The purpose of this study is to validate the Retail Service Quality Scale (RSQS) developed by Dabholkar et al. in the Malaysian business setting, specifically in the context of apparel specialty stores.
Two well‐known retail clothing store chains were selected for this study. Purposive sampling method was used, with a total of 211 responses collected from customers of all X and Y's chain stores in the northern region of Malaysia.
The paper finds that all the five dimensions: physical aspects, reliability, personal interaction, problem solving, and policy, are highly suited for measuring retail service quality in clothing stores, also proving that the instrument is applicable in the Malaysian setting. Retail service quality is furthermore associated with future consumption behaviour in terms of the customers' intention to visit, purchase and recommend the stores to others.
The instrument is proven to be valid, reliable and appropriate for studying retail businesses that offer a mix of services and merchandise. The instrument is also applicable in another culture other than the USA, namely Malaysia.
Retailers can utilize the instrument for benchmarking current levels of retail service quality, carrying out periodic inspections to measure service performance and improvement, as well as to detect problematic areas of service quality within the stores that are in need of attention.
This research contributes to the somewhat limited studies carried out on instrument validation in Malaysia. Furthermore, the RSQS is tested in Malaysia – a country with a vibrant, dynamic retail environment and heightened consumer awareness for fashion and retail.
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