Trends and Dynamics in Retail Industry: Focus on Relational Proximity

  •  Marcello Sansone    
  •  Annarita Colamatteo    


This paper aims to analyze the dynamics of retail innovation and store format, in particular underlining the variables that have led retailers in a return to the concept of neighbourhood, understood as relational proximity to the consumer.

In particular, it shows that the concept of neighbourhood is evolving towards new patterns that deviate from previous interpretations of literature that identified under a purely dimensional aspect; today the format of neighbourhood is synonymous with relational proximity with the consumer and this assumption leads to consider proximity also a large store. The economic crisis and the changing lifestyles of consumers have brought independent and associate retailers to reinterpret its format by thinking like a basket of attributes, which includes further services in order to satisfy better consumer needs. The work shows that retail innovation is oriented towards the concept of relational proximity, whose main strength is the ability of the entrepreneur to be in direct relationship with its customers and to be able to get and interpret changes in the market, thus creating a sustainable competitive advantage.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.