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Translating sustainability: the role of the retail store

Lehner, Matthias LU (2015) In International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
Abstract
Purpose: Retailers are facing pressure to promote sustainable consumption. Building on literature about the role of retailers as “translators” of the sustainability discourse, this article studies how retailers cope with this pressure.



Design/methodology/approach: This study focuses on the Swedish retail sector. In twenty-two interviews with retail representatives and thirteen store observations it explores the way food retailers approach sustainable consumption, particularly focussing on the role retail stores receive in operationalizing sustainable consumption.



Findings: The retail store is identified as important organizational layer within retailers to operationalize sustainable consumption.... (More)
Purpose: Retailers are facing pressure to promote sustainable consumption. Building on literature about the role of retailers as “translators” of the sustainability discourse, this article studies how retailers cope with this pressure.



Design/methodology/approach: This study focuses on the Swedish retail sector. In twenty-two interviews with retail representatives and thirteen store observations it explores the way food retailers approach sustainable consumption, particularly focussing on the role retail stores receive in operationalizing sustainable consumption.



Findings: The retail store is identified as important organizational layer within retailers to operationalize sustainable consumption. However, retailers do not acknowledge this potential sufficiently. An idealised model of multi-layered sensemaking to successfully promote sustainable consumption is presented.



Research limitations/implications: The study results only cover a small part of the entire retail organisation and only provide a snapshot in time of their working. Future research should study how the internal process of translating sustainability to the market develops over time and how it is connected to different parts of the retail organisation (e.g. marketing, HR). More research is also necessary to specify the division of responsibilities between HQs and stores.



Practical implications: This article proposes a divide of responsibilities between headquarters and the individual store to better deal with societal pressures and market demand.



Originality/value: The results of this study add depth to the theoretical notions of ‘translation’ and ‘sensemaking’ in retailers’ efforts to promote sustainable consumption. A model for how this process works is provided. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
Sustainable consumption, Sensemaking, Retail store
in
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0959-0552
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee6cc52a-10d8-4dc8-be68-996cf4899f73 (old id 5141957)
date added to LUP
2015-02-27 11:40:44
date last changed
2016-04-16 06:59:34
@misc{ee6cc52a-10d8-4dc8-be68-996cf4899f73,
  abstract     = {Purpose: Retailers are facing pressure to promote sustainable consumption. Building on literature about the role of retailers as “translators” of the sustainability discourse, this article studies how retailers cope with this pressure.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Design/methodology/approach: This study focuses on the Swedish retail sector. In twenty-two interviews with retail representatives and thirteen store observations it explores the way food retailers approach sustainable consumption, particularly focussing on the role retail stores receive in operationalizing sustainable consumption.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Findings: The retail store is identified as important organizational layer within retailers to operationalize sustainable consumption. However, retailers do not acknowledge this potential sufficiently. An idealised model of multi-layered sensemaking to successfully promote sustainable consumption is presented.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Research limitations/implications: The study results only cover a small part of the entire retail organisation and only provide a snapshot in time of their working. Future research should study how the internal process of translating sustainability to the market develops over time and how it is connected to different parts of the retail organisation (e.g. marketing, HR). More research is also necessary to specify the division of responsibilities between HQs and stores.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Practical implications: This article proposes a divide of responsibilities between headquarters and the individual store to better deal with societal pressures and market demand.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Originality/value: The results of this study add depth to the theoretical notions of ‘translation’ and ‘sensemaking’ in retailers’ efforts to promote sustainable consumption. A model for how this process works is provided.},
  author       = {Lehner, Matthias},
  issn         = {0959-0552},
  keyword      = {Sustainable consumption,Sensemaking,Retail store},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9efe3d8)},
  series       = {International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management},
  title        = {Translating sustainability: the role of the retail store},
  year         = {2015},
}