Exploration of retail patronage influences: Developing a discount store patronage model
Despite acceptance and attractiveness of discount retailing, no comprehensive patronage model for discount retailing has been developed. The primary purpose of this research was to develop a general model of retail patronage and to empirically test the relationships proposed in the model in the context of the discount retail market. More specifically, the study was guided by the objectives including: (1) to review existing retail patronage models and related literature, (2) to develop a general framework of retail patronage behavior based on the knowledge, and (3) to test the model in the discount store shopping patterns. ^ Based on a review of extant literature, the sequential effects of household/buyer characteristics (e.g., socioeconomic status, materialistic values, and need for uniqueness), shopping orientations (price perceptions and desire for unique consumer products), and attitude toward discount store type on discount store patronage behavior were proposed in the model. Data were collected via mail surveys and a structural equation model was used to specify the underlying relations among the variables that characterize consumers' discount store shopping behavior. ^ Findings of the study supported the hierarchical structure of variables proposed in the discount store patronage model. The results of the structural equation model indicated that consumers' socioeconomic class has strong effect on price perceptions (price consciousness and prestige sensitivity), which are significantly and directly related to attitudes toward discount store shopping, and consequently discount store patronage patterns. Materialistic values and uniqueness desire were found to be positively associated with prestige sensitivity and preference for unique consumer products respectively, which again have influences on store attitude and patronage behavior. The intervening roles of shopping orientation and store attitude confirmed the validity of the proposed model. ^ By investigating the sequential structure of the constructs, this study generates benefits associated with developing an integrative theory of retail patronage. Clearer associations among the determinant variables provide an explicit idea to better understand the process of discount store patronage behavior. As appreciation of patronage behavior is essential to improve retail planning strategies for holding loyal segment and attracting new customers in the market, the study produces practical implications to retail practitioners in the discount retailing industry. ^
Major Professor: Richard A. Feinberg, Purdue University.
Business Administration, General|Business Administration, Marketing