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Small independent retail firms and locational decision-making: outdoor leisure retailing by the crags

Pioch, Elke and Byrom, John (2004) Small independent retail firms and locational decision-making: outdoor leisure retailing by the crags. Journal of small business and enterprise development, 11 (2). pp. 222-232. ISSN 1462-6004

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Abstract

The importance of location to retail organisations has long been recognised in the geography and retail marketing literatures, with subjective and “gut feel” methods of evaluation emerging as highly significant factors in the decision-making process. Through the application of existing frameworks we seek to highlight the importance of location to small independent retailers in the context of outdoor leisure retailing. The case of “UpFront”, a pseudonym for a retailer operating four outlets in Great Britain, is presented. It is shown that, although based largely on luck and opportunism, the firm's locational “strategy” has been crucial to its success as a leading player in the sector. Based on detailed interviews with the managing director and employees, the role and importance of location as a critical success factor to the organisation is presented. In conclusion, a call is made for greater engagement with the nuances of location to small retail organisations, given its impact on a large number of retail operations.

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