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26 May 2014

Local food stores: how to make a difference by promoting proximity?

Praised by consumers, proximity stores still have to face supermarkets' competition and need to adapt to changing purchasing behaviors. How to revive small local stores? This was the question Aurelie Merle, Professor in the Marketing Department, had to address during the "Class'Affaires" TV show. She has also published a research article on the topic of perceived proximity in direct selling of food products in Decisions Marketing.


Hérault-Fournier C., Merle A. et Prigent-Simonin A.H., 2014. Diagnostiquer la proximité perçue en vente directe de produits alimentaires , Décisions Marketing, 73: 85-104. 


In line with the Editorial of Decisions Marketing "Is proximity a new marketing trend?", the aim of this article is to question the managerial relevance of the concept of proximity within the context of direct selling of food products. Through empirical studies in three supply chains - French CSA (AMAP), farm shops and direct selling on markets- we show the interest of assessing perceived proximity since it has a positive influence on consumers trust towards the studied supply chains and allows to discriminate them. The relevance of the concept of proximity being supported, recommendations are then emphasized on two points: which kinds of proximity to encourage and how to enhance proximity in food direct selling.