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Retail knockoffs: Consumer acceptance and rejection of inauthentic retailers


  • Rosenbaum, Mark S.
  • Cheng, Mingming
  • Wong, Ipkin Anthony


This study extends the counterfeit product paradigm by examining an unexplored area in services – namely, the existence of inauthentic retail establishments, or so-called retail knockoffs. These fake establishments mimic the service and product offerings of genuine establishments, such as Starbucks, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Apple, and others, prevailing across Southeast Asia, primarily in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. By employing grounded theory methodology, this study offers an original framework that illustrates why consumers accept and patronize both authentic and inauthentic retail establishments. The model shows that many consumers are satisfied with counterfeit servicescapes and that some fake retail and service establishments are ironically building a loyal customer following. Thus, service organizations should respond to these inauthentic companies by viewing them as potential partners for innovation and expansion, rather than as future adversaries for costly litigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosenbaum, Mark S. & Cheng, Mingming & Wong, Ipkin Anthony, 2016. "Retail knockoffs: Consumer acceptance and rejection of inauthentic retailers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 2448-2455.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:69:y:2016:i:7:p:2448-2455
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.01.015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meera Venkatraman & Teresa Nelson, 2008. "From servicescape to consumptionscape: a photo-elicitation study of Starbucks in the New China," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(6), pages 1010-1026, September.
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    5. Jungkeun Kim & Jae-Eun Kim & Jongwon Park, 2012. "Effects of cognitive resource availability on consumer decisions involving counterfeit products: The role of perceived justification," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 869-881, September.
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    7. Staake, Thorsten & Thiesse, Frédéric & Fleisch, Elgar, 2012. "Business strategies in the counterfeit market," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 658-665.
    8. Shibin Sheng & Kevin Zheng Zhou & L. Lessassy, 2013. "NPD speed vs. innovativeness: The contingent impact of institutional and market environments," Post-Print halshs-00862665, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Appel, Gil & Libai, Barak & Muller, Eitan, 2018. "On the monetary impact of fashion design piracy," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 591-610.
    2. Paul, Justin & Rosenbaum, Mark, 2020. "Retailing and consumer services at a tipping point: New conceptual frameworks and theoretical models," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    3. Riegger, Anne-Sophie & Klein, Jan F. & Merfeld, Katrin & Henkel, Sven, 2021. "Technology-enabled personalization in retail stores: Understanding drivers and barriers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 140-155.

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