Bullseye: An argument for effectively managing retail stakeholder relationships

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We introduce the idea of a “stakeholder concentration index” to understand how focusing on relationships with a few stakeholders (rather than many) impacts a retailer's annual sales. By estimating a series of equations, we show that the most successful retailers build relationships with many stakeholders. We also show that the most successful retailers have very active stakeholder management strategies, as evidenced by their issuance of many press announcements. Finally, we begin the process of identifying those stakeholders that are most (least) important to achieving high sales. We specifically find that employees have the largest direct impact on retail sales, while investors and the legal and regulatory community have the smallest impacts. Ultimately, this research advances marketing theory and provides retailers with a strategic direction as they deploy resources.

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