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The management of deshopping and its effects on service: A mass market case study

Tamira King (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Charles Dennis (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)
Joanne McHendry (Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 24 July 2007

1749

Abstract

Purpose

Deshopping is the return of products, after they have fulfilled the purpose for which they were borrowed. Previous research indicates that deshopping is a prevalent and growing consumer behaviour. This paper seeks to examine deshopping from a retail perspective. It is a case study of interviews conducted with a mass‐market retailer, to investigate their awareness and management of this behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a case study of nine interviews conducted with different levels of staff at a mass‐market retailer in their flagship London store, to investigate their awareness and management of deshopping.

Findings

The findings demonstrate the beliefs, attitudes and emotions of the different levels of employees towards deshopping and demonstrate their attempts to manage deshopping and combat the negative affects of this on customer service.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research is that it is only conducted with one high‐street retailer. However, it is important to highlight that this is a large women's wear retailer which is highly representative of other retailers within the sector. There is little detail given regarding the retailer itself or their fundamentals of the actual customer service policy; this is due to the confidentiality agreement between the researcher and retailer. It is important to acknowledge the sensitivity of this type of research to retailers who are reluctant to have this information publicised. It is also important to acknowledge that many retailers have not made any attempts to manage this behaviour by restricting their returns policy. So, this research case study is conducted with a retailer that is actively introducing change to manage this behaviour.

Practical implications

The research concludes with the implications of deshopping and its management and makes recommendations on how to reduce deshopping whilst maintaining customer service for the genuine consumer.

Originality/value

This is the first case study with a mass‐market retailer, highlighting their approaches towards managing deshopping whilst trying to maintain customer service.

Keywords

Citation

King, T., Dennis, C. and McHendry, J. (2007), "The management of deshopping and its effects on service: A mass market case study", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35 No. 9, pp. 720-733. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550710773264

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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