Neil Towers (The Business School, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 12 June 2017



Towers, N. (2017), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 45 No. 6, pp. 566-567. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-03-2017-0054



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

This issue includes a wide range of contemporary topics including mobile shopping (m-shopping) acceptance literature, store image and customers’ choice of hypermarkets, loyalty in the multichannel retail, mobile payments (MP) adoption, shopping at small retailers in a community, and private label brands.

The first submission by Marriott, Williams and Dwivedi provides a review of m-shopping acceptance literature to bring international marketing and consumer research attention to m-shopping acceptance factors and limitations in current understandings to propose recommendations for further academic and retailing attention. Keyword searches identified consumer-focussed literature across mobile commerce, m-shopping, mobile browsing and mobile purchasing, published in English language journals. A classification framework is created and a time frame established to provide more focussed direction for research. Despite the growing popularity of consumers adopting m-shopping activities and the increasing academic attention, consumer m-shopping utilisation remains low and research into its causes remains in its infancy. This paper has subsequently identified a variety of recommendations for further research, including further insights into perceived risk, user vs non-user behaviours, the multi-stage shopping process, incorporation of time considerations and theoretical development.

The second paper by Belwal and Belwal explores the factors affecting store image and customers’ choice of hypermarkets in Oman and compares two big hypermarkets in Sohar – the prominent industrial city of Oman. A detailed review of the literature was conducted initially to identify the attributes affecting store image and choice of hypermarkets in Oman and a questionnaire was developed later using the key attributes, vetted by a panel of professionals and consumers. Data were collected using convenience sampling from the targeted customers with due care to reduce possible biases. Exploratory factor analysis, using SPSS, was then performed to arrive at the key factors affecting store image and choice of hypermarkets in Oman. The findings suggest the focus of consumers is shifting from traditional markets to modern retail formats. The presence of hypermarkets has attracted customers away from traditional “souqs”. Customers are attracted to hypermarkets for various reasons, including the local and socio-cultural ones. The factor analysis produced four components, namely “purchase experience”, “visit experience”, “augmented experience” and “repeat-purchase experience” affecting the customers’ choice of hypermarkets and store image in Oman. A comparative analysis of two leading hypermarkets revealed that Lulu hypermarket acquired, overall, a better store-image over Al Safeer on all the components. Purchase experience and visit experience, in Omani hypermarkets, were forerunners in satisfying customers than the augmented and repeat-purchase experience.

The third contribution by Frasquet, Descals and Ruiz-Molina investigates loyalty in the multichannel retail context. The paper analyses the interplay between offline and online loyalty and the direct and indirect effects on loyalty of brand trust and brand attachment, in a cross-cultural study. An online survey answered by over 750 multichannel apparel shoppers in two countries (UK and Spain). SEM multigroup analysis is performed to test the hypothesised relations and the role of culture as a moderating variable. The results indicate that online loyalty is largely driven by offline loyalty, which is also positively affected by brand trust and brand attachment. These relationships hold across the two different cultures. The findings confirm the validity of applying the theory of cognitive dissonance to explain the multichannel shopping behaviours. We did not find that culture affects the relationships in our model; however, the validity of these findings should be tested considering other cultural variables different from nationality. Multichannel retailers should focus on building trust and attachment towards the brand if they want to get online and offline loyalty. The efforts to build stronger bonds between the customer and the retail brand translate into higher loyalty, particularly towards the offline channels.

The fourth contribution by Bailey, Pentina, Mishra and Ben Mimoun incorporates MP self-efficacy, new technology anxiety and MP privacy concerns into the basic TAM to explore MPs adoption, particularly tap-and-go payment, among US consumers. Data were collected through an online survey conducted among students at a Midwestern university in the USA. MP self-efficacy significantly impacts perceived ease of use of MP (PEOUMP) and perceived usefulness of MP (PUMP). These, in turn, impact MP attitude, which affects the intention to use MP. Privacy concerns also impact the attitude towards MP and MP use intention. New technology anxiety impacts PEOUMP but not PUMP. US retailers have information on some of the factors that encourage MP adoption. Retailers need to address self-efficacy concerns, MP privacy concerns and consumers’ perceptions of usefulness of the technology. There has been little research on factors impacting tap-and-go payment adoption in the USA. The study highlights the roles of self-efficacy and privacy concerns. It focusses on tap-and-go payment, since this technology can enhance the consumers’ retail experience.

The fifth contribution by Heitz-Spahn, Yildiz and Belaud aims to understand why people shop at small retailers in their community. We investigate the influence of consumers’ civic commitment, measured at behavioural and perceptual levels, on small-retailer patronage (SRP). Data from nearly 1,000 respondents represent four French cities that host common town-centre shopping streets and large out-of-town retail parks. A structural equation model applied to the theoretical framework tests the relationships between civic behavioural commitment (CBC), civic perceptual commitment (CPC) and declared SRP. The more an individual consumer exhibits CBC to his community, the greater his SRP. Furthermore, consumers who express strong CPC prefer to patronise small retailers. Results show that CPC has a stronger impact on SRP than CBC does. If the CPC has stronger effects on SRP than CBC does, town managers can catch people’s attention by communicating civic commitment to enhance CPC. Solidarity could be developed through large-scale social projects to send a strong signal to consumers regarding retailers’ commitment in the community. Finally, the study highlights the role businesses, retailers, and consumers play in building communities. Partnerships across all local stakeholders should be built.

The final contribution by Muruganantham and Priyadharshini aims to review the existing literature related to private label brands and to identify the antecedents and consequences involved in the private brand purchase. The study used a systematic review approach and identified 92 significant published articles between 1960 and 2016 for evaluation using Scopus database exclusively in the field of marketing. The journals which have published articles on purchase intention of private label brands are taken into consideration. The paper provides a holistic framework on the purchasing behaviour of private label brands. The antecedents that emerged out of the most frequently studied factors are grouped as the determinants of store brand proneness. The factors of consequences were categorised into loyalty factors along with the moderating variables as product category and retailer-related attributes. These findings will serve as a twofold guide to retailers, i.e., help them gain an understanding of the target consumer group characteristics and design strategies to enhance the purchase of private label products. This study is the first attempt of its kind of systematically reviewing the antecedents and consequences of private label brand consumers. Both relevant published research and emerging research issues in the field of retail consumer research have been identified with a view to foster future research needs.

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