The Retail Industry and Information Technology

  • David Shaw
  • Anne Leeming


As markets enlarge and become more complex, the once simple process of retailing is employing ever more sophisticated and intelligent retail information systems to cope with all the transactions involved. With the increasing globalisation of retailing, more efficient control of data, information and market knowledge is key to retaining competitive advantage. How effectively retailers strategically invest in and exploit retail information management is reviewed through case studies in the United States and the UK. We review existing models of retail information management which are rapidly being overtaken by continual technological innovation. The concept of the holistic retail information management system, in which all the essential information systems work in unison, appears to be several years away. The existence of the retail supply chain is under threat as information technology (IT), in the form of the Internet, challenges the basic premise of the physical existence of shops and sales staff. Findings are that IT is revolutionising, as well as adding value to, modern retailing. Retail information management is a top investment area for IT. Its benefits for the customer, currently poor in time although rich in cash, include the provision of time.


Supply Chain Geographic Information System Data Warehousing Electronic Data Interchange Retail Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alter, M (1989) The UK Technology Market. Business International Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. 15 Regent Street, London SW1Y 4LR (
  2. Bamfield, J (1994) The adoption of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) by retailers. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 22(2): 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beaumont, JR and Walters, D (1991) Information management in service industries: towards a strategic framework.Journal of Information Systems, 1:155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cash, J, McFarlan, F and McKenny, J (1992) Corporate Information Systems Management — The Issues Facing Senior Executives (3rd edition). Irwin: 17–26.Google Scholar
  5. Comshare (1995) Communiqué 1. Corporate IT Strategy Magazine (1995) Top 100 companies — review. Corporate IT Strategy Magazine, May.Google Scholar
  6. Derr, R (1995) Efficient Consumer response requires efficient information response. European Retail Digest, Spring: 4–5Google Scholar
  7. Discount Store News (1994) Logistical supremacy secures the base for Wal-Mart. Discount Store News, 5 December: 107–108Google Scholar
  8. Grindley, K (1994) Major Issues IT Review. Price Waterhouse: 8.Google Scholar
  9. Hewlett-Packard (1992) Managers Concerns over IT and Open Systems Report. The British Market Research Bureau: 1–17.Google Scholar
  10. Hill, RM (1990) Measuring stock service levels. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 18: 3.Google Scholar
  11. Holland, CP and Lockett, G (1992) IT strategy in retailing: organisational change and future direction. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 1(3): 134–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. IBM (1995) Plant IT Promotional Literature. IBM.Google Scholar
  13. Lewison, DM and Delozier, MW (1989) Retailing (3rd edition). Columbus, OH: Merril Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Management Horizons (1992) International Retail Survey.Google Scholar
  15. Mintel (1994) UK Clothing and Footwear Market Review.Google Scholar
  16. Murra, EF (1991) Comparative Analysis of the Retailing Sector: Information Use and Systems. M.Sc. thesis, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
  17. OXIRM (1994) Review of European Retailing. Oxford: Oxford Institute of Retail Management.Google Scholar
  18. Textile Market Surveys (1995) Market shares in retail clothing sector. The Times, 20 April.Google Scholar
  19. Venkatraman, N and Henderson, JC (1989) Strategic Alignment: A Framework for Strategic Information Technology Management. MIT Management in the ′90s Working Paper 89–076.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Shaw
  • Anne Leeming

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations