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.
The centre for retail research has now been in existence for five years and, during the past year, we have wrapped up several research projects that we started in 2016 – Retail Destination and Retail Innovation. The results from these projects have been presented this year both at academic conferences and at seminars for retail professionals.
This year we have arranged a number of workshops directed at practitioners. The first of these focused on the consumer experience and featured speakers from IKEA and the consultancy WorkShop. Sofia Ulver moderated the workshop’s discussion. The centre for retail research was also active at Lund University’s Sustainability week with contributions from both Johan Jansson and Jens Hultman. In December, the centre, in conjunction with Lund’s Retail Association, arranged a workshop on opportunities and challenges for city centres. We presented results from our Retail Destination research project with a focus on past and present relationships between retail and place, the city centre in social media, and the city centre and sustainability.
In October, the centre and the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council launched a joint publication called The Future Physical Store. The book is based on three workshops that we held in 2017 on the future of the physical store, and focuses on three areas: digitalisation, experiences and sustainability. The book was extremely popular and sold out quickly. A similar book on the future of city centre shopping is now on the agenda.
In line with our focus on Retail Destination and the precarious development of city centre retail development, the centre’s researchers took a field trip to Kristianstad this year. Kristianstad is one of the few cities of its size in Sweden that didn’t have an out-of-town shopping centre. That changed in September 2018, when the first stage of C4 Shopping, with around 70 stores, opened outside the city. A second stage is planned to open in autumn 2019. The centre for retail research will follow the development in Kristianstad, not least what effects a large out-of-town shopping centre might have on city centre retail and the city centre more generally.
The end of 2018 also sees the Centre for Retail Research celebrating five successful years! We plan to continue researching and spreading information about retail to a variety of people with a variety of interests. With support from the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council and the Hakon Swenson foundation, among others, we are moving confidently forward!
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