AbstractThis thesis explores the influence of category management on the retailer–supplier collaborative relationship within private-label new food product development projects in the Saudi grocery sector. Category management is a process that involves collaboration between retailers and suppliers to introduce a variety of competitive new products to consumers. However, the category management literature and its influence on the retailer–supplier collaborative relationship is limited, especially relating to the roles of category management in new product development. Likewise, it’s influence on innovation has not been investigated in private-label projects. Based on these limitations, the objectives of this study are, first, to systematically examine the role of category management in the retail sector and, second, to explore its influence on the power balance within the retailer–supplier collaborative relationship in food private-label projects, and how this power might affect innovation.
The findings reveal that identifying gaps in the industry is a key role of category management in order to develop new private-label products. This means that retailers need a collaborative relationship with suppliers to develop creative ideas for their products. However, category management benefits could be affected by several factors which impact the power balance between retailer–supplier collaborative relationship (e.g., category captain opportunistic behaviour, retailer as information gatekeeper, etc.). These implications inhibit the intended benefits of category management for the retailer–supplier collaborative relationship in private-label and innovation in the retail sector.
This empirical study is understood to be the first of its kind, investigating Saudi firms’ management of category management within their food private-label projects. This study provides an alternative perspective to previous category management studies: one where category management can be used by retailers to reinforce power over their suppliers in order to develop new food private-label products for them.
|Date of Award||Apr 2021|
|Supervisor||Nicholas Ford (Supervisor), Paul Trott (Supervisor) & Chris Simms (Supervisor)|