Inderscience Publishers

Perceptions of the Andalusian independent retail sector

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This paper focuses on the perceptions of Andalusian retailers towards the current state of small independent retailing in their city/town and their feelings about the future. The paper reports on the findings of 70 structured interviews with small urban independent retailers covering retail districts in the town/city centres of Almeria, Ubrique and El Puerto de Santa Maria in Andalusia, Spain. Whilst some sub-sectors showed optimism and signs associated with business success (such as fashion outlets), others, especially traditional food retailers, saw the small retail sector as a sector en crisis. Within the methodology adopted, the interviewees become not only the suppliers of data about changes in the sector, but also the suppliers of meaning in terms of their perceptions as to why these changes are taking place.

Keywords: independent retailing, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, Spain, Andalusia, competition, globalisation, small retail sector, small business

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