An interdisciplinary centre of excellence in retail research. With active researchers from a range of disciplines, including ethnology, engineering and logistics, marketing and management.
The Centre for Retail Research at Lund University is an interdisciplinary research center with a focus on the retail sector. The Centre is financially supported by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council. Inaugurated in March 2014, the center has more than 40 researchers affiliated to its projects and is regularly arranging seminars and workshops for both researchers and practitioners with particular interest in the retail sector.
The retail sector is one of Sweden’s largest employers and is an important part of the economy as a whole and people’s everyday life. A large portion of consumer income is spent in the retail sector. At the same time the international retail environment is ever changing and this poses new challenges for the retail sector, including its companies, employees and consumers.
It is now four years since the centre for retail research was founded and, during our fourth year, we have continued to develop and expand our operations. The research programmes that we started in 2016 – Retail Destination and Retail Innovation – are producing results that have been presented to the scientific community at various conferences.
Disseminating the results of our research to practitioners as well as academics has also been an important element of our work this year. In partnership with The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council, the Centre arranged three workshops this year that focused on the future of the physical store. The May workshop focused on digitalisation; in September we explored customer experience; and finally, in November, we concentrated on sustainability in retail stores. Speakers at the workshops included researchers from the Centre, of course, but also esteemed presenters from Gothenburg University, Stockholm School of Economics, EADA in Barcelona, Oxford University and the London College of Fashion. The findings of these workshops, in which around 150 practitioners took part, are available in video form on our website and will also be summarised in a book in 2018.
The Centre also organised several well-attended seminars at Almedalen 2017, in conjunction with Lund University. Themes included the future of city centre shopping and the necessity of packaging.
The Centre is unique in that all of its research programmes are interdisciplinary. Every one of our research programmes is staffed by at least one researcher from each of the Centre’s various disciplines. This guarantees a multifaceted perspective on the research problems we handle. In our quest for post-2018 financing we are increasingly assured that this is a positive factor. Interdisciplinarity offers us broader perspectives on the phenomena we study and it is great that our stakeholders also see this as a plus.
The Centre for Retail Research works with the scientific community as well as with industry partners. As you will see in this report, our researchers are attractive to industry as, for example, speakers and also publishing a great deal of high-quality research. See the lists of popular science presentations and scientific articles at the end of this report. It bodes well for the future that we are relevant both to practitioners and to other researchers. But despite all our successes, there are new challenges ahead in 2018 and beyond. Securing our finances after our funding from the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council expires in 2018 is of the utmost importance. It is a challenge we are facing head on.
The director for the Centre for Retail Research is Ulf Johansson, Professor in Business Administration at Lund School of Economics and Management.
Overarching Mission Statement and Organizational Goals:
- Develop a sustainable platform for researchers and practitioners with a particular interest in retail research that will nationally strengthen and encourage retail research.
- Develop a interdisciplinary research environment of international excellence with a focus on retail
- Develop a stable platform for knowledge exchange between academia and practice
- Promote cooperation of planned and established retail research and retail education at Lund University