An Exploratory Study of Chinese Own Label in Grocery Sector: the Case of Shanghai
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Research on own brand strategy has been extensively conducted in Western countries; especially in the UK, which represents the most advanced own brand market. However, there is a paucity of studies in this arena in developing markets, including the huge market of China. More research in these countries is encouraged. Competitive Advantage theories provide a framework for analyses of own brand development. Own brand research work and the UK own brand model present the guidance for comparing and contrasting the Chinese own label model. The existing research work provides an explanation for how and why the UK own brand model can excel in the Western markets. However, it has not fully explored whether these theories, coupled with the UK own brand model, can also be applied and adapted in the non-Western markets and, specifically, in China. This thesis presents a study, which was conducted in Shanghai. It provides insight into the development of Chinese own label marketing. The investigation has been conducted using the case study and triangulation approaches. The study has focused on the following three questions: What is the definition of Chinese own brand? What are the factors related to Chinese own label emergence and existence? What is a preferred Chinese own label model? The terms of ‘own label’ over ‘own brand’ have been defined in the context of China’s market. Eight key external and internal factors leading to the Chinese own label developments are identified. A preferred Chinese own label model has been developed on the basis of the Shanghai case study. The findings have provided some simple but relevant results with analyses for the further study of developing own brand theories and models in the non-Western market. The findings have also offered some basic guidance in the arena of own label research in China. The work suggests the directions for future studies.