The purpose of this paper is to answer why wet markets still survive in Taiwan while facing to fierce competition from western-style supermarkets.
The authors adopt the perspectives of retail service to develop a model to address how food quality, relational benefit, and personnel service affect consumers’ satisfaction. A sample of 250 consumers was surveyed in a major wet market at Taiwan.
The results obtained from the partial least square (PLS) method reveal that food quality and relational benefit positively affect consumers’ satisfaction, and the effects of these increase with time; employee service has a positive effect on consumers’ satisfaction, but the effect decreases with time; and the ambience does affect consumer satisfaction, but the store design does not.
This paper provides empirical answers to the question about why wet markets still play a critical role in the food retailing industry in a newly industrial economy where consumer’ tastes are supposed to be more westernized or so-called ‘supermarketized’ four decades after the introduction of supermarkets.
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