While product marketers and brand owners struggle to make new products, manufacturing processes and inbound logistics, innovation taking place in retail networks is often overlooked. Networks in retailing are comprised by varieties of single- and multi-brand stores, chains and departments stores, technology and service providers, ownership structures and local level supply chain facilities. This paper analyses theoretical and empirical views of innovation in international retail networks using the fashion industry as a case because this industry better than other industries maintain branded stores and sales areas as main retail channels. In order to comprehend the retail network as an important organisational innovation system in relation to brand owners, the aim of this paper is to characterise key elements of innovation in retail networks. The approach of this work is a set of qualitative in-depth studies of the biggest Danish fashion brand owners and their respective retail networks. The study shows how brand owners can emphasise change by shifting from a passive and narrow observation of its downstream retail network to an active and broad observation, or at least develop a conscious approach to the governance of its downstream retail network. Implications of the study are the suggestion to brand owners to identify, understand, support and promote innovation via this network.
Proceedings of the First Innovation in Business Networks Seminar, 2012, p. 1-16
retailing; business networks; innovation; fashion chains; innovation in networks