Drivers and barriers of omni-channel retailing in China: A case study of the fashion and apparel industry

Ye, Y, Lau, K and Teo, L 2018, 'Drivers and barriers of omni-channel retailing in China: A case study of the fashion and apparel industry', International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 657-689.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Drivers and barriers of omni-channel retailing in China: A case study of the fashion and apparel industry
Author(s) Ye, Y
Lau, K
Teo, L
Year 2018
Journal name International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Volume number 46
Issue number 7
Start page 657
End page 689
Total pages 33
Publisher Emerald
Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the drivers and barriers to omni-channel retailing in China, and attempts to understand how companies formulate their business strategies during their transformations to omni-channel retailing. Design/methodology/approach This study adopts an exploratory case study approach to investigate the omni-channel retailing transformations of two well-established Chinese fashion apparel retailers. The study draws on multiple sources of evidence, comprising: interviews with eight business executives from three major operational departments; on-site observations in firm's retail stores, factories and distribution centres; and secondary data review of firm business reports, news, whitepapers and archival records. The findings are established through a consistent within-case data analysis and cross-case comparison. Findings The study reveals that the two retailers formulated different strategies in developing their omni-channels, and exhibited different degrees of success. The similarities and differences in the drivers, as well as the barriers, were analyzed and compared in this study. Operational variations (i.e. enablers and inhibitors) due to the unique context of the Chinese market were also explored. The findings reveal that coherent leveraging firm resources and capabilities from the three perspectives - marketing, logistics and supply chain, and organizational management - is critical to the full implementation of omni-channel retailing. They provide relevant managerial insights that can assist firms in formulating appropriate strategic action plans during the transformations. Originality/value As a theoretical contribution, this paper identifies a set of drivers and barriers for omni-channel retailing in the developed market, and classifies them into three categories: marketing; logistics and supply chain; and organizational management. The empirical-based qualitative analysis reveals the key factors impacting on omni-chan
Subject Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Keyword(s) China
E-commerce
Case study
Online retailing
Omni-channel
Fast fashion
Copyright notice © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN 0959-0552
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