Merchandising/Marketing/Retailing: Branding

Small Retail Businesses' Varied Perceptions of Market Competition

  • Sang-Eun Byun (Auburn University)
  • Whitney Ginder (Auburn University)
  • Hyejeong Kim (California State University, Long Beach)
  • Siyuan Han (Auburn University)
  • Carol Centrallo (Auburn University)


This study aimed to investigate: (1) how small businesses perceive market competition within/outside the community and what their underlying reasons are; and (2) how their perceived competition varies with the level of business revenue and innovativeness. Potential samples were selected using We interviewed 51 small business owners/managers in eight southeastern cities, focusing on stores that carry non-durable products (e.g., fashion goods). This study found that 45% of participants expressed increasing competitive pressures and threats, whereas 55% did not feel competition. Multiple-response crosstab analysis showed that the majority (73%) of the businesses with higher revenue did not feel competition, whereas the businesses with lower revenue had a split view on perceived competition. This study revealed that small businesses might not fully understand or recognize the nature of post-recession competition or thoroughly scan their external business environment. Small businesses must specify their strongest competition and broaden perceptions of potential competitors.

How to Cite:

Byun, S., Ginder, W., Kim, H., Han, S. & Centrallo, C., (2016) “Small Retail Businesses' Varied Perceptions of Market Competition”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 73(1).

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Published on
09 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed