Handelns utvecklingsråd

Guidelines for local organisers


The first NRWC was held in 2008 at Centre for retail in Norrtälje, and has since been held in Gothenburg, Lund, Stockholm, Aarhus and Reykjavik. The conference is held biannually on even-numbered years in week 45, first or second week of November, on Wednesday and Thursday. The principals behind the conference are Hakon Swenson Stiftelsen (The Hakon Swenson Foundation) and Handelsrådet¤ (The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council), who both finance academic retail and wholesale research.

In 2013 a steering committee was formed with the purpose of formalizing the organizing of the conference and to create a base for the local organizers to work from.

¤formerly Handelns Utvecklingsråd

Aims and goals of the conference

The aim of the conference is to gather researchers in the field of retail and wholesale covering different disciplines and topics to provide networking opportunities, further the academic scope, promote scientific development and inspire new research in this area.

The main target group of the conference is academic researchers, who are given the opportunity of presenting research of interest to retail and wholesale. Other academics and individuals with interest in retail research also have the possibility to participate.

Location and official language of the conference

The conference is to be located in a Nordic country and English is the official language of the conference.

Timing and duration of the conference

The conference is to be held during week 45 in November and should be two full days long. A Doctoral Colloquium will be held on the day preceding the conference.


The venue should be easily accessed in relation to the accommodation and preferably located within a university campus. The premises must allow for at least four tracks to be held parallel with room for 30 to 40 participants in each session. A large auditorium with room for all participants is needed for the key-note speakers’ lectures.

Target group

The conference aims at attracting a wide group scholars from different disciplines and welcomes researches who studies topics that are relevant to retail and wholesale in, among other fields; Business Administration, Economics, Social Science, Engineering and Medical Science. Researchers from other disciplines are of course also welcome, the smallest common denominator is the relevance of the research to retail and wholesale.

Topics and themes

The following topics are of interests, but they are not exclusive.

  • Distribution, logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • International retail trade, export and import
  • Profitability, efficiency and productivity
  • Accounting and law
  • Innovation and technology
  • Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Human Resource Management, work environment and labour law
  • Consumer behaviour and customer service
  • Management and organisation
  • Promotion, marketing and merchandising
  • Ecommerce, multichannel and digitalization
  • Internationalisation and globalization
  • Retail in society, labour market and employment
  • Location and infrastructure

The local organizers may propose a special theme for the conference; this theme has to be approved by the steering committee.

Local Conference Organizing Committee

The local organizing committee should consist of one conference chair and at least one, but not more than two, conference co-chairs. The conference chairs have the main responsibility for the practical arrangements of the conference.

Key-note speakers

There should be at least one, but preferably two, key-note speakers (one top management from the retail business and one senior scholar with international top academic experience in the retail area), who can address relevant and current issues of interest to the conference participants.

Abstracts and papers

The conference accepts both extended abstracts (750 to 1 000 words) and full papers; it will be made clear in the program whether the presentation is based on an abstract or a full paper. The local organizers handle the call for paper and the review process. The ambition is that all abstracts which are relevant to the retail industry and meet basic academic standards, including aim, theory and method, are to be accepted to the conference.

Program; tracks and sessions

The papers should be organized in thematic tracks with parallel sessions. Each session should have a chair who is in charge of the practical arrangement and leads the discussions; the session should allow about 20-25 minutes per paper including discussion (might differ between extended abstracs and full papers.).

Social program

The session-program should allow for pauses where the participants have time to socialize as making new connections and networking is a part of the conference’ aims. A conference dinner should be held on the evening of the first day. Other social initiatives on behalf of the local organizers are welcome.

Doctoral Colloquium

The Doctoral Colloquium is a one day event for postgraduates with the main aim of connecting PhD-students in the field of retail and wholesale with each other so that they can benefit from each other’s knowledge and experiences and perhaps start up future collaborations. The event should be able to receive 20 to 30 PhD-students and the orientation could be; the research process; feedback on their work from senior academics; and/or lectures by senior academics.

Information and communication

All information is to be found at the website – www.nrwa.se – which is owned, maintained and updated by the principals. The local conference organizing committee is responsible for the mail outs (which should be made from a mail address created specifically for the event) and providing the web editor of nrwa.se with information for the website.

The documents of communication (for example the call for paper) should be based on templates that are provided by the principals, with the logos of the principals, the NRWC-logo with the current year and the logo of the local organizers.

The principals of the conference will provide a list of e-mail addresses for the send outs and the local organizers will complement with other suitable receivers.

The abstracts will be made accessible at the website (if the authors don’t say otherwise).

Conference Timeline
Mail outs:

  • Beginning of December (the year before the conference is to be held): Notice to “Save the date”
  • Beginning of April: Call for paper
  • Mid-May: Reminder Call for paper + Invitation Doctoral Colloquium
  • Late August: Reminder Doctoral Colloquium
  • Late August: Info Registration
  • Mid-September: Reminder Registration
  • Second half of October: Program


  • First half of June: Submission of extended abstract
  • Second half of June: Acceptance of extended abstracts
  • Beginning of September: Application for doctoral colloquium
  • Mid-September: Registration deadline
  • Beginning of October: Submission of full paper
  • Mid-October: Program ready


Full papers from the conference may be made available on the website, with a clear statement that NRWC has no rights to the content, if the authors don’t oppose.

Academic journal

The conference intends to produce articles for a special issue of an academic journal.

Conference Award

The Best paper award, founded by the principals, for well accomplished papers should be given out at the conference. The local organizers will choose three candidates, and the principals will handle the election of the winner. The award is to be handed out at the conference dinner and the principals will provide a diploma to present the winner with.


Publishers are encouraged to participate in the conference to exhibit material which is relevant to the area of the conference. The exhibitors are to be reasonably charged for their presence.


Minor sponsors, for example input for “goodie bags”, are allowed and should be cleared with the principals beforehand.


The budget should be balanced with no winnings for the organizers. The principals must be given the opportunity to approve the budget and are able to cover for a slight shortfall within reasonable limits.


The fee should be reasonable and in line with previous conferences and offer the following different levels of fees:

  • Reduced fees for doctoral students

The following will NOT be charged for the conference:

  • The local organizing committee
    (maximum of three persons if no other agreement has been made)
  • Other people from the organizing group might be granted free admission if presented in the budget and approved by the principals
  • The key-note speakers
  • The NRWC steering committee
  • Possibly some special guests of the principals
  • The award winners from the preceding conference


The payment system for the conference should be provided and handled by the Organizer.


There should be a number of rooms pre-booked at reasonably priced hotels nearby the conference premises.

If needed the accommodation for the key-note speakers should be included in the budget.

Reporting and follow up

The local organizers will be reporting to the principals and the steering committee during the planning of the conference to ensure that everything is running smoothly and according to the stipulated guidelines.

There should be a “kick-off”-meeting with the local organizing committee, the principals and the steering committee (or at least one representative for the steering committee) a year before the conference is to take place. At this meeting the budget with specified budget posts and the local organisation should be presented and approved by the principals. A second meeting with the local organizing committee and the principals should be held in March the year of the conference and a third in September.

After conference the organizers will evaluate the event and present the principals and the steering committee with insights and where there is room for improvement. The evaluation should consist of:

  • Economic follow up
  • Participant survey
  • Assessment by the local organizers


Hakon Swenson Stiftelsen – Lena Litens

Handelsrådet – Andreas Hedlund

Steering Committe

Lena Litens, Hakon Swenson Stiftelsen

Andreas Hedlund, Handelsrådet

Ulf Johansson, Lund University

Sara Rosengren, Stockholm School of Economics

Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, Handelns Forskningsinstitut (HFI)