Handelns utvecklingsråd

Call for papers

For NRWC 2018, we invite submissions on all areas of retailing and wholesaling. The conference will give participants the opportunity to present both completed research and work in progress.

In order to expose participants to the newest research and allow researchers to get feedback on ongoing research, we only require that you submit extended abstracts (750-1000 words). However, we also encourage submission of full papers. To support this, Handelsrådet and Hakon Swenson Stiftelsen this year sponsor an award for the best full paper and an award for the best student paper.

The deadline for extended abstracts is 15 June 2016.


Research papers on all areas of retailing and wholesaling are encouraged. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Business relationships
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability
  • Distribution channels, supply chain management, and logistics
  • Cross-channel, multi-channel retailing including E-commerce
  • Human Relations Management
  • Innovation
  • In-store marketing
  • International retailing and distribution
  • Management and organisation in retailing
  • Merchandising, pricing, and promotion
  • Productivity in retailing
  • Retail branding and brand management
  • Retail management
  • Retail and society
  • Sales and promotion management
  • Social media
  • Wholesaling



In addition to general tracks, we invite submissions to a number of special tracks.

Special track: Retail, work and employment

Organiser: Ola Bergström, University of Gothenburg
This track invites researchers from all over Europe to study work and employment in the retail sector, its development, characteristics, movements, changes, problems and challenges. Retail sector employment is often seen as a typical form of flexible and alternative form of employment, including high intensity of fixed term contracts, part-time work and non-standard working hours. It is often argued that retail firms, due to changing customer preferences and seasonal variation, increasingly implement flexible staffing strategies including so called SMS jobs, split working days and evening shifts, primarily affecting young, low skilled and female workers. The retail sector has also been seen as a potential solution to the problems of youth unemployment and voices have been raised to reduce wages for low skilled workers to facilitate entry of foreign born in the labour market. However, there are also counter developments, where the growth of online shopping and digitalisation creates structural changes of the retail sector with different working conditions and skills requirements.

Special track: Last mile commerce

Organiser: Kenneth Carling, Dalarna University
In response to technological opportunities, the physical market place where vendors and consumers used to meet is now evolving into a blurry Physical Internet. This shift prompts market actors in retailing to re-think their supply-chain management, business models, physical location, and consumer services in a setting where mobility is increasingly restricted due to economic, environmental, and social concerns. Most dramatic is the impact on the last mile distribution and the physical handover of the product or service. Papers suited for the track deal with some of the following topics, preferably with an emphasis on the last mile: Inner-city logistics; Location analysis; Business models; Consumer satisfaction; Consumer mobility; Sustainable logistics; Crowd-shipping.

Special track: The economic geography of retail services

Organiser: Özge Öner, Research Institute of Industrial Economics
“Location, location, location” has been the mantra for retailers. In fact, the location of a store is probably the most important and most costly decision a retailer must make to accomplish long-term success. Almost all retailers prioritise the proximity to consumers when deciding on their location, which leads to co-location in the sector and thus retail agglomeration. Consequently, a highly competitive spatial market structure for the sector arises. From a wider angle, these agglomerations produce urban vitality, and the differences in the scales and diversity of retail markets define the competitive power of the hosting cities and regions. The positive attributes of the sector are not limited to the goods and services that are provided by the individual shops. Retailers also provide great employment opportunities in the areas they are located.

In this track, we would like to invite papers that deal with the location aspect of the retail sector. Both empirical and theoretical research addressing the importance of retailing for the local economy, and how retail sector interacts with rest of the economy at various geographical aggregations are welcome.

Special track: Retail innovation

Organiser: Annika Olsson, Lund University
Retail is facing big challenges in terms of – for example – changing consumer buying patterns, digitalisation, urbanisation and globalisation. On one hand these challenges put new demands on retailers but on the other hand they also create opportunities. The challenges require that the retail industry increases its ability to innovate and renew itself. Much of existing knowledge around innovation and innovation processes in organisations focuses on organisations manufacturing products. Some parts of existing theories are valuable for understanding innovation and innovation processes in retail organisations but much of the knowledge is not applicable to retail operations. This means that research needs to create new knowledge in this area, both theoretically and practically.

We invite presentations within the broad field of retail innovation. This could mean studies of new business models in retail, about innovation and innovation processes in the retail sector, about market orientation studies in retail, about disruption and challenges but also about success stories.

Special track: Retail destination

Organiser: Cecilia Fredriksson, Lund University
The role that retail plays in towns and cities is perceived as an important driving force for the development of place. The point of departure for the conference track ”Retail Destination” is the interconnection between retail and location. Central are issues such as establishment concerns, store format, shifting patterns of consumption, logistics, and urban and spatial planning. The presence of retail at any place triggers numerous processes and actors. The retail-location relationship can be studied from various perspectives. How can different retail destinations be described and perceived? By which means can we explain the diverging conditions and practices connected to certain locations of retail? How can a city or any other form of venue become an attractive destination for shopping?

Suggestions for other special sessions should be submitted to the conference organiser (lae@mgmt.au.dk).