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Strategic alternatives for small retail businesses in rural areas: evidence from the Southern Western Isles of Scotland

Byrom, John and Medway, Dominic and Warnaby, Gary (2001) Strategic alternatives for small retail businesses in rural areas: evidence from the Southern Western Isles of Scotland. UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The issue of retailing in rural areas has received relatively little attention in recent years. This paper considers retail businesses in a remote, rural area, the Uist chain in the Western Isles of Scotland. Drawing on the marketing and retail strategy literatures, a 'funnical' model of rural retail strategies is developed, and examples of independent retail businesses that have adopted both market-led and product-led strategies are posited. These have ranged from a situation of 'strategic stasis' within some retail organisations, where more 'extensive' methods of running retail outlets have been adopted, through to various new development strategies, including the expansion of businesses beyond the island locality to attract both national and international consumers. In the light of these findings, the paper considers the implications presented for retailers in other rural areas of the UK.

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