Retail store loyalty: a comparison of two customer segments

Ugur Yavas (Department of Management and Marketing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA)
Emin Babakus (The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 8 May 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine if various measures of loyalty (satisfaction, continued patronage and share of wallet) converge or diverge. A related objective of the study is to examine the relative efficacies of merchandise quality, interaction quality, price and store environment in inducing store loyalty for two customer segments of a national automotive parts and accessories retailer in the USA. The two segments are the do‐it‐yourself customers and the professional customers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for the study are collected via mail questionnaires. Usable responses are obtained from 17,034 customers. In operationalizing store loyalty, affective, conative and action‐related measures are used.

Findings

The results altogether suggest that merchandise quality is an effective predictor of loyalty but perhaps not as critical or dominant as interaction quality. Results also show that similar factors consistently exert like influence in generating loyalty for the two customer segments.

Research limitations/implications

The efficacies of other antecedent variables (e.g. perceived value/value for money) as drivers of store loyalty should be examined. Also, it would be worthwhile to investigate the possible moderating role of demographic characteristics (e.g. gender) and situational characteristics (e.g. critical incident recovery) in attenuating the relationships between the antecedent variables and store loyalty.

Practical implications

To reinforce loyalty among its both do‐it‐yourself and professional customers, the focal retailer should continue to enhance the interaction skills of current and prospective employees via careful selection, training and motivation.

Originality/value

The paper shows that the three measures of loyalty (satisfaction, continued patronage and share of wallet) converge. The strongest correlations are between affective and conative loyalty.

Keywords

Citation

Yavas, U. and Babakus, E. (2009), "Retail store loyalty: a comparison of two customer segments", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 37 No. 6, pp. 477-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550910956223

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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