Macro-level change and micro level effects: A twenty-year perspective on changing grocery shopping behaviour in Britain
ABSTRACT In this paper we summarise key elements of retail change in Britain over a twenty-year period. The time period is that covered by a funded study into long-term change in grocery shopping habits in Portsmouth, England. The major empirical findings—to which we briefly allude—are reported elsewhere: the present task is to assess the wider context underlying that change. For example, it has frequently been stated that retailing in the UK is not as competitive as in other leading economies. As a result, the issue of consumer choice has become increasingly important politically. Concerns over concentration in the industry, new format development and market definition have been expressed by local planners, competition regulators and consumer groups. Macro level changes over time have also created market inequality in consumer opportunities at a local level—hence our decision to attempt a local-level study. Situational factors affecting consumer experiences over time at the local level involve the changing store choice sets available to particular consumers. Using actual consumer experiences thus becomes a yardstick for assessing the practical effectiveness of policy making. The paper demonstrates that choice at local level is driven by store use and that different levels of provision reflect real choice at the local level. Macro-level policy and ‘one size fits all’ approaches to regulation, it is argued, do not reflect the changing reality of grocery shopping. Accordingly, arguments for a more local and regional approach to regulation are made.
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ABSTRACT: Retailing environments have gone through physical changes and the Internet revolution which intensifies price search and comparison behaviour, however, what customer characteristics – demographics or psychographics – affect price searching and recall? Further, what changes the relationship between the price-searching tendency and price recall? This research develops a framework that integrates the views of the economics of information and psychosocial returns to address these questions. Through point-of-purchase surveys, this study finds that psychographics affect the price-searching tendency directly while demographics do so indirectly through psychographics. In addition, the price-searching tendency has a positive effect on price recall and this relationship is stronger when consumers buy discounted products. Finally, in contrast to previous research, consumers' high tendency to search for price and price recall accuracy and confidence are found.Service Industries Journal 01/2009; 29(9):1243-1259. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – Most wine in the UK is sold in supermarkets and most of this on promotion. This holds down average bottle price squeezing profit margins when wine is sold below-the-line. This paper aims to develop understanding of what currently influences consumers to buy in supermarkets and what might influence them to trade-up. Design/methodology/approach – Literature related to supermarket shopping and to wine buying in an off-trade environment was reviewed. Several issues which may influence wine buying in supermarkets in the UK, particularly the impetus to trade-up, were identified. An exploratory study using focus groups followed to explore these issues in further depth. Findings – Wine bought along with groceries can be seen to be as ordinary as any other fast moving consumer good. This perception influences consumers’ wine buying behaviour in supermarkets. In particular it influences perceptions of suitability and price. Research limitations/implications – This was an exploratory study with a small sample population and so cannot be taken to be fully representative of the whole UK adult population. Nevertheless, it raises many significant issues in relation to wine buying in supermarkets, all of which would benefit from further research. Practical implications – The results highlight areas where all off-licences, particularly supermarket chains, could usefully review their current marketing strategies. Originality/value – This study highlights the fact that there are two wines in many consumers’ minds. Much wine related research has been undertaken at the high involvement, luxury end of the market, but very little at the low involvement, ordinary end where most sales take place. This paper starts to address this issue.International Journal of Wine Business Research 01/2010; 22(2):102-121.