02.02.2011

Finnish research examines the future of specialty retail trade

Research will explore changes in consumers' attitudes and behavior, future markets and the development of specialty retail business models.

Under the Erika 2020 project, researchers from the Finnish universities of Turku, Tampere and Jyväskylä will examine the attitudes, lifestyles and expectations of a future consumer, with the aim of discovering changes in consumers' attitudes and behaviour in the purchases of specialty goods. The purpose of the research is to outline the vision of the markets of specialty goods in the future and to develop specialty retail business models.

Consumers’ views on what constitute essential services have changed in the past decade and people are shifting more towards things that give them personal pleasure, according to Professor Terhi-Anna Wilska from the University of Jyväskylä. She believes that customers are looking for more meaning in the act of making a purchase and no longer get pleasure from simply shopping. More meaningful shopping can be produced by deepening a service, says Wilska.

The research will also focus on the future of specialty retail on the Internet. Researchers will analyse current business models of specialty retail in Finland and outline successful foreign business models based on the Internet and multichannel marketing, and evaluate their feasibility in Finnish markets.

The Aalto University’s Future Store online research environment has also been launched, bringing together retail trade researchers, directors and experts with the objective of creating innovations for the future of the retail business.

Sources: Kauppalehti, University of Jyväskylä