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Retail. Stationary Retail as a Market Place for Generations


How stationary retail benefits from the silver generation. Research Paper "Business Model Innovation in the Retail Industry: Growth by Serving the Silver Generation" by Veit Gregor Lange and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vivek K. Velamuri of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

In the old days, it was the market square; today's generation of elderly people likes to have a chat at the café integrated into the supermarket. Stationary retail is facing the challenge of a rapidly aging society. Veit Gregor Lange and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vivek K. Velamuri of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management have examined how established German retailers react to the requirements of an aging society.

Veit Gregor Lange says, "Our findings show that stationary retail will assume the role of the meeting point of generations in the future." Photo: private

The authors of the study specifically explored innovation applied on the sales floor to cater to the needs of the so-called silver generation. Interviews, structured following the proven and tested case study approach, were conducted with a large number of experienced experts and managers from the industry to obtain the data.

The examinations focused on firstly, alterations to store layout and physical environment, secondly, the importance of customer service, and thirdly, changes in the product portfolio. Lange and Velamuri were able to prove that well-directed alterations in these three fields can help companies to benefit from the demographic change.

"Our research emphasizes how retailers can specifically adjust their business models to better meet the needs of the growing segment of customers from the silver generation," says Vivek K. Velamuri, Schumpeter Junior Professor for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL.

Research findings of highest practical relevance

Veit Gregor Lange explains, "The societal framework conditions are changing rapidly. Stationary retail can benefit from this development due to its physical nature: by means of personal interaction, stationary retail has a human face and can provide an experience which e-commerce cannot offer. Our findings show that stationary retail will assume the role of the meeting point of generations in the future. Some successful retailers such as fashion retailer Engelhorn Mode are already not only training their employees to recognize generation-specific requests but also invite their customers to stay and interact at a gourmet restaurant integrated in the main building."

Lange, Veit Gregor; Velamuri, Vivek K.: Business Model Innovation in the Retail Industry: Growth by Serving the Silver Generation. In: Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2014 vol. 18, no. 4, p. 310-329

About the Schumpeter Junior Professorship for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Vivek K. Velamuri is the Schumpeter Junior Professor for Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at HHL. This Junior Professorship is kindly being sponsored by the Leipziger Stiftung für Innovation und Technologietransfer. Jun.-Prof. Dr. Velamuri’s research focus is on hybrid value creation, i.e. the process of generating value added by combining products and services to well-adjusted offers. This is the topic on which he completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Chair of Professor Kathrin M. Möslein) with summa cum laude in May 2011. Working on research projects, which focus on innovation and value creation, at Professor Möslein’s Chair with partners from the industry brought Jun.-Prof. Dr. Verlamuri significant experience in research carried out in cooperation with industry. Additionally, the Junior Professor, who also holds an MBA from HHL, has a solid background in teaching. His constant interaction with entrepreneurs motivated Jun.-Prof. Dr. Velamuri to design a course for students to write case studies on entrepreneurial firms.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

HHL is a university-level institution and ranks amongst the leading international business schools. The goal of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders. HHL stands out for its excellent teaching, its clear research focus, its effective knowledge transfer into practice as well as its outstanding student services. The courses of study include full and part-time Master in Management as well as MBA programs, a Doctoral program and Executive Education. In the 2014 Financial Times Masters in Management Ranking, HHL's full-time M.Sc. program was ranked among the top 10 in Europe. In 2013 and 2014, HHL reached one of three first places for the best entrepreneurial universities in Germany in the Start-Up Radar ranking published by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Founders' Association of German Science) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BWMi). According to the Financial Times, HHL ranks first in Germany and fifth globally for its entrepreneurship focus within the M.Sc. and EMBA programs. HHL is accredited by AACSB International.

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Further reports about: Entrepreneurship Europe MBA Retail Transfer Velamuri alterations

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