Multidimensional scaling (MDS) has often been utilised in retail store positioning and repositioning research. However, MDS results constrain store movement to existing perceptual dimensions. This work indicates that an assessment of higher level preference functions should be conducted before utilising MDS results in store positioning. Despite this limitation, the ability of MDS to reveal current perceptual criteria means that it can serve as a very useful diagnostic. In this regard, MDS can be utilised to determine if a new dimension has emerged from a given positioning, or whether consumers have changed the salience of their perceptual criteria, as a result of a positioning. It can also reveal if a referent store has moved in the appropriate direction (e.g. away from competitors and towards a gap that evidences utility).
Van Auken, S. and Lonial, S.C. (1991), "MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALING AND RETAIL POSITIONING: AN APPRAISAL", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 19 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590559110144070
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