The Changing Structure of Retail Industry: Case Studies on Competitive Advantage of Small Companies in Croatia


Abstract

Objective: There are two key trends in retail industry since 1990s till nowadays: rapid internationalization and intensive retail concentration. In such a dynamic environment, small companies are striving to preserve their markets and to maintain their business activity. The objectives of the paper are twofold: (1) to explain trends of retail internationalization and concentration and (2) to highlight the possibilities for improving the competitive ability of small retailers.

Research, Design & Methods: The paper is based on analysis of secondary data available in research papers, studies and official statistics. Firstly, the consequences of retail internationalization and concentration are described. Then, the literature on competitive advantage creation is systemized. In addition, the case study method is used to illustrate successful strategies of competitive advantage creation.

Findings: In a changed retail market, small retailers seek the way to improve their competitiveness. As suitable competitiveness strategies, authors describe: (1) retail alliances and (2) differentiation by assortment.

Implications & Recommendations: The key trends and their impact on small companies in retail industry are scrutinized. Recommendations to small retailers how to adjust to new market conditions, together with some practical examples, are given.

Contribution & Value Added:
The paper gives an insight into dynamics of changes in retail structure. Retail alliances and differentiation by assortment are described as two key streams of competitiveness improvement suitable for small retailers.

  

Keywords

retail industry; retail; trends; retail internationalization; retail concentration; market structure; competitiveness; small retailers

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Knežević, B., Naletina, D., & Damić, M. (2016). The Changing Structure of Retail Industry: Case Studies on Competitive Advantage of Small Companies in Croatia. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 4(4), 171-187. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2016.040411

Blaženka Knežević  bknezevic@efzg.hr
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Trade - Zagreb  Croatia
Izv. prof. dr. sc. Blaženka Knežević is the Associate Professor at The Department of Trade (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Croatia). She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration. She did her PhD dissertation on Importance of knowledge in value creation in trade and a Master degree on electronic office procedures in retail companies. She teaches several graduate and post-graduate courses: Retail information systems; Economics of electronic commerce; Trade and trade policy; Procurement management; Supplier Relationship Management and Business Excellence. She is a researcher on several scientific research projects funded by Ministry of Science of Croatia and a team member of several professional research projects. She is a member of the editorial board of the Business Excellence Journal. She is author and editor of several scientific books. She has published numerous papers at conference proceedings, books and academic journals.
Dora Naletina 
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Trade - Zagreb  Croatia

PhD in Economics and Business by the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb (Croatia)


Mate Damić 
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Trade - Zagreb  Croatia

Master in Finance (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Zagreb, Croatia); PhD student in Economics and Business (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Zagreb, Croatia) 




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