The purpose of this paper is to better understand the experiences of women who were engaged in a competitive retail shopping event.
This study employed the discovery‐oriented grounded theory approach, in order to interpret field data from observations and interviews from 30 women who participated in a bridal gown sale event.
This paper exposes the manner in which the women shoppers shifted from competitive mindsets and behaviors, to cooperative ones, with other women shoppers. Four complimentary “trajectories” help explain how this takes place by demonstrating that the women progressed through mindsets of competition, co‐opetition, cooperation, and charity. The course of this process occurs within the realm of highly dynamic environments, which help foster the women's changing behaviors. The experiences of our participants converged such that this process of competition‐cooperation contributed to positive experiential value of the shopping trip.
This study focused only on women shoppers in the USA and concentrated only on one retail sale event. Future studies should expand the cultural diversity of the participants and increase the contextual boundaries of the phenomenon to include other instances of competitive shopping.
Understanding how women consumers engage in competition, and consequently cooperation, should be of considerable interest to retailers wishing to execute competitively natured events and promotions. The paper's findings suggest that women value competitive shopping events because of the social experience they provide, not solely for the product that might be acquired. The study contributes to our understanding of how women interpret social interaction, manage relationships with one another in retail settings, and are co‐creators of intrinsic shopping value. It also offers a more favorable viewpoint of competition in the retail domain than what is often construed in mainstream media.
This research is one of the first to focus on women shoppers who are engaged in a competitive shopping event. For consumer theorists, this study offers insights into social behavioral processes. It provides a platform for continuing research in the area of consumer competition.
Satinover Nichols, B. and Flint, D.J. (2013), "Competing while shopping: How women shoppers create experiential value through the process of competing, co‐opeting, and cooperating at a bridal gown sale", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 253-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522751311326099Download as .RIS
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