International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 11 October 2011



Towers, N. (2011), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 No. 11. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2011.08939kaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 39, Issue 11

For this edition there is an interesting retailing theme including the concept of in-store manufacturer brand expression, consumer supermarket satisfaction, the relationship between primary product network size and the sales of complementary products and Baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) choosing to buy food from particular stores.

The first contribution by Aurier and de Lanauze develop the concept of in-store manufacturer brand expression. This concept encompasses three dimensions, namely perceived quality of in-store manufacturer brand presentation, in-store manufacturer brand image expression, and perceived closeness of brand image with store image. An empirical application on brands of the food and intimate apparel categories shows the differential impacts of these components on perceived value, relationship quality (trust-credibility, trust-benevolence, affective commitment), and attitudinal loyalty. The empirical application involves major brands positioned in frequently purchased packaged goods categories (ice cream, frozen meals and intimate apparel) and distributed in the super-hypermarket channel over which they have no formal control. The conceptualization and measurement of perceived brand relationship orientation bears on a qualitative analysis of marketing experts and consumers. Perceived quality of in-store brand presentation has a direct positive effect on brand value and trust-credibility whereas in-store brand image expression has direct positive impact on trust-benevolence and affective commitment. At the same time, perceived closeness of brand manufacturer image with store image has a direct negative impact on trust-credibility. In addition, we observe that these effects have significant indirect positive and negative consequences on attitudinal loyalty, throughout the causal links which exist between value, trust and affective commitment. Also, our results support the relationship marketing model in the case of strong national brands positioned in the frequently purchased packaged goods sector.

The second paper by Hansen, Jensen and Solgaard investigates whether consumer supermarket satisfaction is influenced by the mere composition of consumers’ preference structure as opposed to more widespread approaches where consumer satisfaction is regarded as the degree to which consumer expectations and/or preferences are met. Survey data were collected from 130 consumers using self-administered questionnaires and structural equation modelling was used to test our proposed hypotheses. According to consumers not many supermarkets offer high quality at low prices suggesting that consumers with a high quality/low price preference structure should be disconfirmed and thus dissatisfied. However, this study finds that - when patronising discount stores and upscale stores - consumers who attach high weight to quality and price are likely to become more satisfied than consumers who attach only medium weight to both parameters. For traditional supermarkets (i.e. supermarkets offering medium quality at medium prices) satisfaction occurs equally for both groups of consumers. Consumers’ level of satisfaction with various retailers may not solely be determined by matching preferences with retail offerings, but may also be based on considerations of possibilities for mental justification within a certain preference structure. It is therefore important that managers seek to understand the process of mental justification that may be associated with their offerings, and also the various possibilities for offering mental markers (i.e. anything the consumer can use for the purpose of gaining mental justification of her/his supermarket choices) to be used by consumers.

The third paper by Mai, Yang and Chen examines the relationship between primary product network size and the sales of complementary products with customer characteristics moderating this relationship. A panel dataset in the online video game industry in the US was used to verify the proposed theoretical framework. Two-level hierarchical linear modelling (HLM) is used to test several hypotheses. The analysis results suggest there is a positive relationship between the primary product network size and the sales of complementary products. Two customer characteristics (previous transaction value and customer purchase frequency) were also found to positively influence the complementary product sales. The primary product’s network size has a stronger impact on complementary product sales for light buyers compared to heavy buyers. Product managers need to better understand the relationship between the primary product network size and the complementary product sales. They should adjust the marketing strategies toward different customer purchase frequency segments correspondingly.

The final contribution by Worsley, Wang and Hunter examines Baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) who are approaching retirement and the concern about their preparation for their future health and wellbeing. This involved understanding the reasons for choosing to buy food from particular shops and whether demographic characteristics and health status were associated with them. Using a questionnaire survey in Victoria, Australia regression analysis was used to examine the relationships between respondents’ demographics and health status and their reasons for shopping at the food stores. Interestingly multivariate analysis showed that the reasons the respondents reported in choosing shops fell into four groups: Saving, Convenience, Quality and healthy foods, and User friendly environment. Stores could provide more information, perhaps as signage, to their recycling and health information facilities, particularly in low socio-economic status (SES) areas. Furthermore, the social status and religious associations confirm the view that shopping reflects broad societal affiliations among baby boomers. Shopping centres can be used to provide support for health and environmental sustainability promotions.

Neil Towers

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