The Tragedy of Retail: An Investigation in the strategical Considerations for the Danish Design Furniture Retailers in the Post-digital Age

Peter Mandrup Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis aims to cut through the hot air that much of strategical management lingo is infected with and to overcome the orthodox way of doing business as a design furniture retailer in the age of Amazon.com. To understand that, the Danish furniture manufacturer and retailer BoConcept is used as a case, and therefore this paper is about how BoConcept can overcome orthodox strategical thinking and break free from the infected strategical management lingo. The essential point of the thesis’ theoretical basis is the work of Keith E. Thompson and Yat Ling Chen’s understanding of hedonism in retail, as well as Joseph Pine and James Gilmore’s concept of business authenticity and Slavoj Žižek’s concept of ideology.
Through a means-end analysis, this thesis shows that future furniture customers show a paradoxical buying behavior, since the customers expect shopping to be an experience, but at the same time, customers want it to be convenient. BoConcept should therefore not only be giving the customers the best service and the right design but also making sure that it is made convenient enough for the customer. For a company like BoConcept, they focus on e-commerce to cater to the demand for convenience. Hence, Amazon.com has proved that convenience can come through e-commerce. Many retailers, including BoConcept, are struggling to follow the pace Amazon.com is setting, and therefore they have a heavy focus on e-commerce. However, the analysis of the norms in the industry show that it is the retailers, including BoConcept, who set the norms. BoConcept is captured in an ideological fantasy where the orthodox strategical lingo is defined as the truth, and the salvation of the problem with the lack of convenience is to follow Amazon’s way of doing business, and since they are captured in that ideological fantasy, they have a conflict with being an authentic company.

EducationsMsc in Business Administration and Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages108