Call for papers auf Deutsch

Retail Dialog Nr. 2: Call for Papers

City & Retail :: urban, suburban, virtual

Framework. The conference “City & Retail :: urban, suburban, virtual” (German/English) invites researchers on the 27th and 28th of November in 2014 to the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Background. The seminar focuses on growing importance of e-commerce within retail and consequences for space, city and retail itself on different scales. In this context, e-commerce is considered to be a revolutionary challenge and is discussed to alter existing structures fundamentally.

Addressee. In order to cope with the complexity of the object of research, the call is interdisciplinary. Among other disciplines, Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Management, Economic Sciences, Real Estate Industry, Geography, Logistics, and Transportation Science are addressed. Apart from scientists, students can participate.

Sessions. The key issue “E-Commerce, Retail and Space” will be discussed from different angles by five workgroups. Papers should be related to one of the following subtopics.

Within the urban context spatial production of the urban experience is a growing antipole to digital practice. Against this background local stationary retailers have to cope with a potent paradigm shift:

  • What is the influence of e-commerce on local stationary retail, public space and urban structure? To what extent can current planning instruments be adapted (legal provisions)?
  • Considering the “6-e” concept (embrace, engage, empower, employ, encourage and enjoy), how can the city be re-invented?
  • Which role play local governance processes in an effective town center management?

The growing use of the internet in terms of communication between companies on the one hand, as well as between companies and consumers on the other hand, poses new challenges for business strategies and models (e.g. merchandise logistics and presentation, payment scheme, sales approach).

  • Which forms of retail are most affected by e-commerce and could adapt to the paradigm shift (approaches to town centre resilience)? Which organizational supports and innovations facilitate this process?
  • Which effects of e-commerce influence the existing retail-cooperation?
  • Which new approaches and tools may do participatory place marketing projects most effective and efficient?

Future sales areas have to meet alternating requirements. They might transform into exhibition space. Apart from that, town centres and structures will change under the influence of e-commerce.

  • In what way will the interplay between physical and virtual consumer behavior have an impact on public spaces in town centres?
  • How does e-commerce influence store design and disposal of goods, in terms of the changing role of local stores and the use of stores for marketing purposes?
  • How does the cultural framework of the city and its historical heritage influence retail development in the city?

Spatially relevant transaction costs will be reduced due to the fact that direct supply organized by producers shortens distribution chains. On the contrary, in the field of transport of goods, the “atomization” of sendings provokes increasing delivery rates, high portions of returns and rising traffic volumes.

  • In which way can the (public) transport economies be used for the parcel distribution system?
  • How can existing city logistic structures (especially the last mile zone) adapt to current and future challenges when it comes to a growing importance of e-commerce?

Consumers are getting increasingly hybrid. E-commerce might reinforce this trend by amplifying decision options as well as using new technologies and the social media.

  • What is the influence of new technologies (the social media, wayfinding tools, retail apps etc.) on new retail concepts and shopping behavior in shopping areas?

What is the impact of the internationalization of higher education and the use of new technologies on retail system development in the city?


Applications should be sent in one single PDF file by email to cityandretail [at] Until July 21, 2014 results of the peer review process will be published on the web page and will be returned by e-mail to the authors as well. All proposals and contributions have to represent original research and must not have been published previously.

Full paper guidelines will be available until July 2014 on the web page

Authors of accepted contributions will be invited on their own account to the conference in Leipzig and are asked to present their paper in front of the audience. Accepted papers will be released in a publication with ISBN.

The conference’s host is the German network Wissensnetzwerk Stadt und Handel ( The network is perceived as a communication platform. Discussing topics in the field of city and retail it aims at improving the exchange of information between science and economy. Seven German universities form part of the network. It was founded in order to combat prevailing research shortcomings within this field of study.

Wichtige Informationen

Proposals for papers should consider the following aspects:
– title of the proposal
– applicant’s identification (name, institution, country, position, e-mail)
– curriculum vitae (schedular, should not exceed 300 words)
– abstract (should not exceed 500 words, German or English)

Submission of proposal until 23 June 2014
Feedback on general acceptance until 21 July 2014
Full paper for reviewing has to be submitted until 01 September 2014
Reviewing process until 30 October 2014
Presentation of reviewed paper on 27/28 November 2014
Final version of full paper for publication 15 December 2014
Publication will probably take place in Spring 2015

The conference fee for speakers of reviewed papers is EUR 140,- per person if your registration and payment are done until September 15, 2014. After that day, this fee rises to EUR 180,- per person.


Tanja Korzer and Marcus Hübscher
Institute of Urban Development and Construction Management
University of Leipzig, Germany

cityandretail [at]