Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research

For a Special Issue on

Resilience and change in retail, distribution and trade patterns - a supply chain view

Manuscript deadline
29 February 2024

Cover image - The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Daniel Ekwall, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business, University of Borås, Sweden Department of War Studies and Military History, Swedish Defence University, Sweden
[email protected]

Luca Urciuoli, Industrial Engineering and Management, KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden MIT-Zaragoza Logistics Center, Zaragoza, Spain Center for Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA

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Resilience and change in retail, distribution and trade patterns - a supply chain view

Businesses and their global supply chains, as we know, are changing. During the last few years, the world has experienced, one pandemic, container shipping crises, and a full-scale war in Ukraine on top of already existing problems linked to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, climate change, and the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008 including the comeback of global inflation. Experts point out that even when these crises are resolved, their effects will be around for a long time, requesting global businesses to adapt and rethink their medium-long-term strategies.


The existing business models, including production networks and global supply chains, are all under pressure to change. The literature and research linked to these topics have been increasing significantly, covering aspects like how to adapt and increase the robustness of critical sectors such as healthcare, food, semiconductors, transport, energy, etc. In addition, research is investigating how this adaptation process can be aligned with the ongoing industrial transformation, where changing agents like AI, digitalization, automation, and sustainability are being embraced by global private and public stakeholders. Altogether, these change agents are dramatically affecting everyday operations and future investments in all businesses.



Hence, research and the greater society, to cope with these changes, are striving for more resilience. In research, the general interest in resilience has increased dramatically during the last two decades. The outbreak of Covid-19 made this interest, more or less, go viral. In its simplest form, resilience refers to the ability to either adjust or adapt to a change, with the ideal aim to bounce back to “normality”. Commonly, resilience can be linked to several skills/abilities/features that both managers and organizations possess. e.g., flexibility, adaptability, perseverance, etc. These skills/abilities can lead to improvements, but even failures if not understood correctly. Furthermore, to improve these skills, on an organizational level, but more importantly, to use them wisely, leadership is also required.


To capture the broad concept of resilience linked to ongoing changes in the world, we welcome contributions to any aspect of retail, distribution, and trade patterns that act as an agent of change on existing structures in retailing, distribution, and trade patterns.  Conceptual papers are welcome, as are empirical papers using any methodological approach (e.g., case studies, cross-national comparative studies, surveys, etc.), and may focus on topics including, but not limited to, the following:


  • Logistics and retail management/distribution theories and practices
  • business models and operational practices
  • retail formats and channels
  • consumer and shopper behaviour
  • staff-customer interactions and relationships
  • the supply chain and supply chain management
  • the global freight system and transport in general
  • warehousing operations and postponement/value-added-services
  • retail sectors, organizational structures, and performance
  • the spatial structure of retail provision
  • the response of national, regional, and local authorities
  • the role of retailing in economic and societal recovery
  • the structure and shape of post-pandemic retailing
  • supply chains of special product types, e.g. fashion, food, construction materials etc.
  • supply chain security and resilience
  • reshoring and friendshoring
  • trade patterns
  • geopolitics and business behavior


This is not intended to be a proscriptive list and we welcome contributions on any topic related to the retail sector.