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Special Issue "How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Grażyna Śmigielska

Cracow University of Economics, Poland
E-Mail
Phone: +48-501-363-903
Interests: retailing; competitive advantage; sustainability; corporate social responsibility
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Ann Fairhurst

Department Head of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Tennessee, 1215 W. Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996-1911, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: international retailing; purchasing behavior of local and sustainable foods; tourism retailing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue is to show that, in the contemporary economy, retailers could significantly contribute to sustainable development. Such an approach, from the industry point-of-view, is taken as large multinational companies, operating in many countries and managing supply chains, are so powerful that they often indicate how goods should by manufactured, as well as are able to shape consumer preferences. Although their impact on the environment is not as bad as other industries, e.g., chemicals, they still could do a great deal to reduce the emission of CO2 and waste, while at the same time reducing costs (eco-efficiency). Retailers could also promote sustainable consumption by offering sustainable products (also own brand) and information campaigns; sustainable production by responsible procurement policies; contribute to the careers of women (who make up the majority of sales forces in retail) and to make men and women more equal, and so on. Conceptual and empirical research on these topics, from emerging economies, well-developed countries, as well as comparative studies of these problems in well- and less-developed countries, is welcomed. Work can be located, e.g., in the theories of competitive advantage development, institutional, and internationalization of retail activities, as well as the development of CSR concepts.

Prof. Dr. Grażyna Śmigielska
Prof. Ann Fairhurst
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable development;
  • retail companies;
  • sustainable own brand products;
  • eco-efficiency;
  • competitive advantage;
  • sustainable consumption;
  • procurement policy;
  • women’s rights

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Role of Human Resource Management (HRM) for the Implementation of Sustainable Product-Service Systems (PSS)—An Analysis of Fashion Retailers
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2518; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072518
Received: 17 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
Implementation of product-service systems (PSS) requires structural changes in the way that business in manufacturing industries is traditionally conducted. Literature frequently mentions the importance of human resource management (HRM), since people are involved in the entire process of PSS development and employees are
[...] Read more.
Implementation of product-service systems (PSS) requires structural changes in the way that business in manufacturing industries is traditionally conducted. Literature frequently mentions the importance of human resource management (HRM), since people are involved in the entire process of PSS development and employees are the primary link to customers. However, to this day, no study has provided empirical evidence whether and in what way HRM of firms that implement PSS differs from HRM of firms that solely run a traditional manufacturing-based business model. The aim of this study is to contribute to closing this gap by investigating the particular HR components of manufacturing firms that implement PSS and compare it with the HRM of firms that do not. The context of this study is the fashion industry, which is an ideal setting since it is a mature and highly competitive industry that is well-documented for causing significant environmental impact. PSS present a promising opportunity for fashion firms to differentiate and mitigate the industry’s ecological footprint. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to analyze data of 102 international fashion firms. Findings reveal a significant higher focus on nearly the entire spectrum of HRM components of firms that implement PSS compared with firms that do not. Empirical findings and their interpretation are utilized to propose a general framework of the role of HRM for PSS implementation. This serves as a departure point for both scholars and practitioners for further research, and fosters the understanding of the role of HRM for managing PSS implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Selling Remanufactured Products under One Roof or Two? A Sustainability Analysis on Channel Structures for New and Remanufactured Products
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072427
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
Even though many manufacturers integrate remanufacturing into existing business models, it should be noted that such efforts are usually accompanied by a major concern for cannibalization of new product sales from remanufactured products. To deal with this problem, many manufacturers, such as Dell,
[...] Read more.
Even though many manufacturers integrate remanufacturing into existing business models, it should be noted that such efforts are usually accompanied by a major concern for cannibalization of new product sales from remanufactured products. To deal with this problem, many manufacturers, such as Dell, adopt a “two-roof policy” where the sale of new products takes place in a store and their remanufactured products in another. However, in contrast, some manufacturers, including Apple and HP, adopt a “one-roof policy”, by which all new and remanufactured products are sold through one store/chain. Although the literature on remanufacturing has extensively addressed sustainability issues within operations management, little attention has been paid to how “differentiated roof policy” for the marketing of remanufactured products affects sustainability issues. To fill this gap, in this paper, the authors develop two theoretical models in which manufacturers have the flexibility to distribute new and remanufactured products (1) through a one-roof policy (Model O) or (2) through a two-roof policy (Model T), respectively, and strive to address the question of how differentiated roof policies impact sustainability issues related to remanufacturing operations. Among other results, the central result suggests that, if the manufacturers care about economic performance, distributing both products through a two-roof policy is an advantageous strategy. Conversely, if they care about environmental sustainability, one roof is the preferred strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Preferences of Locally Grown Specialty Crop: The Case of Taiwan Coffee
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2396; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072396
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
The role of retailers in the local coffee niche market is to add value with unique characteristics such as creativity, cultural identity, and innovation in order to differentiate their products. Producers/retailers can provide customized services for special products according to different consumer preferences
[...] Read more.
The role of retailers in the local coffee niche market is to add value with unique characteristics such as creativity, cultural identity, and innovation in order to differentiate their products. Producers/retailers can provide customized services for special products according to different consumer preferences and needs. They can gain the trust and loyalty of consumers in this way. This study aims to understand consumer assessments of the different attributes of local specialty coffee provided by coffee retailers in order to help them develop strategies for increased sales in the niche market. Regarding internal quality, atypically, as the empirical results of conjoint analysis has shown, Taiwanese consumers do not prefer the attributes of coffee such as extra aroma and strong acidic taste. Therefore, they are not willing to pay the premium for these attributes. With regards to external quality, consumers prefer the attributes of specialty café style and product featured packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Organic Private Labels as Sources of Competitive Advantage—The Case of International Retailers Operating on the Polish Market
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072338
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
The main aim of this study was to determine how chains of modern international retailers can achieve a competitive advantage (CA) by introducing private labels (PLs) in the organic category and can, in turn, stimulate the consumption of food produced with respect to
[...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to determine how chains of modern international retailers can achieve a competitive advantage (CA) by introducing private labels (PLs) in the organic category and can, in turn, stimulate the consumption of food produced with respect to sustainability principles. The research was conducted with the use of a qualitative approach and involved two steps. First, in order to select retailers with organic private labels (OPLs) and producers delivering products under OPLs, in-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with the representatives of management boards of 17 enterprises. Second, in order to analyze the assortment-based competitive advantage of the OPLs in depth, 8 enterprises were analyzed. In order to explore the price-related competitive advantage, three products offered under PLs, organic PLs, producer brands, and imported brands were selected for subsequent analysis. For retail chains, it was found that the introduction of OPLs is the source of CA via six contributors, namely, price, range of assortment, type of PLs, image of the retailer, sustainability and specific process, and product-related attributes of organic food. Extension of offers with organic private labels makes it easier for consumers to buy organic food at more affordable prices and follow the principles of proper nutrition and a sustainable diet with low environmental impact. At the same time, the international retailers can position themselves as chains contributing to more sustainable consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Challenging Ingrained Thoughts? The Joint Effect of Stereotypes and Awareness of Related Information on Pro-Environmental Behavior in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1986; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061986
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 27 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
This research applies a positive stereotype perspective to test the effect of individuals’ choices between pro-environmental versus pro-safety behavior, while considering the role of media exposure. We test our hypotheses in China, where both food-safety and environment are major issues and are widely
[...] Read more.
This research applies a positive stereotype perspective to test the effect of individuals’ choices between pro-environmental versus pro-safety behavior, while considering the role of media exposure. We test our hypotheses in China, where both food-safety and environment are major issues and are widely covered by the media and government reports. Based on a quasi-experiments and survey questionnaires focused on attitudes towards disposable chopsticks, we find that individuals form cognitive perceptions in ways that either have stronger positive environmental or safety stereotypes. Based on these stereotypes, they either believe that reusable chopsticks are more environmentally friendly or that disposable chopsticks are safer, each impacting individuals’ choices differently. In addition, awareness of information related to the environment augments the link between environmental stereotypes and pro-environmental behavior, while having no influence on the effect of safety stereotypes on pro-safety behavior. On the other hand, while awareness of safety-related information accentuates the link between safety-related stereotypes and pro-safety behavior, it has no impact on the effect of environmental stereotypes on pro-environmental behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Does Consumer Empathy Influence Consumer Responses to Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility? The Dual Mediation of Moral Identity
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1812; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061812
Received: 21 April 2018 / Revised: 27 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
PDF Full-text (445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study examined consumer responses to strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) from the perspectives of consumer moral emotions (empathy) and cognition (moral identity), and investigated charitable activities conducted by convenience stores in Taiwan from theoretical and practical perspectives. The research method involved
[...] Read more.
The present study examined consumer responses to strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) from the perspectives of consumer moral emotions (empathy) and cognition (moral identity), and investigated charitable activities conducted by convenience stores in Taiwan from theoretical and practical perspectives. The research method involved a comparison between two actual charitable activities conducted by convenience stores, namely “donation platform services” and “cause-related marketing”. A questionnaire was distributed into four regions spanning southern to northern Taiwan by using a convenient sampling method, and 332 valid responses were collected. The present study employed structural equation modelling to verify its hypotheses. In terms of theoretical contributions, the present study constructed two theoretical models and subsequently verified that empathy influences moral identity; this constitutes a major contribution to investigations of the causal relationship between moral emotions and cognitive theory. In practice, the present study recommends that convenience stores implement more cause-related marketing to reduce consumer suspicions that firms are motivated purely by profit and increase consumer trust in firms. Subsequent studies are recommended to conduct in-depth investigations of the underlying causes of moral identity internalization and symbolization generating different responses in consumers, as well as other possible situational variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Retailer’s Procurement Strategy under Endogenous Supply Stability
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122261
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this paper, a dynamic model is presented to study retailer’s procurement strategy when supply stability is endogenously determined. The optimal supply stability as well as the optimal purchasing strategy are characterized with a quadratic cost function. Based on these models, the following
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a dynamic model is presented to study retailer’s procurement strategy when supply stability is endogenously determined. The optimal supply stability as well as the optimal purchasing strategy are characterized with a quadratic cost function. Based on these models, the following findings are brought about. Firstly, when the difficulty level of building supply stability exceeds a certain threshold, it would be more profitable for the retailer to choose a less reliable supplier. Secondly, given that the suppliers can get positive profit, the retailer would choose the one who has the strongest ability to be reliable. Thirdly, the equilibrium supply to the retailer would always meet the demand on the retailing market. Finally, emergency procurement is shown to be an effective way to reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions. To better fit the real situations, an extended model which considers the impact of the stability on costs is further discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Jatropha Suppliers as Contributors to the Sustainability of the Production of Bioelectricity in Ecuador
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111946
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 22 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
PDF Full-text (518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The “Jatropha for Galápagos” (JFG) project in Ecuador aims to progressively replace diesel with jatropha oil in the generation of electricity in The Galápagos Islands. Thus, understanding and motivating the participation of jatropha suppliers is a priority for the sustainability of JFG. For
[...] Read more.
The “Jatropha for Galápagos” (JFG) project in Ecuador aims to progressively replace diesel with jatropha oil in the generation of electricity in The Galápagos Islands. Thus, understanding and motivating the participation of jatropha suppliers is a priority for the sustainability of JFG. For this reason, the factors influencing their decision-making to participate in the project have been identified and analyzed using a binomial logit model. The results show that factors found to positively influence the likelihood of participation include, amongst others, the supplier’s experience within the project, their participation in local organizations, and the degree of satisfaction with the price of jatropha oil. In addition, children from producer families’ collaboration in the harvest of jatropha increases the overall likelihood of participation within the project. Similarly, the distance to the collection center positively influences the chances of participation. Conversely, those suppliers with higher wages and those who declared that jatropha harvest starts in April have a reduced likelihood of participating in the project. The findings obtained from this project can help decision-makers develop new measures to improve the sustainability of the project through initiatives to motivate the participation of jatropha suppliers in the program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Retailers Could Contribute to Sustainable Development)
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