Massey launches new retail research centre and survey

The Big Issues in Retail Survey will be the most comprehensive review of the New Zealand retail sector for many years.

The Massey Business School has launched a new centre for retail research – and its first project will be a comprehensive survey of the New Zealand retail industry.

Associate Professor Jonathan Elms, who heads Massey’s retail programme, says the centre is the next logical step for the university after the successful launch of the country’s only retail-focused degree at the start of the year.

The new Centre for Advanced Retail Studies (CARS) brings together a broad range of Massey academics who currently research various aspects of the retail sector to encourge collaboration.

“We want to create a broader view of what retail is – it’s not just retail management, it’s consumer behaviour and culture, logistics, supply chain management, marketing… The centre is truly mutli-disciplinary and quite focused on external enagagement,” Dr Elms says.

“We are already collaborating with industry, retail trade associations and tertiary institutions overseas so we can really position Massey as one of the world leaders for retail sector research.”


Associate Professor Jonathan Elms, holder of the Sir Stephen Tindall Chair in Retail Management at Massey Business School.

What are the big issues in retail?

The centre’s first major research project is the ‘Big Issues in Retail Survey’, and Dr Elms is keen for as many New Zealand retailers as possible to participate. Massey has partnered with Retail New Zealand and Monash University in Melbourne on the survey, which closes on January 15, 2016.

“This research project will really take the pulse of the New Zealand retail industry and will be the most comprehensive review of the sector undertaken for many years,” Dr Elms says. “We want to understand the practicalities of operating in the current retail environment, including marketing spend and metrics, HR issues, supply chain collaboration and buying practices, changing consumer behaviour and service demands.

“We also want to identify future trends and challenges, including the impact of technology and the internet, sustainability and the impact of internationalisation on the sector. The findings will inform our future research projects and teaching programmes, as well as provide valuable insights to retailers.”

Monash University, which has had a strong retail research programme for over 30 years, will assist with the analysis and also provide some comparisons with the data it has collected from Australian retailers.

The Big Issues in Retail Survey will be conducted annually, Dr Elms says, to allow for year-on-year comparisons and he also hopes Monash University will run the same survey in Australia from next year. He is seeking respondents from retail companies of all sizes and sectors.

The initial findings will be presented at Retail NZ’s forum in Auckland on February 16, 2016.

To complete the survey go to:


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