Professor Steve Wood

Dean of Surrey Business School and Professor of Retail Marketing and Management

Academic and research departments

Surrey Business School.


University roles and responsibilities

  • Director of Research, Surrey Business School (2016 – 2020)
  • Member of Surrey Business School Senior Management Team (2016 – present)
  • Head of Department for Marketing and Retail Management, Surrey Business School (Prior to 2016).

    My qualifications

    2007 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), University of Surrey
    2001 PhD Economic Geography: Corporate Restructuring, Regulation and Competitive Space: The Case of the US Department Store Industry, University of Southampton.
    1998 BA (Hons) Geography 1st Class, University of Southampton.

    Affiliations and memberships

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
    Member of the European Association for Education and Research in Commercial Distribution (EAERCD)
    Honorary Member of the Society for Location Analysis (SLA)
    Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)
    Member of the ESRC Peer Review College (2015-present)


    Research interests


    Postgraduate research supervision




    Please see my Research Gate site where I add open access versions of all of my publications.  If you want the journal typeset version and do not have access, just send me an email ( and I will send you a pdf.

    Perry, P., Fernie, J. and Wood, S. (2014) “The international fashion supply chain and corporate social responsibility”. In Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. (eds.) (2014) Logistics and Retail Management, 4th Edition, Kogan Page, pp. 77-100. ISBN: 978-0749468231
    Wrigley, N. and Wood, S. (2018) “An economic geography of globalizing retail: emergence, characteristics, contribution”. In Cook, G, Beaverstock, J, Johns, J, McDonald, F & Pandit, N (Eds.), 2018, The Routledge Companion to the Geography of International Business. London & New York, Routledge, pp 477-492. ISBN: 9781138953345
    Perry, P., Wood, S. (2019) “Exploring the international fashion supply chain and corporate social responsibility: cost, responsiveness and ethical implications”. In Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. (eds.) (2019) Logistics and Retail Management, 5th Edition, Kogan, pp. 97-127. EAN: 9780749481605
    Amsl, S., Watson, I., Teller, C., and Wood, S. (2023) “Product Information Failures on Websites and their Impact on Mobile Shopping Outcomes”. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 51 No. 9/10, pp. 1135-1157

    Purpose – Inaccurate product information on retail websites lead to dissatisfied customers and profit losses.
    Yet, the effects of product information failures (PIFs) remain under-explored, with the mobile commerce
    channel commonly overlooked. This paper aims (1) to investigate the negative effects of PIFs on shoppers’
    attitudes and behaviours in a mobile context. The authors further (2) evaluate the impacts of the cause and
    duration of a PIF, changes of expectations towards the retailer after a PIF occurred and how previous mobile
    shopping experience in general decreases the effects of PIFs.
    Design/methodology/approach – The authors conducted a scenario-based experiment with a one-factorial
    between-subjects design. The six most common PIFs of an international leading online fashion retailer are
    operationalized and tested against a control group. The final sample consists out of 758 mobile shoppers from
    the UK.
    Findings – The results demonstrate that the perceived severity of PIFs based on showing customers incorrect
    information is higher when key information is lacking. Further, when the cause of a PIF is attributed to the
    retailer, it results in higher recovery expectations towards them. The results also reveal that respondents who
    have shopped mobile before perceive PIFs as less severe than inexperienced ones.
    Originality/value – This research expands the online service failure literature by examining PIFs and its
    effects in the specific context of mobile commerce. The authors also provide recommendations for a better
    management of PIFs like the incorporation of PIFs information into reporting packs.

    Amsl, S., Watson, I., Teller, C., and Wood, S. (2023) “Presenting Products on Websites – the Importance of Information Quality Criteria for Online Shoppers”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 51 No. 9/10, pp. 1213-1238.

    Online shoppers make product purchase decisions based on product information shown on a retailer’s website and potentially in comparison to that seen on competitors’ websites. Insufficient, poor quality or missing information about a product can lead to reduced retailer sales. Measuring online Product Information Quality (PIQ) is therefore an essential element in helping retailers maximize their potential success. This paper aims (1) to identify directly quantifiable PIQ criteria, (2) to assess the effects of PIQ and (3) to evaluate the moderating effect of product involvement. We conducted a scenario-based experiment within 3,544 DIY online shoppers from the UK. Within an 8x2x2 between-subjects design we manipulated the factors PIQ criteria (8), PIQ level (2) and product type (2). The findings support that poor PIQ has a negative impact on consumers online shopping outcomes. We also found that the effects of PIQ differ between the various criteria, the product category and the level of consumer involvement in the selling process. In the context of product depiction, title readability and product attribute comparability with other retailers’ websites a high level of PIQ is required. Moreover, high involvement products need a higher level of PIQ than low involvement products. This research expands website quality and service failure literature by introducing PIQ criteria and its effects in the context of online retailing. We also establish actionable managerial recommendations to assist retailers to embrace and utilize PIQ to better understand their own potential website, and thus business, improvements.

    Schwendtner, T, Amsl, S., Teller, C., and Wood, S. (2024) “Shopping Behaviour of Elderly Consumers: Change and Stability during Times of Crisis” International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 52 No. 13, pp. 1-15.

    Purpose – Different age groups display different shopping patterns in terms of how and where consumers buy products. During times of crisis such behavioural differences become even more striking yet remain under-researched with respect to elderly consumers. This paper investigates the impact of age on retail related behavioural changes and behavioural stability of elderly shoppers (in comparison to younger consumers) during a crisis.
    Methodology – We surveyed 643 Austrian consumers to assess the impact of perceived threat on behavioural change and the moderating effect of age-groups. Based on findings from this survey, we subsequently conducted 51 semi-structured interviews to understand the causes of behavioural change and behavioural stability during a crisis.
    Findings – Elderly shoppers display more stable shopping behaviour during a crisis compared to younger consumers, which is influenced by perceived threat related to the crisis. Such findings indicate that elderly shoppers reinforce their learnt and embedded shopping patterns. The causes of change and stability in behaviour include environmental and interpersonal factors.
    Originality – Through the lens of Social Cognitive Theory, Protection Motivation Theory and Dual Process Theory, this research contributes to an improved understanding of changes in shopping behaviour of elderly consumers, its antecedents, and consequences during a time of crisis. We reveal reasons that lead to behavioural stability, hence the absence of change, in terms of shopping during a crisis. We further outline implications for retailers that might wish to better respond to shopping behaviours of the elderly.
    Keywords – Elderly Shoppers, Shopping Behaviour, Causes, Consequences, Crisis, Change
    and Stability
    Article classification – Research paper

    Han, Z., Wood, S., Coe, N., and Alexander, A. (2024) “Conceptualising the co-evolution of China’s industrial and institutional environment for cross-border e-commerce”. Geoforum (in press – accepted for publication, May 2024)

    This paper conceptualises the industrial and institutional co-evolution of the Chinese import cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) industry, led by digital platform firms, over the decade 2012-2022. By drawing on empirical interview data and extensive secondary material from industry and government sources, and applying Gong and Hassink’s (2019a) framework of industrial-institutional co-evolution, we develop a three-phase conceptualisation to assess how industrial and institutional dynamics have developed in tandem, leading to significant regional development through CBEC pilot zones. Contrasting with research that has implied limited agency of industrial actors in a Chinese state-led institutional environment, our analysis explores how leading platform firms have successfully legitimised their role in the sector through government engagement and lobbying activities. Further, and in contrast with recent regulatory tightening with respect to the wider activities of platform firms, the technological infrastructure and associated data transparency offered by the platforms has led the Chinese state to set aside oligopolistic antitrust concerns in its regulation of this industry.