Manufacturers in Online Retail

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Reconfiguration of Value Added Chains: Are manufacturers replacing retail with their own online shops?

Since roughly 2008, a trend has emerged with manufacturers acting as online retailers, thus bypassing (intermediary) retailers, in contrast to the traditional "manufacturer-retailer-customer" valued added chain, which has characterized the prevailing supply chain of different goods for decades.

Within this project we aim to highlight what effects a manufacturer's online shop has on the relationships and power structure of the previous value added chain structures. Our theoretical approach stems from GEREFFI et. al. (2005) and their theory on global value chains. Both processes beforehand (suppliers) and afterwards (retail, specialized retail, consumer) are affected.

This is currently noticeable in the clothing and shoe sector. For a long time shoe in particular were not considered an e-commerce product. However, online retail for shoes is presently experiencing a downright boom. According to IHK Cologne's prognoses, profits from German online shoe retailers will pass 4.5 billion euros by 2021. For this reason, the shoe sector serves as an excellent focus of our investigations.