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Charlotte Arkenback-Sundström

AbstractCovid-19 has disrupted global markets, accelerated the digital transformation of frontline service, and changed how service organisations, frontline service employees, and consumers interact. This article explores how digitalisation is changing retail service work from a postdigital perspective. The article draws on an ethnography of salespeople’s service encounters in speciality chain stores between July 2015 and August 2021. Using a practice theory framework (the theory of practice architectures), the article explores what conditions form salespeople’s service encounters in connected stores and how retail organisations’ digitalisation of frontline service changes salespeople’s practice of service encounters. The contributions of this article to the ongoing debate over the digitalisation of service work are twofold. On the theoretical plane, the article provides an alternative framework to labour process theory for exploring and describing service work organised around digital technologies. Secondly, it uncovers the conditions that are changing salespeople’s practice of service encounters, along with attributes associated with service work and emotional labour skills. The research shows that the connected service encounter is characterised by postdigital dialogue that involves new roles and skills in frontline service work. Overall, the findings contribute to a better understanding of how digitalisation changes action and interaction in service encounters from an employee perspective.

Oby B.O. ◽  
Ananaba U. ◽  
Udoka S.O. ◽  
Samuel N.N.

Extant literature indicates that despite the growing importance of retailing to the development of nations, it is imperative to ask; to what extent does retail channel service relates to customer retention in chain stores in Nigeria. The main objective of the study is to examine the significant relationship between retail channel service and customer retention in chain stores in Nigeria. The study adopted a quantitative research design using a survey method. The study population comprised 65 retail chain stores registered with the Enugu Branch of Pillars Association of Nigeria as of July 2020. The questionnaires were pretested for comprehension, relevance and validity through ten operators of retail superstores and three scholars in the field of distribution channel management. The reliability of the instrument was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient analysis in order to ensure the internal consistency and reliability of measures. The reliability coefficient obtained was 0.85. The findings of the study show that bulk breaking, spatial convenience, waiting time and product variety are positively related to customer retention. We conclude that retail channel service has a positive and significant influence on customer retention of retail chain stores in Nigeria. The retail chain stores, if effectively coordinated, and their marketing channel service properly managed, is capable of enhancing the tendencies of these retail stores in retaining their existing customers.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (4) ◽  
pp. 62-72
Rashid Gabdulhakov

Amid the intensification of state control over the digital domain in Russia, what types of online activism are tolerated or even endorsed by the government and why? While entities such as the Anti-Corruption Foundation exposing the state are silenced through various tactics such as content blocking and removal, labelling the foundation a “foreign agent,” and deeming it “extremist,” other formations of citizens using digital media to expose “offences” performed by fellow citizens are operating freely. This article focuses on a vigilante group targeting “unscrupulous” merchants (often ethnic minorities and labour migrants) for the alleged sale of expired produce—the Hrushi Protiv. Supported by the government, Hrushi Protiv participants survey grocery chain stores and open-air markets for expired produce, a practice that often escalates into violence, while the process is filmed and edited to be uploaded to YouTube. These videos constitute unique media products that entertain the audience, ensuring the longevity of punitive measures via public exposure and shaming. Relying on Litvinenko and Toepfl’s (2019) application of Toepfl’s (2020) “leadership-critical,” “policy-critical,” and “uncritical” publics theory in the context of Russia, this article proposes a new category to describe state-approved digital vigilantes—citizen-critical publics. A collaboration with such publics allows the state to demonstrate a façade of civil society activism amid its silencing; while state-approved participants gain financial rewards and fame. Through Foucauldian discourse analysis, the article reveals that vulnerable groups such as labour migrants and ethnic minorities could fall victim to the side effects of this collaboration.

2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (3) ◽  
pp. 358-372
Niraj Jain ◽  
Roy A. Chileshe ◽  
Ephraim K. Munshifwa ◽  
Anthony Mushinge ◽  
Amos Chisha

Abstract Subject and purpose of work: Based on community-wide charges that shopping malls discriminate against small business tenants, this paper seeks: firstly to identify the principal determinants of shopping mall rentals, and secondly to understand if there exists a statistically significant dispersion in rentals against MSMEs. Materials and methods: Relative Importance Index and SPSS (statistical tests) were used to analyze the survey-based data which was acquired from eleven shopping malls in Lusaka. Results: The MSME tenants pay on average $20.32/m2 more t han anchor tenants and $19.12/m2 more than chain stores, ironically on account of capital limitations. MSMEs also face an additional risk during sudden economic shocks due to untenable lease provisions and poor negotiating influence. Conclusions: The study concludes by acknowledging that the MSME sector is covertly vitiated by the imposition of high rental premiums. It recommends that shopping malls should have an affirmative simpler letting policy. Furthermore, a shopping mall association should-be commissioned to exclusively safeguard the interests of MSMEs.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (2) ◽  
pp. 662-670
Mohammadreza Koushki ◽  
Paliz Koohy-Kamaly ◽  
Sara Sohrabvandi

Ready-to-eat foods are not usually treated sufficiently to eliminate the existing pathogenic bacteria in them before consumption; therefore, bacterial contamination in these foods requires due consideration. This study aims to detect Salmonella and Escherichia coli contamination and total microbial count in ready-to-eat salad samples containing meat products in Tehran in 2018. The microbial analysis of 136 samples including Olivier salad, Macaroni salad, and Sausage salad, collected by simple randomized sampling method from chain-stores, grocery and cooperative stores, was done according to the ISO international standards. Salmonella was not detected in any of the samples, and only 0.7% of the samples were contaminated with E. coli. The total number of microorganisms in 89.6% of the Olivier salad samples, 61.4% of the Macaroni salad samples and 97.7% of the Sausage salad samples was within the permitted limits of the Iranian National Standard. The average total number of microbes in the Olivier salad, Macaroni salad, and Sausage salad samples was obtained as 4.84, 4.23, and 5.34 log CFU/g, respectively. This study confirms the relatively satisfactory microbiological quality of ready-to-eat salads containing meat products in Tehran,Iran.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-12
Juliano Martins Ramalho Marques ◽  
Ariana P. Torres ◽  
Bridget K. Behe ◽  
Petrus Langenhoven ◽  
Luiz Henrique de Barros Vilas Boas

Before consumers choose what and how much fruit to buy, they first decide where to buy it. To address the choices of stores for fresh fruits, this study investigated the influence of market attributes and customers’ attitudes toward their purchasing decisions. Data from a web-based survey of 1658 U.S. consumers were used to conduct multinomial logit regression to investigate the factors guiding their choices regarding four types of stores: chain, independent, club/warehouse, and direct-to-consumer. We found attitudinal scales and market attributes have different effects on the choice of marketplace for fresh fruits. Driven by price and convenience, most consumers prefer chain stores when buying fresh fruits, whereas those same factors deter them from choosing independent and ethnic stores for fresh fruits. The supply of local fruits, friendly atmosphere, and access to desirable fresh fruits positively influenced consumers to purchase fruits at local markets. Our findings can provide insight regarding food retailers and farmers targeting fresh fruit consumers. For example, our findings highlight the importance of providing a friendly atmosphere and outstanding customer service to positively influence purchasing behavior.

2021 ◽  
Vol 66 (1) ◽  
pp. 179-193
Guy Damari

"The development of local entrepreneurship has become an integral part of the urban culture, creating an interest in the impact of small and medium-sized enterprises on the local economy, the satisfaction of the residents and their desire to remain in the city and bring up the next generation in their place of residence. A qualitative research approach, using semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of small and medium-sized enterprises in several cities in Israel was adopted to examine the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises from an economic, and social perspective. The findings indicated that while the local businesses fulfill a role in the social fabric of the city by connecting residents to their urban place of residence, the small and medium-sized enterprises are struggling economically, since they are faced with heavy competition from chain stores, malls and trading centers established in the peripheral regions. Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), economy, central authority, local authority, entrepreneur "

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