Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HUI Working Papers,
HUI Research

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

Christina Engström and Johan Håkansson ()
Additional contact information
Christina Engström: Dalarna University, Postal: Department of Human Geography, SE-791 88, Falun/Borlänge, Sweden
Johan Håkansson: HUI Research, Postal: The Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI), Regeringsgatan 60, 103 29 Stockholm, Sweden, Dalarna University, Department of Human Geography, SE-791 88, Falun/Borlänge, Sweden

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

JEL-codes: L22; L81; L83; R11

13 pages, April 17, 2012

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