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The variables influencing consumer information search strategies: Christmas shopping in Lebanon

Mehmet Haluk Köksal (S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to examine the personal, situational and socio‐demographic factors influencing consumer information search strategies whilst Christmas shopping in a religiously‐diverse Middle Eastern country: Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire (adopted from Laroche, Saad, Browne, Cleveland, and Kim) was employed as the data collection procedure. Respondents were chosen by systematic random sampling in malls, department stores and retail outlets in the Lebanese capital, Beirut for over a three‐week period immediately prior to Christmas Day, 25 December 2008. The study sample comprised 400 respondents: 188 female and 212 male.

Findings

The study identified the effects of some personal and situational factors on the different consumer information search strategies. Of the personal factors, it was found that the bargain hunters sought general and specific information as well as information from sales staff, whilst the leader type looked for general and specific information. The study also determined that risky and costly gifts, strict budgets and the amount of money spent on gifts were the main situational factors influencing each type of consumer information search.

Originality/value

Most of the literature has focused on Christmas shopping in Western countries, yet this study attempts to investigate it in the Middle East. It is hoped that by enhancing the understanding of the impact of Christmas shopping in non‐Western countries the findings will contribute to the literature on this subject.

Keywords

Citation

Haluk Köksal, M. (2011), "The variables influencing consumer information search strategies: Christmas shopping in Lebanon", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 No. 10, pp. 726-741. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590551111162239

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited