Editorial

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 9 March 2012

Abstract

Citation

Towers, N. (2012), "Editorial", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 40 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijrdm.2012.08940caa.001

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Editorial

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Volume 40, Issue 3

This edition has an interesting consumer focus with submissions investigating consumer segmentation using personal values in Spain, the influence of external environment and rural retailer purchase preference on the length of channels in rural areas in India, the impact of business environment on operations strategy encompassed by competitive priorities in China’s retail sector and finally the composition of “shopping experience” for the shoppers in metropolitan area of Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR) in India.

The purpose of first contribution by Sarabia-Sanchez, de Juan Vigaray and Hota is to segment consumers using personal values and to link the resulting typologies with shopping styles for the FA market. The Schwartz Value Inventory (SVI) was suitably modified for the Spanish fashion retail consumer context using expert and consumer panels and then administered. First, principal components analysis was conducted to identify the motivational value types and compare with Schwartz. Second, cluster analysis was used to create a typology of Spanish fashion consumers. Finally, ANOVA analysis was conducted to link the consumer typology with a typology of shopping styles. A total of 11 motivational types of consumer values were found (congruent with Schwartz’s results) but with slight differences leading to the uncovering of Spanish culture-specific motivational types such as “ecology”, “inner peace” and four distinct motivational types of “self-direction”. This further led to the emergence of four fashion retail consumer segments which could be linked up to shopping styles with six out of the eight shopping styles showing significant differences across segments. Cultural differences in consumer values cannot be ignored even amidst globalization. Therefore, the use of consumer values for Spanish fashion retail consumer segmentation and its further link with shopping styles has significant implications for fashion retail marketers as it can be used to plan the retail marketing mix strategy.

The second paper by Aithal aims to understand the influence of external environment and rural retailer purchase preference on the length of channels in rural areas in India. This study has a threefold objective. First to describe the existing structure of distribution in villages across the states which have been selected for the study. The structure of distribution translates to the number and type of retail shops in the villages, the purchase pattern of retailers and the distribution structure, which exists to serve them. The second objective is to understand the influence of the external environment variables like the road and rail connectivity and population density on the number of intermediaries in the distribution channels. The third objective is to study the rural retailer buyer preferences, in terms of quantity and frequency of his purchases and its influence on channel length. The overarching goal is to improve the understating and working of rural distribution channels in India, and provide pointers to practitioners keen on entering these markets. A survey of over 686 rural retailers in 103 villages across rural India, were compiled to trace the structure of distribution channels. The correlation analysis and ANOVA test show that channel length varies in regions based on variation in the external environment. Village retailer with his unique buying preferences also influences the distribution channel. The study showed that the most of the rural retailer buy in smaller quantities and their frequency of purchasing was very high, as high as twice a week in some cases. And it was shown that this buying habit of the rural retailer had a significant impact on channel length. These buying habits of the retailer are driven by the smaller shops size, and shortage of working capital. The findings also pointed out that the rural retailer has to provide credit to his customers in the villages, which would put additional burden on him.

The third paper by Yu and Ramanathan investigates the impact of business environment on operations strategy encompassed by competitive priorities in China’s retail sector. Using a case study of a multinational retailer they explore how the company develops appropriate operations strategies to survive in the competitive and dynamic Chinese business environment. The study identifies that companies intending to expand their businesses in emerging markets face many challenges on new business environment, and that various dimensions of business environment (e.g. business cost, competitive hostility, and environmental dynamism) affect the development of retail operations strategy. The strategy of flexibility is particularly important for international companies to survive in an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment. Foreign retailers need to be flexible and agile, adapting to the Chinese market environment in many ways in order to succeed. The study is original for investigating the effects of business environment on international operations strategy in the service (retail) sector, especially in the Chinese context.

The final contribution by Singh and Sahay aims at exploring the composition of “shopping experience” for the shoppers in metropolitan area of Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR) in India. The study assumes topical significance as India has seen rapid mushrooming of shopping malls in the recent past. Such malls are struggling to attract shoppers. This paper explores the expectations of mall shoppers in Delhi NCR. The paper applies data reduction using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) on a sample of 200 respondents drawn from four constituent urban clusters within the NCR and condenses a set of 22 mall attributes into a list of five comprehensible factors. The research shows that Shoppers visualise shopping experience as a combination of five factors:

  1. 1.

    ambience;

  2. 2.

    physical infrastructure;

  3. 3.

    marketing focus;

  4. 4.

    convenience; and

  5. 5.

    safety and security.

They assigned different weightage in terms of significance to each of these factors. Internal configuration of these factors also reveals interesting patterns. Mall developers in India should focus more on improving convenience and creating ambience. Disproportionate expenditure on adding to physical infrastructure is not expected to yield matching dividends.

Neil Towers