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No 61:
The role of events in the survival of rural retail

Christina Engström and Johan Håkansson ()

Abstract: Rural retailers in Sweden are currently in need of new strategies in order to meet the increasing competition from urban shopping centers and increased customer mobility. This study examines the how events can influence local retail survival in rural areas. In interviews, local stakeholders involved in retail, events and municipal decision-making describes how events affect the retail of a rural municipality in Sweden. A questionnaire survey among the visitors of two local events is also conducted, in order to see how consumers perceive the services in, and around the events. The result reveals that even if most retailers do not perceive an impact of the local events on their businesses, they acknowledge them as an important factor with potential of creating a competitive advantage. The main problem is the lack of communication between retailers, event managers and local governance. In order to get advantages from the events the local stakeholders need to form cooperative bodies where they can exchange information and knowledge, but also find joint business strategies. The study generates hypothesis for further research on the potentials of rural retail.

Keywords: Stakeholders; collaboration; rural economy; regional development; tourism; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: L22; L81; L83; R11; (follow links to similar papers)

13 pages, April 17, 2012

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