Centrum för handelsforskning

Campus Helsingborg | Ekonomihögskolan | LTH - Lunds Tekniska Högskola

Book: Future Themes in Consumption

Publicerad: 2021-09-14

Call for chapter abstracts for a book on the future of consumption, edited by Kristina Bäckström, Carys Egan-Wyer & Emma Samsioe

Photo by Octavian Rosca on Unsplash

EXTENDED DEADLINE: 18 November 2021

Retailing has long (perhaps always) been subject to structural transformations of various kinds. Technologies such as railways, the automobile and the internet revolutionised the ways in which we shop (e.g. Tedlow & Christensen 2000; Nairn 2002) but social trends like urbanisation (e.g. Hultman et al. 2017) and the rise of consumer culture (e.g. Slater 1997; Sassatelli 2002) have had similar effects. During the last decade or so, ecommerce has expanded remarkably and many physical stores have closed (e.g. Grewal et al. 2017; Helm et al., 2018) but, at the same time, online retailers have opened physical stores and showrooms and long-established retailers continue to supplement their existing store portfolio with new and innovative store formats (e.g. Hultman et al. 2017; Egan-Wyer et al. 2021). Retailers have implemented new strategies to satisfy changing customer demands (e.g. Bäckström & Johansson, 2017), and in the physical store the coordination of new digital implements and traditional services is increasingly important (e.g. Hagberg et al.,2017; Bäckström, 2018). The ubiquity of smartphones has already changed customer experience and behaviour in both online and instore retail spaces (e.g. Pantano & Priporas 2016; Nordfält et al. 2018), and the introduction of digital platforms can provide opportunities to move towards sustainable consumption (e.g. Samsioe and Fuentes, 2021) Meanwhile, advances in machine learning (e.g. Pizzi et al. 2021; Mahmoud et al. 2020) and demands for more sustainable business models (e.g. Elg et al. 2020; Jansson 2021) seem set to inspire further retail transformations. Against this backdrop, the future of retail is a topic discussed frequently by experts and academics alike (e.g. Rigby, 2001; Reynolds 2002; Johansson, 2018; Grewal et al. 2017). 

The future of retail is closely related to the future of consumption. The current modes and levels of consumption – in which retail is responsible for selling high volumes of products and services to consumers – create problems for society and for the natural environment, especially in countries where retail products are sourced and disposed of (e.g. Malik Chua, 2019; McFall-Johnsen, 2019; Wood, 2021; Morgan, 2016; Onono, 2020). And discussions about the negative social, ethical, and environmental consequences of excessive consumption often point to retailers as complicit in encouraging ecological degradation, resource depletion, and the climate emergency. So how will consumption develop? What will be important to the consumers of the future? Will they still think of themselves as consumers? And how will their retail and consumption experiences look, sound and feel? Will data, technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning fundamentally change our consumption experiences? And will their power be harnessed to benefit or to exploit the planet and its people? Will ecological sustainability be a more important determinant of consumer choice? What about responsible consumption in a broader sense? 

These questions will be addressed in an edited anthology entitled Future Themes in Consumption (working title). Academic perspectives will be interspersed with vignettes from the field, which highlight what retailers are already doing to prepare for the consumption of the future. The target audience consists of interested practitioners from the fields of marketing, retail, logistics, and supply chain management and, hence, should not focus on heavy theoretical contributions and should contain a maximum of 10 references. The book is also intended to be recommended reading for masters students in retail and consumption. Researchers with a broad interest in retail, consumption, logistics, service management or marketing are invited to contribute chapters on the following themes.

Suggested themes and topics

Consumption and experience

  • New store formats
  • Digital shopping experience
  • In-store experiences and services 
  • Design and organization of the physical store

Consumption and technology

  • Digital retail and consumption 
  • Big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Trust, risk and security
  • Platforms

Consumption and sustainability (not limited to ecological sustainability but also including e.g. social and economic sustainability) 

  • Resistance and resilience
  • Anti-consumption trends and the growth of responsible shopping
  • Repairing and upcycling
  • How these intersect with retail governance 

Consumption and well-being

  • Ethics
  • Mindfulness
  • Consumer wisdom, consumption and health interventions

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. We welcome contributions on other topics connected to retail and the future of consumption. If you have questions or ideas, please contact the editors by email at



Researchers should submit a 500-1000 word chapter abstract by email to on or before 18 November 2021. The abstract should clearly describe and explain the topic and content of the proposed chapter, with a temporary title and a brief author bio.  Authors will be notified about the status of their proposals by 15 December 2021. The deadline for full chapters (3000-5000 words) and for vignettes from the field (500-1000 words) will be in August 2022.

This book is expected to be published in early 2023 by Palgrave Macmillan, a world-class publisher of books and journals with more than 175 years' experience in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Authors will also be invited to contribute to a special issue on the future of consumption in the International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research.

To ensure timely delivery of a quality book, contributors should understand:

  1. Submission should be original work that has not previously been published, nor be under publication consideration with other outlets.
  2. Third party materials, including images, need to be approved in advance of delivery. 
  3. The book will be published in English but we will accept contributions in English or Swedish and will enlist a copy editor to translate and improve the texts before publication.



Bäckström, K. (2018). “Upplevelser i framtidens butik: En kombination av nya och traditionella värden”, i Johansson, U., (red.),  Framtidens fysiska butik: digitalisering, upplevelser och hållbarhet. 65-72. Lund University Press.

Bäckström, K., and Johansson, U. (2017). “An exploration of consumers’ experiences in physical stores: Comparing consumers’ and retailers’ perspectives in past and present time”, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 27, pp. 241-259. 

Christensen, C. M. and Tedlow, R. S. (2000) ‘Patterns of Disruption in Retailing’, Harvard Business Review, 78(1), pp. 42–42. 

Egan-Wyer, C. et al. (2021) ‘Ease or Excitement: Exploring how concept stores contribute to a retail portfolio’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 49(7), pp. 1025–1044.

Elg, U., Hultman, J. and Welinder, A. (2021) ‘Competing corporate sustainability perceptions in a global retail organization’, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 49(4), pp. 449–465.

Grewal, D., Ahlbom, C-P., Beitelspacher, L., Noble, S.M. and Nordfält, J. (2018) ‘In-Store Mobile Phone Use and Customer Shopping Behavior: Evidence from the Field’, Journal of Marketing. SAGE PublicationsSage CA: Los Angeles, CA, 82(4), pp. 102–126.

Grewal, D., Roggeveen, A. L. and Nordfält, J. (2017) ‘The Future of Retailing’, Journal of Retailing, 93(1), pp. 1–6. 

Hagberg, J., Jonsson, A., and Egels-Zandén, N. (2017). ‘Retail digitalization: Implications for physical stores’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 39, pp. 264-269.

Helm, S., Kim, S. H. and Van Riper, S. (2018) ‘Navigating the “retail apocalypse”: A framework of consumer evaluations of the new retail landscape’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54. 

Hultman, J. et al. (2017) ‘Exploring store format development and its influence on store image and store clientele – the case of IKEA’s development of an inner-city store format’, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 27(3), pp. 227–240. 

Jansson, J. (2021) ‘Circular economy and sustainable consumption: Suggestions for ethical marketing’, in Eagle, L. et al. (eds) The SAGE handbook of marketing ethics. United States: Sage Publications, pp. 215–225.

Johansson, U. (ed.) (2018) Framtidens fysiska butik. Lund: Lund University (Media Tryck).

Mahmoud, A. B., Tehseen, S. and Fuxman, L. (2020) ‘The Dark Side of Artificial Intelligence in Retail Innovation’, in Pantano, E. (ed.) Retail Futures: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Digital Transformation. Bingley: Emerald, pp. 165–180.

Nairn, A. G. M. (2002) Engines that move markets : technology investing from railroads to the Internet and beyond. Wiley-Academy.

Pantano, E. and Priporas, C.-V. (2016) ‘The effect of mobile retailing on consumers’ purchasing experiences: A dynamic perspective’, Computers in Human Behavior. Pergamon, 61, pp. 548–555.

Pizzi, G., Scarpi, D. and Pantano, E. (2021) ‘Artificial intelligence and the new forms of interaction: Who has the control when interacting with a chatbot?’, Journal of Business Research. Elsevier, 129, pp. 878–890. 

Reynolds, J. (2002) ‘Charting the multi‐channel future: retail choices and constraints’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 30(11), pp. 530–535. 

Rigby, D. K. (2011) ‘The Future of Shopping’, Harvard Business Review, 89(12), pp. 64–75.

Samsioe, E and Fuentes,  C. (2021) ‘Digitalizing shopping routines: Re-organizing household practices to enable sustainable food provisioning’. Sustainable Production and Consumption, In press.  

Sassatelli, R. (2007) Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics. London: SAGE Publications. 

Slater, D. (1997) Consumer Culture and Modernity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd (1997).