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Perspectives in Food e-Tailing – is Logistical Performance Always Essential to Develop a Sustainable Competitive Advantage?

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  • Gilles PACHE

    (Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion, Université de la Méditerranée (Aix-Marseille II), France)

Abstract

The e-grocery industry has been experiencing a slow but undeniable development in several European countries for the last ten years. France does not escape the phenomenon, and several large food retailers managing conventional hypermarkets and supermarkets have launched out into online selling, particularly Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world, just after the American Wal-Mart. Numerous academic works underline the significance of logistical performance as a source of competitive advantage for e-grocers, by emphasizing the perfect organization of the “last mile”. This article wishes to take the opposite view of the paradigm of logistical excellence and raise issues at two levels. First, environmental constraints will increasingly and systematically force local authorities to strictly regulate city transport and this will lead to a sharing of logistical resources between companies. Secondly, logistical performance is one element among others in e-grocers’ e-tailing mix, and it is not certain that it represents the most important element for e-consumers. Our study is conducted within the framework of the French context and based both on a theoretical background and on data from field studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles PACHE, 2008. "Perspectives in Food e-Tailing – is Logistical Performance Always Essential to Develop a Sustainable Competitive Advantage?," Timisoara Journal of Economics, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(2), pages 163-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:wun:journl:tje:v01:y2008:i02:a03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dablanc, Laetitia, 2007. "Goods transport in large European cities: Difficult to organize, difficult to modernize," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 280-285, March.
    2. Cowles, Deborah L. & Kiecker, Pamela & Little, Michael W., 2002. "Using key informant insights as a foundation for e-retailing theory development," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 629-636, August.
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