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Oxford Institute of Retail Management

Oxford Institute of Retail Management


OXIRM embarks on Knowledge Transfer Partnership

OXIRM’s proposal to establish a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores has been approved by the Partnerships Approvals Group. ACS is a trade association representing 33,500 local shops, either through direct membership or membership from symbol and multiple groups.

The Partnership will fund the appointment of a KTP Associate to explore the economic, social and environmental contribution of local shops to their communities and to identify and embed best commercial practice. This is the Said Business School’s first KTP and it is particularly appropriate that it focus upon the needs of smaller businesses.

The award forms part of OXIRM’s commitment to the Retail Industry Business Engagement Network (RIBEN) which is a collaboration between researchers in the Universities of Oxford, Surrey, Southampton and Leeds, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council.

The retail sector within the UK faces unprecedented contemporary challenges. For the independent retailing sector and especially for local shops, these challenges build upon longer term threats to their economic success.

It is popularly thought that such businesses play a vital role in safeguarding the viability and vitality of local communities. But little objective, authoritative evidence exists to support this view. It is often suggested that embedded within the sector can be found countless examples of good practice. However, the suspicion is that many of these examples are poorly understood and rarely shared.

This partnership provides an opportunity for a trade association representing a significant number of local shops to develop a detailed and authoritative evidence base of the economic, social and environmental contribution of those businesses to the communities in which they operate and, cumulatively, to the nation as a whole.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. A KTP achieves this through forming a Partnership between a business and an academic institution, enabling the firm to access skills and expertise to help its business to develop.

Funded by the Technology Strategy Board, KTP is also one of Europe’s largest graduate recruitment programmes.