Applying the scenarios method to capture uncertainties of retail development in emerging markets

Cuthbertson, Richard and Mukherjee, Malobi (2016) Applying the scenarios method to capture uncertainties of retail development in emerging markets. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 26 (3). pp. 323-346.


Retail development in emerging markets has been the result of key driving forces operating in a variety of ways leading to unpredictable and complex patterns of retail change. Existing theories of retail change remain inadequate for capturing the complexities inherent in emerging markets. In order to capture the impact of the complex interplay of driving forces on retail change in emerging markets, the authors adopted the scenario method which accepts structural uncertainty and allows for multiple interpretations of multiple futures for the phenomenon under study. An example case study is presented, where four possible visions for retail development in emerging markets in Asia are identified. The four scenarios are firstly, a scenario where Traditional Retailers dominate through mom and pop stores, a second one where Regional Retailers dominate, a third one where Discounted Retailers dominate and a fourth where Mixed Retailers gain predominance. The scenarios highlight that the politics of retailing give rise to new conventions of competition in emerging markets, which sustain the coexistence of a variety of retail formats in these markets. The scenarios approach demonstrates that the nature of consumer behaviour rooted in traditions and customs alongside rising aspirations sustains a dual model of retailing in emerging markets. The paper concludes with reflections for retail development theory and implications for practitioners and policy-makers.

Item Type: Article
Subject(s): Retail
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 12:16
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 12:16

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