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Digitalization of convenience retail in Ireland: How Irish convenience retail companies adapt to changing market demands with aid of digital transformation

Polyaninova, Taya (2021) Digitalization of convenience retail in Ireland: How Irish convenience retail companies adapt to changing market demands with aid of digital transformation. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Digitalization is becoming an extremely important element within any of the business industries. In order for businesses to survive in the digital era and stay competitive, they must be able to adapt. Research shows that convenience retail is much slower to progress with digital transformation. Irish convenience stores are very important to both local communities as well as the Irish economy, with industry annually generating €8.6BN in revenue. Despite the importance of digitalization, prior to the pandemic, as much as 46% of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) did not consider online platforms as a priority to them. But the influence of external factors, such as changing customer trends and demands, regulatory requirements and the COVID pandemic have driven the need for improved digitalization within the sector.

This research was carried out to explore how digitalization affects convenience retail in Ireland. The focus was on establishing whether convenience retail stores perceive digitalization as an important element of their business strategy and how they use technological advancements to improve levels of shopping experience. This was carried out through a qualitative study consisting of semi-structured interviews that were carried out with Irish convenience store owners, managers as well as a representative of a convenience Buying Group. It was found that a number of challenges currently present within industry that prevents digital transformation. Grounds for resistance to change have shown to have different reasoning to different business owners. Another obstacle to progression was brought by the COVID pandemic, as some businesses were seen to be affected financially and were reluctant to invest into technologies, as their business priority has shifted to a ‘survival’ rather than ‘improvement’ mode. Thematic analysis showed that whilst Irish convenience retail is much behind in terms of digitalization, it is clearly part of the future strategies. As digitalization in convenience retail sector is an evolving concept, the proposed research is of a great benefit, as limited literature exists on the topic and proposed research would provide basis for future research work.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Electronic Commerce
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > Ireland
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Retail Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2022 16:19
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2022 16:19
URI: https://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5361

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