The role of retailers as generators and mediators of new product ideas

  • Christian LüthjeEmail author


Research on open and user innovation has not addressed the role of retailers as a source of innovation. This paper investigates the activities of retailer employees to develop own ideas for product innovations (retailer as innovator) and explores the retailers’ efforts to obtain new product ideas from their customers (retailer as gatekeeper). We develop a model on potential facilitators that explain how active the retailers are with respect to both activities. Using data collected on 106 mangers of stationary sports equipment stores the analysis shows that a substantial fraction of the surveyed retailers develops new ideas, concepts, or prototype solutions for the products they sell in their stores. The findings also indicate that retailers, although they are the primary contact for end users of sport equipment, rarely receive substantial innovation-related input from their customers. Findings may help product manufacturers to select appropriate retailers for cooperation in new product development.


user innovation retailers sports equipment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für InnovationsmarketingTechnische Universität HamburgHamburgGermany

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