacturers’ perspective”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 773-788. Amcoff, J., Mo¨ller, P. and Westholm, E. (2011), “The (un)importance of the closure of village shops to rural migration patterns”, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 129-143. Ashworth, C.J. (2011), “Marketing and organizational development in e-SMEs: understanding survival and sustainability in growth-oriented and comfort-zone pure-play enterprises in the fashion retail industry”, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 25-38. Ashworth, C.J., Schmidt, R.A., Pioch, E.A. and Hallsworth, A. (2006), “Web-weaving. An approach to sustainable e-retail and online advantage in lingerie fashion marketing”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 497-511. Barnes, H., Parry, J. and Taylor, R. (2004), Working after State Pension Age: Qualitative Research, No. 208, DWO Report, CDS, Leeds. Barney, J. (1991), “Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage”, Journal of Management, Vol. 17, pp. 99-120. Bazeley, P. and Richards, L. (2007), The NVivo Qualitative Project Book, 2nd ed., Sage, London. Bertozzi, P. (2001), “Gli Strumenti di Intrattenimento a Disposizione Dell’impresa di Distribuzione: Costi e Benefici”, Micro and Macro Marketing, Vol. 3 No. 412, p. 431. Boyatzis, R.E. (1998), Transforming Qualitative Information: Thematic Analysis and Code Development, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Broadbridge, A. and Parsons, L. (2003), “Still serving the community? The professionalisation of the UK charity retail sector”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 31 No. 8, p. 418. Byrom, J., Medway, D. and Warnaby, G. (2001), “Issues of provision and ‘remoteness’ in rural food retailing – a case study of the southern western isles of Scotland”, British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 6, pp. 400-413. Chugan, P.K. and Pingle, S.S. (2012), Global Recession to Global Recovery: Epoch Strategies for Marketing, Family Business and Entrepreneurship, available at: http://Ssrn.Com/ Abstract¼2005720 (accessed February 15, 2012). Clarke, I. and Banga, S. (2010), “The economic and social role of small stores: a review of UK evidence”, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 187-215. Coca-Stefaniak, A.J., Parker, C. and Rees, P. (2010), “Localisation as a marketing strategy for small retailers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 38 No. 9, pp. 677-697. IJRDM 41,6 472 Coca-Stefaniak, A., Hallsworth, A., Parker, C., Bainbridge, S. and Yuste, R. (2005), “Decline in the British small shop independent retail sector: exploring European parallels”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 12, pp. 357-371. Coviello, N.E., Ghauri, P.N. and Martin, K.A.M. (1998), “International competitiveness: empirical findings from SME service firms”, Journal of International Marketing, Vol. 2, pp. 8-27. Cummins, S. and Macintyre, S. (2002), “A systematic study of an urban foodscape: the price and availability of food in greater Glasgow”, Urban Studies, Vol. 39 No. 11, pp. 2115-2130. Dawson, J. (2001), “Strategy and opportunism in European retail internationalization”, British Journal of Management, Vol. 12, pp. 253-266. Donovan, R.J., Rossiter, J.R., Marcoolyn, G. and Nesdale, A. (1994), “Store atmosphere and purchasing behavior”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 70, Fall, pp. 283-294. Downe-Wamboldt, B. (1992), “Content analysis: method, applications, and issues”, Health Care for Women Internationa, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 313-321. Drucker, P.F. (1993), Post-capital Society, Harper and Collins, New York, NY. Eisenhardt, K.M. and Graebner, M.E. (2007), “Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges”, The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 50 No. 7, pp. 25-32. Fiorito, S.S. and LaForge, R.W. (1986), “A marketing strategy analysis of small retailers”, American Journal of Small Business, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 7-17. Ghauri, P.N. and Grønhaug, K. (2002), Research Methods in Business Studies: A Practical Guide, Financial Times and Prentice Hall, Harlow. Gibbs, G. (2002), Qualitative Data Analysis: Explorations with NVivo, Open University Press, Buckingham. Groves, A.M. (2001), “Authentic British food products: a review of consumer perceptions”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 246-254. Guardian (2007), “A warm glow: entrepreneurs start up ‘farmers markets without the draughts’”, available at: http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,2015196,00.html (accessed 1 February 2009). Gummesson, E. (2005), “Qualitative research in marketing: road-map for a wilderness of complexity and unpredictability”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, pp. 309-327. Gummesson, E. (2006), “Qualitative research in management: addressing complexity, context and persona”, Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 167-179. Hariga, M.A., Al-Ahmari, A. and Mohamed, A. (2007), “A joint optimisation model for inventory replenishment, product assortment, shelf space and display area allocation decisions”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 181 No. 5, pp. 239-251. Harris, K., Harris, R. and Baron, S. (2001), “Customer participation in retail services: lessons from Brecht”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 359-369. Hart, C., Stachow, G.B., Farrell, A.M. and Reed, G. (2007), “Employer perceptions of skills gaps in retail: issues and implications for UK retailers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 271-288. Hilton, M. (1998), “Retailing history as economic and cultural history: strategies of survival by specialist tobacconists in the mass market”, Business History, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 115-137. Hitt, M., Hoskisson, R.E. and Ireland, D. (1999), “Resource complementarity in business combinations: extending the logic to organizational alliances”, Journal of Management, Vol. 27, pp. 679-690. Utilising product knowledge 473 Hofer-Alfeis, J. (2003), “Effective integration of knowledge management into the business starts with a top-down knowledge strategy”, Journal of Universal Computer Science, Vol. 9 No. 7, pp. 719-728. Hooley, G., Broderick, A. and Moller, K. (1998), “Competitive positioning and the resource-based view of the firm”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 97, p. 115. Hoopes, D.G., Madsen, T.L. and Walker, G. (2003), “Guest editors’ introduction to the special issue: why is there a resource-based view? Toward a theory of competitive heterogeneity”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 10, pp. 889-902. Ilbery, B. and Maye, D. (2006), “Retailing local food in the Scottish-English borders: a supply chain perspective”, Geoforum, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 352-367. Johnson, J.C. and Weller, S.C. (2002), Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method, Sage, London. Kent, T. and Omar, O. (2003), Retailing, Palgrave Macmillian, Hampshire. Kroll, M., Wright, P. and Helens, R. (1999), “The contribution of product quality to competitive advantage: impacts on systematic variance and unexplained variance in returns”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 375-384. Lee, J., Johnson, K.K.P., Gahring, S. and Lee, S.E. (2008), “Business strategies of independent retailers: effects of environmental hostility”, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 251-263. Lusch, R.F., Vargo, S.L. and O’Brien, M. (2007), “Competing through service: insights from service-dominant logic”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 83 No. 1, pp. 5-18. McGee, J.E. (2000), “Toward the development of measures of distinctive competencies among small independent retailers”, Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 2000-2033. Megicks, P. (2001), “Competitive strategy types in the UK independent retail sector”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 315-328. Megicks, P. (2007), “Levels of strategy and performance in UK small retail businesses”, Management Decision, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 484-502. Meneely, L., Burns, A. and Strugnell, C. (2008), “Food retailers’ perceptions of older consumers in Northern Ireland”, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 341-348. Miles, M. and Huberman, A. (1994), Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Morris, C. and Buller, H. (2003), “The local food sector: a preliminary assessment of its form and impact in Gloucestershire”, British Food Journal, Vol. 105 No. 8, p. 559. Murphy, M. (1996), Small Business Management, Pitman, Washington, DC. New Economics Foundation (2005), Clone Town Britain, New Economics Foundation, London. Newbert, S.L. (2007), “Empirical research on the resource-based view of the firm: an assessment and suggestions for future research”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 121-146. NIIRTA (2012), Nightmare on Every Street, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, Belfast. Nonaka, I. (1991), “The knowledge-creating company”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 14, pp. 96-104. O’Dwyer, M.L. and Ryan, E. (2002), “Management development – a model for retail business”, Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 26 No. 9, pp. 420-429. O’Neill, M. (2005), Putting Food Access on the Radar, National Consumer Council, London. IJRDM 41,6 474 Paddison, A. and Calderwood, E. (2007), “Rural retailing: a sector in decline?”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 136-155. Pettinger, C., Holdsworth, M. and Gerber, M. (2008), “All under one roof?’ Differences in food availability and shopping patterns in southern France and central England”, European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 109-114. Pioch, E. and Byrom, J. (2004), “Small independent retail firms and locational decision-making: outdoor leisure retailing by the Crags”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, No., Vol. 2, pp. 222-232. Porter, M.E. (1980), Competitive Strategy, Free Press, New York, NY. Prahalad, C.K. and Hamel, G. (1990), “The core competence of the corporation”, Harvard Business Reveiw, Vol. 68 No. 3, pp. 79-91. Quinn, J.B. (1992), “The intelligent enterprise: a new paradigm”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 48-63. Rumelt, R. (1984), “Towards a strategic theory of the firm”, in Lamb, R.B. (Ed.), Competitive Strategic Management, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Runyan, R., Huddleston, P. and Swinney, J. 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PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - 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

AB - 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

U2 - 10.1108/09590551311330834

DO - 10.1108/09590551311330834

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 461

EP - 476

IS - 6

ER -