Localised multiple channel distribution strategies of luxury fashion retailers – evidence from China

Huifeng Bai*, Jin Shi, Peng Song, Julie McColl, Christopher Moore, Ian Fillis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
This empirical study aims to examine luxury fashion retailers' localised multiple channel distribution strategies in China.

Design/methodology/approach
Through case studies of 15 participating retailers, qualitative data were collected from 33 semi-structured interviews.

Findings
Strong impacts of internationalisation strategies, distribution strategies and channel length towards multiple channel retailing are revealed. Multi-channel retailing is widely employed by firms who have entered China and further developed their businesses through local partnerships and adopted a selective distribution strategy via relatively longer channels. Omni-channel retailing is only suitable for the few retailers using an exclusive distribution strategy through direct marketing and wholly owned customer relationship management. As a dynamic transformation from multi- to omni-channel retailing, cross-channel retailing is adopted by those who are withdrawing from local partnerships and shifting to wholly owned expansions and operations in host markets.

Research limitations/implications
The results are potentially challenged by relatively small sample size.

Practical implications
Practitioners are suggested to adapt multiple channel retailing to their international expansion strategies, distribution strategies and channel length in the host markets.

Originality/value
This paper contributes to the literature in both multiple channel retailing and international retailing by offering insights into the motives, development patterns and suitability of multiple channel retailing in the international retail marketing context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Early online date16 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Channel length
  • Distribution strategies
  • Luxury fashion retailing
  • Multi-channel
  • Omni-channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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