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Localisation as a marketing strategy for small retailers

Localisation as a marketing strategy for small retailers

Coca-Stefaniak, J. Andres ORCID: 0000-0001-5711-519X, Parker, Cathy and Rees, Patricia (2010) Localisation as a marketing strategy for small retailers. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 38 (9). pp. 677-697. ISSN 0959-0552 (doi:

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Purpose – In spite of its apparent popularity, globalisation as a competitive marketing strategy can only offer a limited explanation for the behaviour of organisations (Humbert, 1993). This is particularly applicable in the case of business and marketing strategies for small and medium sized (SME) organisations in the retail sector nationally and internationally (Hutchinson et al., 2006). Although terms such as "localisation" have been coined by researchers in the sociology, political economy, anthropology and international relations literature, the concept is yet to receive a valid interpretation as a marketing strategy from the perspective of the small retailer.

Design/methodology/approach – This comparative qualitative study explores business practices and marketing strategies by small retail business owners in Seville (Spain) and Perth (UK) using three key themes – place, people and promotion).

Findings – The research evidence that emerged in this study from a qualitative bi-lingual analysis of interview transcripts suggests that place attractiveness, word-of-mouth customer-to-customer marketing, customer service beyond simple product advice, community embeddedness and informal but meaningful interpersonal relations between shop owner and customers are some of the key pillars of the “localisation” strategic marketing approach pursued by small retailers in Perth and Seville.

Originality/value – The paper concludes that the pursuit of a deliberate localisation approach by small retailers to their marketing and business practices based on local authenticity and a genuine engagement with the wider community may be key to their sustainable competitiveness in the knowledge that these elements would not be easily replicated by larger or global retailers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Copyright: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retail, SMEs, marketing, localisation, globalisation, strategy, Small to medium-sized enterprises, Retailing, Globalization, Localization, Spain, United Kingdom
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:32

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