Retail in the Community: Beyond the Buyer-Seller Transaction

Date and time
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
18.30 - 20.30


An inaugural lecture by Professor Carley Foster.

Inaugural lecture: Professor Carley Foster

Professor Carley Foster will explore the role of retail in the community by drawing upon her own research with large and smaller independent retailers in addition to the wider academic literature. Professor Foster's premise is that retailing should not be viewed just in terms of buyer-seller transactions. Indeed, the view that high street retailing is simply an exchange of goods and services is one of the reasons why we are witnessing a decline in our town centres. Retailers should be viewed as having an important role in improving the sense of community, identity and place in town centres as a way of attracting shoppers, visitors and retail staff, particularly but not exclusively in challenging trading conditions.

In her lecture, Professor Foster will explore how retailers can create a retail experience for customers which reflects the community they serve and embed themselves in the local area by working with key stakeholders. By co-creating a community retail experience and moving away from a sole focus on transactional retailing, retailers can position themselves as a key element of the town centre jigsaw, alongside complementary services and attractions. In doing this, retailers can begin to protect themselves from a turbulent retail environment and instead have an active role in the evolving, reincarnated high street.

Professor Carley Foster

Carley Foster is Professor of Services Marketing and Head of the Centre for Business Improvement. Her research focuses on services marketing and retailing, particularly in terms of how organisations and customers engage with one another in a 'responsible' way. She is an experienced retailer, working with Boots, B&Q, WHSmith and Tesco and holds several academic and industry positions.

After completing her PhD in 2003, she was the first ESRC postdoctoral fellow at Nottingham Business School. She has over 80 publications and her work has been funded by organisations such as Innovate UK, the Academy of Marketing, the European Social Fund and the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies. She is an experienced doctoral supervisor and has taught in France and the USA. She is currently leading the REF submission for Business and Management Studies at the University.

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