Research in Action

“Creating relevant and new knowledge to improve businesses.”

By assembling and analyzing real data from retailers, manufacturers and service providers, the Center for Retailing Studies positions itself as the “go-to” resource for all retail related inquiries.

For research in action, visit our press section.

Retailing research conducted at Texas A&M University is relevant, timely and actionable. It addresses and proposes solutions to challenges facing retailers today. It also offers important insight into the future issues that progressive retailers need to be thinking about.

Use our research article database to find citations to various research articles* by our faculty:

Modeling Emerging-Market Firms’ Competitive Retail Distribution Strategies
Amalesh Sharma, V. Kumar, Koray Cosguner
Journal of Marketing Research, 2019

  • In emerging markets, the effective implementation of distribution strategies is challenged by underdeveloped road infrastructure and a low penetration of retail stores that are insufficient in meeting customer needs. In addition, products are typically distributed in multiple forms through multiple retail channels. Given the competitive landscape, manufacturers’ distribution strategies should be based on anticipation of competitor reactions. Accordingly, the authors develop a manufacturer-level competition model to study the distribution and price decisions of insecticide manufacturers competing across multiple product forms and retail channels. Their study shows that both consumer preferences and estimated production and distribution costs vary across brands, product forms, and retail channels; that ignoring distribution and solely focusing on price competition results in up to a 55% overestimation of manufacturer profit margins; and that observed pricing and distribution patterns support competition rather than collusion among manufacturers. Through counterfactual studies, the authors find that manufacturers respond to decreases in distribution costs and to the exclusive distribution of more preferred manufacturers by asymmetrically changing their price and distribution decisions across different retail channels. Read More

Social Comparison in Retailer-Supplier Relationships: Referent Discrepancy Effects
Hannah S. Lee, David A. Griffith
Journal of Marketing, 2019

  • Social comparisons among suppliers connected through a common retailer pose significant management challenges for the retailer. For instance, a focal supplier’s social comparison can result in upward or downward referent discrepancy, decreasing or increasing perceptions of distributive fairness, respectively, subject to the tie strength of the relationship. Because decreasing perceptions of distributive fairness can be harmful to the retailer–supplier relationship, the authors examine the use of tie strength and timing of explanations as actions a retailer can take to mitigate such perceptions. They test their hypotheses with a two-study, multimethod design conducted in Japan. Study 1 employs a survey of suppliers in a store-within-a-store context as well as objective performance data. The results indicate that upward (downward) referent discrepancy decreases (increases) a focal supplier’s perceptions of distributive fairness. Study 2 employs an experiment using brand/store managers. The results show that when upward referent discrepancies are present, retailers can mitigate the invidious effects of decreased perceptions of distributive fairness by developing strong ties and enacting procedurally fair policies such as proactively providing explanations. Read More

Reciprocal Value Sharing in Manufacturer-Retailer Relationships: The Case of New Product Introductions
Tereza Dean, David A. Griffith, Roger J. Calantone
Marketing Letters, 2018

  • Prior literature examined reciprocity in the context of value creation. However, research has yet to examine whether reciprocity exists in value sharing. To address this gap, the authors examine retailer’s reciprocal value sharing with its manufacturer in relation to new product introductions. The authors test, via a survey of retail managers, whether reciprocal value sharing is influenced by an interaction of manufacturer’s prior new product success with innovativeness of a manufacturer’s products and the frequency of new product introduction. The results indicate that a retailer’s reciprocal value sharing is greater when the manufacturer historically launched successful new products, and that this effect is decreased with the innovativeness of a manufacturer’s products but increased with the frequency of new product introduction. Read More

New Product Creativity: Understanding Contract Specificity in New Product Introductions
Tereza Dean, David A. Griffith, Roger J. Calantone
Journal of Marketing, 2016

  • Introducing new products necessitates that manufacturers not only carefully craft the initial contract terms with retailers but also consider how the specificity of the terms influences a retailer’s relational behaviors throughout the duration of the contract, contingent upon the new product’s success. The authors develop a series of hypotheses to investigate new product introductions using a multimethod design consisting of a survey of manufacturers and a repeated measures experiment with retailers. The results indicate that manufacturers craft increasingly specific contract terms as new product creativity increases when frequency of new product introductions and performance ambiguity are higher. When they are lower, the positive influence of new product creativity on contract specificity weakens and can in some instances become negative. The results also indicate that there is no significant change in a retailer’s relational behaviors throughout a contract’s duration when contract specificity is lower, regardless of the new product’s success. However, under the condition of higher contract specificity, the retailer’s relational behaviors increase (decrease) over a contract’s duration when the new product is successful (unsuccessful). Read More

Marketing in Computer-Mediated Environments: Research Synthesis and New Directions
Manjit S. Yadav and Paul A. Pavlou
Journal of Marketing, 2014

  • Although an extensive body of research has emerged on marketing in computer-mediated environments, the literature remains fragmented. As a result, insights and findings have accumulated without an overarching framework to provide structure and guidance to the rapidly increasing research stream, which is detrimental to long-term knowledge development in this area. To address this issue, the authors organize and synthesize findings from the literature using a framework structured around four key interactions in computer-mediated environments: consumer–firm interactions, firm–consumer interactions, consumer–consumer interactions, and firm–firm interactions. The proposed framework serves a valuable organizational function and helps identify a broad spectrum of gaps in the literature to advance the next generation of knowledge development. Read More

Channel Blurring: A Study of Cross-Retail Format Shopping among U.S. Households
Ryan Luchs, J. Jeffrey Inman, Venkatesh Shankar
Journal of Marketing, 2013

  • Channel blurring—a phenomenon in which consumers are moving their purchases of a product category from channels or retail formats traditionally associated with that category (e.g., grocery) to alternative channels (e.g., mass, club, extreme value/dollar) and in which retailers from one channel are selling items traditionally associated with other channels—is of great interest to both manufacturers and retailers. At one time, different retail formats such as grocery, drug, and mass merchandiser served different purposes, but they are becoming indistinguishable. For example, large mass merchandisers such as Walmart. Read More

Are Multichannel Customers Really More Valubale? The Moderating Role of Product Category Characteristics
Tarun Kushwaha, Venkatesh Shankar
Journal of Marketing, 2013

  • How does the monetary value of customer purchases vary by customer preference for purchase channels (e.g., traditional, electronic, multichannel) and product category? The authors develop a conceptual model and hypotheses on the moderating effects of two key product category characteristics—the utilitarian versus hedonic nature of the product category and perceived risk—on the channel preference–monetary value relationship. They test the hypotheses on a unique large-scale, empirically generalizable data set in the retailing context. Contrary to conventional wisdom that all multichannel customers are more valuable. Read More

Understanding Governance Decisions in a Partially Integrated Channel: A Contingent Alignment Framework
Stephen K. Kim, Richard G. McFarland, Sanggi Shon, David A. Griffith
Journal of Marketing, 2011

  • This article examines governance decisions within an emerging and increasingly common form of channel: the partially integrated channel (PIC). The PIC is defined as a single vertical channel in which both market governance and hierarchical governance exist (i.e., the employees of one channel member work on a full-time basis at an exchange partner’s facilities, performing functions that the exchange partner traditionally performs). Building on the transaction cost analysis and governance value analysis literature streams, the authors examine ongoing governance decisions within the PIC. Data were collected in the fashion apparel market of South Korea using multisource, reciprocally matched data in which a manufacturer’s directly employed sales force is deployed at department store retailers as the sole frontline employees for their brand. The authors find that brand reputation, downstream market uncertainty, and sales force performance ambiguity influence manufacturer control over sales operations and manufacturer flexibility with retailers in unique ways. The authors discuss implications of this work for theory and practice. Read More

* Academic articles often have multiple contributors. Only Texas A&M authors are listed above. Download articles for full citation.


View additional retail papers or search from over 3,500 research items in our Mays Faculty Research Database.