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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)278-295
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications on 23/06/2020, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Coopetition
  • United Kingdom
  • case study
  • fashion supply chains
  • supply chain sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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