torsdag 8 november 2018

NRWC 2018

Idag går startskottet för den återkommande forskarkonferensen inom området detaljhandel och fackhandel (Nordic Retail Wholesale Conference) och vi befinner oss på Island. När vi landade igår möttes vi av en mjölvit dimma och man såg knappast handen framför sig, men vädret spelade ingen roll. För det var så roligt att träffa alla forskarkollegor igen. Och vi är många som delar passionen och intresset för handelsfrågor.

Nedan ser du ett utdrag från de forskningsalster som presenteras under två dagar:

  • Career trajectories in the retail and wholesale industry. Who quits, who advances and who becomes an entrepreneur?
  • The place's role for city centre retailing.
  • Santa Claus is coming to town: An examination of the impact of Christmas music in grocery stores.
  • Mass Customized Fashion: Importance of Data Sharing in the Supply Chain. 
  • Online retail experience and customer satisfaction: The mediating role of last mile delivery. 
  • Organizational climate for innovation, and creativity - a study in Swedish retail organizations. 
  • Retail market places development and future. 
  • Smart Packaging: Definitions, models and packaging as an intermediator between digital and physical retail products management. 
  • The impact of risk perceptions on the attitude toward Multi-channel technologies. 
  • The Membership Label. 
  • Supply Chain Capabilities for facilitating the internationalization of Retailers. 
  • Putting the customer back into the customer relations management paradigm. 
  • Who will win? An empirical investigation of online product display. 
  • Comparing C2C Business Models: Components and implications. 
  • From Mars to Venus: Differences in how males and females leverage trust and reputation in driving online purchase intentions. 
Blå Lagunen, Foto: M Sundström
Något som slog mig under öppningsföreläsningen var den otroliga förändring som handeln genomgår. När keynote-speaker Gylfi Magnusson pratade om handelns utveckling på Island blev det tydligt att handelsfenomenet historiskt varit beroende av transporter, gränser, politik och tullar, och utvecklingen har alltid varierat givet politiska beslut, möjligen också i kombination med teknologisk utveckling. Men nu verkar vi gå in i en tid där teknologisk utveckling ifrågasätter politiska beslut, sätter gränser ur spel och förändrar hela marknadslogiken. Och så har vi givetvis Kina... och det handelsfenomen som vi just nu bevittnar med kinesiska online-aktörer som konkurrerar globalt.

I en text publicerad i Gazette 2017 skrev jag några tankar om den här förändringen och påpekade att den kinesiska marknaden borde vara intressant för svenska företag. Här bjuder jag på dessa tankar: 

Historically, China has always been a world-leading nation in commerce and still proves this by being the leader of the so called "New Retail". When Alibaba Group was introduced to the US stock exchange, the company was valued a lot higher than, for example, Facebook, IBM, Intel and Amazon. The world's largest market really makes a point for its name and when digitization and globalization make physical boundaries less important for retail, it is no wonder China is taking the lead. They have understood that retail must be combined with technology, data, education and entertainment in a cool mix that lead to maximum relevance for the consumers.

Although you still come across actors in the West who seriously say Alibabawhatsthat?, they are getting fewer in number. And I believe, most of you that read this magazine already have realized that it is not Amazon, Facebook or Wal-Mart that will be the really big players in the future. You know it is in China it happens. And some of you have also understood that in China there are really interesting business opportunities. Because when our Swedish Minister of Finance "put her foot down" and charged packages from China with a penalty, Wish just shrugged their shoulder and stopped selling to the small country in the Nordic Region. Sweden is an extreme negligible small part of world trade, like ”a drop in the ocean”, as some would express it.

Swedish entrepreneurs have historically visited China in order to find skilled (read: cheap) manufacturers. But now it seems like that time has passed and we need to re-think the logic of modern retailing. Nowadays Swedish entrepreneurs need to be much more innovative, and I believe doing business with Chinese consumers is an interesting path for retailing actors with strong brands. Even though China is leading the development of New Retail, and Sweden is lacking behind, there is still a Chinese consumer out there who screams for strong and reliable brands from the West. And that consumer is getting more and more money in his wallet. And these two factors together lead to a golden opportunity for brand owners who want to jump on the train of New Retail - in China. 

//Malin Sundström 

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