Factors determining inshopping in rural US communities

Katy Mullis (Coldwater Creek, Sandpoint, Idaho, USA)
Minjeong Kim (Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 26 April 2011



The purpose of this study is to determine factors influencing rural consumers' inshopping behaviours and to examine rural retailers' perceptions of the current rural retailing environment.


This study was comprised of two phases. In Phase 1, consumer surveys were conducted in three rural US communities. In Phase 2, in‐depth interviews with retailers selected from the same communities were conducted.


The findings of the consumer surveys supported all hypothesised relationships, except the direct effect of community attachment on inshopping intention. The findings of the retailer interviews provided useful insights as to the challenges rural retailers are currently facing.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications for both retailers and community leaders in rural places who wish to improve their understanding of the challenges and opportunities rural retailers face and subsequently develop strategies to promote inshopping behaviours.


This study examined both consumers and retailers in the context of rural retailing. Thus, the findings provide a more complete picture of the current retail industry in rural communities.



Mullis, K. and Kim, M. (2011), "Factors determining inshopping in rural US communities", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 326-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590551111130757

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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