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Posted by: on February 8, 2017

Tearing the heart out of Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day each year brings with it accusations of shameless appropriatation of sacred rituals by retailers. But of course, there is nothing new in the commercialisation of rituals and traditions. Following enforcement of Confucianism in the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, the nuo exorcism ritual was re-created as an often expensive personal experience performed […]

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Posted by: on October 25, 2016

Brexit wrecks it? Prospects for post-EU retailing.

The UK’s retail sector is going to be a particularly sensitive indicator of the effects of the Brexit referendum decision. Retailers, whether they are store-based, online or both, are intermediaries at the end of the value chain – and as such are very close to both consumers and suppliers – so they’ll be at the […]

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Posted by: on October 4, 2016

UK food retailing and the challenge of the ‘new retail’

Alan Treadgold is an independent consultant to retail and consumer products companies globally. He has a long background in advertising and management consulting. He recently provided this guest blog. In mid-August, ASDA, the UK’s third largest food retailer by sales, announced its worst ever sales results. Like-for-like sales in stores open for more than one year […]

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Posted by: on June 30, 2015

Not Lost in Translation

We’ve been bringing academics and practitioners together for 30 years at the Oxford Institute of Retail Management. Sometimes, like animals warily circling each other at the waterhole, there can be mutual incomprehension. Sometimes conversations can be at cross-purposes, since both groups have different sets of obligations. Academics think of REF-able journals and scholarly career trajectories […]

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Posted by: on June 17, 2015

Location thinking: 29 not out

There’s been one fixture on the Institute’s events calendar since it was founded in 1985: the annual Retail Location Analysis executive education workshop. The 29th programme took place in late April this year. We have always tried to offer a deliberately small format in which participants interact closely with speakers and each other, and share experiences […]

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Posted by: on August 15, 2014

Retailers do it differently

Retail innovation can play a critical role in boosting European economic recovery, but more support is needed. That was the main conclusion from the work of a European expert group on retail innovation that I recently chaired, which reported earlier in 2014. A poor understanding of the sector and lack of financial, research, and policy […]

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Posted by: on August 15, 2014

Retail & wholesale: diverse, job-rich, innovative and increasingly digital

Research recently completed by the Institute and commissioned by the retail trade body Eurocommerce shows the magnitude of the commerce sector, its diversity, its dynamism and contribution to innovation, growth, and its employment creation in Europe. It further shows that the sector is going through profound transformation with the growth of online trading at the […]

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Posted by: on February 7, 2014

Dystopian retail futures

Here in Oxford we spend a lot of of our time thinking about the future of retailing. What always strikes me from these exercises is that they can become relentlessly optimistic, especially when it comes to the application of technology. Apart, of course, for those businesses that lose out from the new and different trading […]

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Posted by: on July 19, 2013

Diversity and the UK’s high streets

For the UK’s High Streets to thrive in the future is not just about being big enough to withstand the ‘perfect storm’ that comes from a mix of austerity, online and out-of-town retailing. Whilst many big retail centres continue to be resilient, the most successful smaller town centres will need to be diverse and versatile, […]

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Posted by: on May 14, 2013

End of the Space Race

Three astronauts from the International Space Station have just landed in Kazakhstan. But no, I’m not thinking about that kind of space story. I’m thinking about retail space and I’m intrigued by another major retailer calling attention to the disadvantages faced by traditional physical stores. A few weeks ago I was startled by the head […]

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