The haven of the self-service store – A study of the fruit and vegetable department’s influence on customer attitudes towards food chain stores
AbstractAs a result of the increased competition between self-service chains, retail managers try to strengthen store identity and customer loyalty to an increasing degree. In this respect a number of measures, as for example service management and direct marketing programmes, have been instigated. Most of these developments have concentrated on the peripheral spheres of the purchase decision situation. More recently retail managers have concentrated their efforts on the departments believed to be most important to customers’ overall shopping experience and attitudes towards the store. So far, academic studies of which departments are the most important ones to customer attitudes, and how these attitudes are influenced by department specific factors, have been scarce, however. Unlike most other departments of a self-service chain store, the fruit and vegetable department gives ample opportunity for differentiation and creation of store identity. This has been demonstrated by a few progressive retailers who changed the fruit and vegetable department into a haven* where the self-service customer gets an inspiring break from the stressful ventures in the aisles with pre-packed goods, which look alike in most self-service stores. With an outset in broad range theories of consumer choice and environmental psychology, this paper discusses a number of reasons why the fruit and vegetable department can be one of the keys to chain differentiation and creation of positive customer attitudes to the store. Also the paper describes the results of two empirical studies (a focus group and a survey), which explore customer-perceived quality dimensions of the fruit and vegetable department and the extent to which these dimensions influence customer attitudes towards the department and towards the store in general.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, The MAPP Centre in its series MAPP Working Papers with number 70.
Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2000
Date of revision:
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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, The MAPP Centre, Fuglesangs Allé 4, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
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Web page: http://www.asb.dk/centres/mapp.aspx
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Consumer behaviour; Buying behaviour; Self-service chain stores; Fruits; Vegetables;
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- Foxall, Gordon R., 1997. "The emotional texture of consumer environments: A systematic approach to atmospherics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 505-523, September.
- Thomas J. Hoban, 1998. "Food industry innovation: Efficient consumer response," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 235-245.
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