Towers, N. (2016), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 44 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-03-2016-0043Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 44, Issue 5.
The focus of this issue is predominantly towards the retail store across a variety of topics. These include how sustainability service is performed and the role it plays in the promotion of sustainable consumption, store atmospheric responsiveness on the relationship of purchase intentions, effect of age, gender and educational level on customer evaluations of the design characteristics of fitting rooms/dressing rooms, customers' intention to use and actual use of self-service technologies (SSTs), and communications campaigns based on environmental themes through social networks.
The first contribution by Fuentes and Fredriksson investigates how sustainability service is performed and the role it plays in the promotion of sustainable consumption. The analysis shows that the retailing of sustainable products is not simply a matter of including sustainability products in the range and instructing shop assistants to promote them. Sustainability service – as enacted at W-Store – was dependent on the successful combination and configuration of human competence (service staff) and IT and organizational artefacts. There also needed to be congruence between consumers and their images and between retailers and the version of sustainability they were enacting. Finally, the provision of sustainability service required an investigative and adaptive organization capable of keeping up as well as developing vis-á-vis changing sustainability discourses and issues. The findings suggest that once the necessary conditions had been met, sustainability service worked towards promoting sustainable consumption by making green shopping possible, educating consumers on sustainability issues, and motivating them via positive feedback and dialogue.
The second paper by Campbell and Fairhurst regarding retail grocery considers the mediating effect of store atmospheric responsiveness on the relationship of purchase intentions and extent of purchase for locally produced foods as well as potential moderators of trust and price consciousness. The study used survey methodology of over 750 grocery store shoppers for locally produced foods and structural equations modelling to test proposed relationships. A significant positive relationship between purchase intentions and extent of purchase for locally produced foods exists and that store atmospheric responsiveness mediated the relationship. Trust was found to moderate the relationship of purchase intentions and extent of purchase, while price consciousness moderated the store atmospheric responsiveness to extent of purchase. Store atmospheric factors are important to customer purchase intentions and their extent of purchase behaviours as to trust of store and price consciousness.
The purpose of the third paper by Ayalp, Yildrim and Bozdayi is to ascertain the effect of age, gender and educational level on customer evaluations of the design characteristics of fitting rooms/dressing rooms, such as size, levels of illumination, number of hangers, materials and opening types of doors in retail clothing stores. These evaluations were analysed according to the demographic characteristics of consumers, such as age, gender and educational level in Ankara, Turkey. Since activities in fitting rooms require a certain level of privacy, the features that affected privacy were also considered in this study. The results indicated that demographic characteristics of the customers affected their evaluation of fitting rooms. The statistically significant results between evaluations of customers and their demographic backgrounds were determined. In these analyses, problems emerged due to usage of fitting rooms. Most of the problems complained about were an insufficient number of hangers, lack of mirrors, lack of sitting units, small-sized rooms and poorly illuminated rooms. Moreover, the results showed that customers preferred a totally closed panel door for privacy.
The fourth paper by Demoulin and Djelassi proposes and tests a comprehensive model that captures individual, system and situational drivers of customers' intention to use and actual use of SSTs. This paper is based on a survey conducted among 143 users and 150 non-users of SSTs at the exit of a grocery store. The proposed model was analysed using structural equation modelling and a logistic regression. The results demonstrate two outcomes. First, in addition to previous usage behaviour (i.e. usage frequency), situational factors (time pressure, basket size, coupons and queue length at the SSTs and staffed checkouts) influence customers' decisions to use SSTs during a specific shopping trip. And second perceived behavioural control is the most important determinant of behavioural intention, followed by perceived usefulness, need for interaction and perceived ease of use and enjoyment. This study considers the actual usage of SSTs in a specific context, as well as the situational factors that influence the choice of SSTs over traditional checkouts. In addition, this paper provides an integrative model including actual usage, use frequency and behavioural intention and its antecedents by extending the TAM3.
The fifth paper by Gonzalez-Lafaysse and Lapassouse-Madrid is based on a year-long study of one group's official Facebook page. The purpose of this article is to look more closely at communications campaigns based on environmental themes through social networks. The conclusions highlight the need for retail chains to strengthen the perceived consistency of their communication strategies on this subject, in order to retain their credibility. Encouraging consumers' contributions via Facebook may be considered as a relevant practice for greening retail, on the condition that internet users are convinced of the value and interest of this process, as examples of a company's concrete actions, which provide hard evidence of its stated commitments. This paper provides two kinds of added value. First its explore retailers' practice on the subject of green marketing. Second, it provides significant knowledge regarding the potential impact of communication in social media.