Are fashion supply chains capable of coopetition? An exploratory study in the UK

Piyya Muhammad Rafi-Ul-Shan, David B. Grant*, Patsy Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Fashion supply chains are characterised by pressure for low cost and short lead times and face increasing requirements for social and environmental compliance. Hence, fashion retailers have recognised a greater need for collaborating with competitors in upstream supply chain activities, despite competing against each other downstream in the marketplace. This notion of ‘coopetitive’ relationships, a nascent research area, motivated this paper’s case study of six UK-headquartered fashion companies to explore how and why they engage in areas of coopetition interaction and their management of inherent tensions in these relations. Capacity sharing, communication and information sharing, and building relationships/partnerships emerged as motives. The companies exhibited a processual approach to coopetition against a challenging landscape of institutional tensions, which included retailer pressure and organisational structures. Despite risks of opportunism, coopetition was found to be a useful strategy and highly influential for competitive advantage and sustainability in this volatile and dynamic industry sector.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)278-295
Publication statusPublished - 23.06.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • coopetition
  • fashion supply chains
  • supply chain sustainability
  • case study
  • United Kingdom

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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