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Are data a source of unassailable competitive advantage in retailing? 17.05.22

The role of data as a source of competitive advantage has emerged as a key competition issue. In particular, very general concerns have been voiced regarding the competition implications of some digital platforms having superior access to data. Against this background, Benoît Durand and Iestyn Williams investigate the extent to which these general concerns are likely to apply to the retail sector specifically. Different retailers have different uses for data, and different data needs, depending on their business models and commercial strategies. Crucially, data analytics are not an end in themselves in retailing. Moreover, many other factors affect retail success. Any assessment of the competitive effects of data in a retail setting must, therefore, involve a holistic appraisal of the different aspects of retail competition, whether data-driven or not.

Durand and Williams – Are data a source of unassailable competitive advantage in retailing – May 2022