An adage in retailing says, “the only constant in retailing is change” (Danziger, 2020). Retail sectors around the globe are facing many seismic changes, and the most prominent ones appear to be related to technology, people, and sustainability.
Some scholars (e.g., Grewal et al., 2021) opine that retailing, as a sector and a commercial practice, has become heavily technologicalised and sparsely humanized. It relies on digital interface and systems to conduct its front- and back-stage activities, including serving customers, as exemplified by self-service checkouts in-store and chatbots online.
However, a handful of scholars (e.g., Jeanpert et al., 2021) argue that there is a subtle reversion to humanized service and experience to foster retail shoppers’ loyalty. These are depicted by the introduction of personal styling services by department stores (e.g., John Lewis) and the assembly and installation services by home furniture retailers (e.g., Ikea). Theoretically and practically, the question of whether retailers should be more technologicalised or humanized warrants further consideration to illuminate better what the retail future may look or feel like.
When addressing the proposed question, we cannot ignore the changes surrounding or associated with sustainability (Noble et al., 2022). This focus is especially pertinent to respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
Drawing the rationale above, the 2023 Colloquium thus seeks to stimulate open and constructive dialogues around the technological, human and sustainable changes facing retailers worldwide and understand how the changes together will shape a better retail future. We welcome submissions, but not exclusively on the following themes and related tracks:
-Retail supply chain management
-Supplier Relationship Management
-Technology in the retail environment
-Social responsibility in retail
-Last mile logistics
-Retail service management
-Retail agglomeration marketing
-Retail information systems management
-Social media retailing
-Human resource management in retail
-Store format development
-Weather influence on retail