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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Spatial competition and nonlinear responses in marketing Krider, Robert E.

Abstract

Spatial competition, in the context of industry-wide changes in retailing formats and strategies, is addressed in this dissertation from a theoretical modelling perspective. Chapter2 develops a normative individual choice model to explore how "power retailers" affect grocery shopping behaviour, and, consequently, market share. Power retailers are very large retail outlets that compete primarily on price, and are known variously as warehouse clubs, category killers, and superstores. The model shows that consideration of consumer stockpiling can lead to an "increasing returns" nonlinear response of market share to price reductions, and that the effect is not noticeable when competitors have small price differences. The model also differentiates between perishable and nonperishable goods, and shows that this may drive planned multistore shopping. Chapter 3 starts with the observation that competent management in many sectors of retailing, including grocery retailing, requires an ability to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected adversity. This dynamic is included in an oligopolistic spatial interaction model, and the system is shown to evolve to a novel and robust stochastic steady state known as self-organized criticality (SOC). One characteristic of the SOC state is that it allows small exogenous shocks to produce large responses at a rate greater than would be expected if the law of large numbers applied. This work represents the first known investigation of SOC in a marketing setting.

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