IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper





Food retailers present consumers with a complex market offering. They offer consumers an assortment of products sourced from numerous suppliers, along with various services within a retailer-controlled environment (Burt & Sparks 2002). Food retailers aim to offer an assortment of products and perform a variety of activities and services, which provide added value in the eyes of consumers (Burt 2000). In this connection, branding is becoming increasingly important, as food retailers develop their own brands within and across product categories. Many retailers are attempting to cultivate an overall brand identity in order to protect and identify their market offering (Burt & Sparks 2002). The assortment of products food retailers offer typically includes manufacturer brands, re-tailer brands and generic or unbranded products. In recent years, increasing competition in food retailing has made food retailers focus on whether they offer the "right" assort-ment to consumers. Under headings such as efficient consumer response (ECR) and cate-gory management (CM), retailers have been readjusting their assortments, delisting many brands that were deemed to be under-performing and including retailer branded products in an attempt to differentiate themselves by offering goods only available in their stores. Despite the importance of branding to retailers, the branding literature has focused on how manufacturers develop and maintain strong brands. Relatively little work has been done in the area of retail brands and even less about the interaction between retailer brands and manufacturer brands. In contrast, this paper develops a concept of retailer brand architecture, which captures that retailers typically offer an assortment of manu-facturer brands, retailer brands and generic products. In doing so we adapt the concept of brand architecture to a retail context. The concept of 'brand architecture', as originally developed by (Aaker & Joachimsthaler 2002), describes how the different brands used to market a range of products from the same manufacturer are related. The concept of brand architecture is based on the assumption that brands are not evaluated in isolation, but are placed in and evaluated within a broader context. This assumption is also important in a retail context. Consumers do not look at an isolated product or brand on the shelf. Their evaluation of the individual brand depends on the context; for instance, what other products are offered in the product category and in the retail outlet, previous experiences with the product or other products from the same manufacturer, as well as previous experiences with the retailer in question. In this paper, we take the concept of brand architecture and apply it to food retailers, con-ceptualising the brand architectures of food retailers as the portfolio of brands (gene-ric, retailer and manufacturer brands), which are included in the assortment of a retail concept (ie, a retail chain). In addition to developing a concept of 'retailer brand archi-tecture', we use this concept to investigate the brand architecture of a number of European food retailers in order to determine similarities and differences in brand architecture strategies. The paper is structured as follows: firstly, the concept of brand archi-tecture is presented. Secondly, the concept of brand architecture is applied to a retail setting and a number of other concepts important for understanding the brand architecture strategies of food retailers are introduced and discussed. Thirdly, the methodology used to investigate the brand architectures of European food retailers is discussed. Then, the findings from a shopping trip across Europe are presented. Finally, a discussion of the findings is provided and it is briefly considered how the findings of this study were used as input for a study of consumer perceptions of the brand architectures of food retailers. This subsequent study investigated whether consumers notice differences between the brand architectures of food retailers and how these are evaluated

Suggested Citation

  • Esbjerg, Lars & Grunert, Klaus G. & Bech-Larsen, Tino & Juhl, Hans Jørn & Brunsø, Karen, 2005. "MANUFACTURER AND RETAILER BRANDS IN FOOD RETAIL ASSORTMENTS Notes from a shopping trip across Europe," MAPP Working Papers 85, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, The MAPP Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:aarmap:0085

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph F. Porac & Howard Thomas & Charles Baden‐Fuller, 1989. "Competitive Groups As Cognitive Communities: The Case Of Scottish Knitwear Manufacturers," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 397-416, July.
    2. Roger Betancourt & David Gautschi, 1990. "Demand Complementarities, Household Production, and Retail Assortments," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(2), pages 146-161.
    3. Roger I. Hall, 1984. "The Natural Logic of Management Policy Making: Its Implications for the Survival of an Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(8), pages 905-927, August.
    4. Hall, Robert E., 2000. "Reorganization," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-22, June.
    5. Mittelstaedt, Robert A. & Stassen, Robert E., 1990. "Shopping behavior and retail merchandising strategies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 243-258, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Miles M Yang & Feifei Yang & Tingru Cui & Ying-Chu Cheng, 2019. "Analysing the dynamics of mental models using causal loop diagrams," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 44(3), pages 495-512, August.
    2. David P. Tegarden & Linda F. Tegarden & Steven D. Sheetz, 2009. "Cognitive Factions in a Top Management Team: Surfacing and Analyzing Cognitive Diversity using Causal Maps," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 537-566, November.
    3. Mark Bergen & Margaret A. Peteraf, 2002. "Competitor identification and competitor analysis: a broad-based managerial approach," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4-5), pages 157-169.
    4. Keh, Hean Tat & Chu, Singfat, 2003. "Retail productivity and scale economies at the firm level: a DEA approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 75-82, April.
    5. Matt Grimes, 2010. "Strategic Sensemaking within Funding Relationships: The Effects of Performance Measurement on Organizational Identity in the Social Sector," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 34(4), pages 763-783, July.
    6. Carroll, Charles, 1998. "Interdependence and the social structure of rivalry," Research Report 98B24, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    7. Huang, Kuo-Feng, 2009. "How do strategic groups handle cognitive complexity to sustain competitive advantage? A commentary essay," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1296-1298, December.
    8. D. VAN DEN POEL & Jan J. DE SCHAMPHELAERE & G. WETS, 2003. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Retail Promotions," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/202, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    9. Alexander Kalita & Alexander Chepurenko, 2020. "Competitiveness of Small and Medium Businesses and Competitive Pressure in the Manufacturing Industry," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 36-50.
    10. Högström, Claes & Tronvoll, Bård, 2012. "The enactment of socially embedded service systems: Fear and resourcing in the London Borough of Sutton," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 427-437.
    11. Gerard P. Hodgkinson & Barbara Burkhard & Nicolai J. Foss & Dietmar Grichnik & Riikka M. Sarala & Yi Tang & Marc Van Essen, 2023. "The Heuristics and Biases of Top Managers: Past, Present, and Future," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(5), pages 1033-1063, July.
    12. Rajeev K. Tyagi, 2004. "Technological Advances, Transaction Costs, and Consumer Welfare," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 335-344, January.
    13. Wheeler, Christopher H., 2007. "Job Flows And Productivity Dynamics: Evidence From U.S. Manufacturing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 175-201, April.
    14. Anindya Ghosh & Thomas Klueter, 2022. "The Role of Frictions due to Top Management in Alliance Termination Decisions: Insights from Established Bio‐Pharmaceutical Firms," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(5), pages 1315-1353, July.
    15. Violina P. Rindova & Luis L. Martins, 2018. "From Values to Value: Value Rationality and the Creation of Great Strategies," Strategy Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(1), pages 323-334, March.
    16. Urbany, Joel E. & Montgomery, David B. & Moore, Marian, 2001. "Competitive Reactions and Modes of Competitive Reasoning: Down-Playing the Unpredictable?," Research Papers 1707, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    17. Peter Recht & Stefan Zeisel, 1998. "Unterstützung von verbundorientierten Sortimentsentscheidungen durch eine Sortimentserfolgsrechnung," Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research, Springer, vol. 50(5), pages 462-478, May.
    18. Fabien Eymas & Faouzi Bensebaa, 2021. "Competitive strategies of entrepreneurs in the traditional service sector [Comportement concurrentiel des entrepreneurs du secteur des services traditionnels]," Post-Print hal-03960025, HAL.
    19. Fran Ackermann & Colin Eden & Igor Pyrko, 2016. "Accelerated Multi-Organization Conflict Resolution," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 901-922, September.
    20. Molina Morales, F. Xavier, 2000. "Geographical Embeddedness Of The Firm. A Case Study Based On The Knowledge-Based View," ERSA conference papers ersa00p346, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    No keywords;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhb:aarmap:0085. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Helle Vinbaek Stenholt (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.