JIBS receives grant for project on free riding

Three researchers at Jönköping International Business School have received funds from the Hakon Swenson Foundation for a research project on free riding in the retail industry. 

Free riding, also known as ‘show rooming’, is the growing consumer phenomenon of obtaining information and trying out products in one channel (store online or offline) while buying it (preferably to a lower price) in a different channel. This worries retailers of physical stores who see their customers move to online stores, while taking benefit from the services they provide.

JIBS’ researchers Anette Johansson, Benjamin Hartmann and Hamid Jafari at MMTC (Media Management and Transformation Centre) and CeLS (Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management) have together with Anna Nyberg at Stockholm School of Economics received a generous research grant from the Hakon Swenson Foundation for a research project on this phenomenon.

“The free riding behaviour is troublesome in several ways, but can also open up for new and creative strategies to work with it, not against it. We hope that the findings from our study will help retail firms when making future decisions regarding their marketing strategies”, says Anette Johansson.

The purpose of the project is to identify strategies for the retail business to handle free riding in a way that can create value for consumers as well as the retail business. SEK 475,000 was granted for this one-year project, which will explore the free riding phenomenon from three different perspectives: the retailers', the consumers' and the medias'.