||The composite retail industry includes four sub-industries: Supermarket, department stores, warehouse, and convenient stores. Over past decades, the evolutionary profile of this industry has changed significantly. However, the literature has not paid attention to the life cycle of the four sub-industries and the effects of external environment on the change of overall industry thus far. Equally, because the industry boundary becomes more and more vague, the cannibalization phenomenon among the four sub-industries are far more evident than ever before. As a result, the competitive dynamics of one sub-industry cannot be clearly identified without taking the overall industry into consideration.|
To address the aforementioned gaps in the literature, the study employs the business ecosystem perspective, the PEST (politics, economics, social, and technology) framework, and the industry life cycle perspective and conduct secondary data analyses, case studies and expert in-depth interview in order to identify the evolutionary process and the past and future competitive profile of the composite retail industry, as well as the critical environmental factors that influence the change of the industry.
This study may be the first research that examines the evolution of an industry (or specifically the composite retail industry) from the macro ecosystem perspective. The research results has offered important evidence with regard to the cross-border integration and competition among adjacent industries. The findings also have implications for firms concerning how to position themselves in cross-industry competition and thus gain competitive advantage in an ecosystem. Limitations and future directions are discussed as well.