This study attempts to research and analyze both second hand literature as well as first hand observation. The report also plans to discuss the effects of retail image, personality and brand and their interrelations between the supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths in particular at the Westfield Kotara site.
2. Literature Review:
Dong-Mo Koo’s study “Interrelationships among Store Images, Store Satisfaction, and Store Loyalty among Korea Discount Retail Patrons” analyses the concept how various discount store characteristics and attitudes towards these stores alter consumers satisfaction and furthermore, how does customer satisfaction influence store loyalty. Koo’s study discusses: (1) The forming of attitudes and how it is influenced greatest through in-store services, atmosphere, employee service and merchandising. (2) Satisfaction is directly related to store value and atmosphere. (3) The overall store attitude induced has a strong correlation to consumer loyalty and satisfaction. (4) Store loyalty is impacted greatest through location, merchandising and after sales service.
The report is based on pervious studies which have developed an understanding on how physical characteristics such as store location influence attitudes. This study is differentiated from these in that it attempts to more explicitly identify the characteristics which develop the relationship between store image and the attitude towards that store. The study acknowledges that whilst many other studies have been conducted on store image and its impact on store loyalty and whether image directly influences satisfaction. This study develops an interrelationship between all store image, satisfaction and loyalty elements.
The results of the study show how store image affects attitude more directly through store atmosphere, service, merchandising and after sales service more so than location and convenience. This result supports previous studies such as Wilkie (1986) and Olson et al. (1982) on how attitude has a direct strong influence on store loyalty and reconfirms the suggested hypothesis that is a consumer holds a positive attitude towards the store, they are more likely to become loyal (Koo) but contradicts the study by Yoo and Macinnis (1998) which reports, only store location has a direct on the overall store attitudes (p.260).
Alain d’Astous and Melanie Levesque’s study, “A Scale for Measuring Store Personality”, establishes the need to conceptualize the idea that each store has its own unique personality and develops a method in which it could be measured to access its psychometric characteristics. Five dimensions were developed which are used in the analysis of this study of Coles vs. Woolworths. The dimensions are labeled sophistication, solidity, genuineness, enthusiasm and unpleasantness.
The study is loosely based on Pierre Martineau’s (1958) research in which “the store is defined in the shoppers mind, partly by its functional qualities and partly by an aura of physiological attributes.” This pervious study describes personality attributes through store layout, advertisement and sales staff. This aspect is directly related back to Koo’s (2003) study which uses these personality attributes to measure store attitudes and establishes a link between them and satisfaction and loyalty. This study gains its purpose and validity through recognizing the need for an independent assessment of store personality dimensions rather than store personalities being based on dimensions created for brands.
The study achieves its results by developing a successful personality scale for stores to assist with marketers’ analysis of consumers perceptions based on their emotional patterns. It is designed to assist rather than replace previous studies. The results of the scale allows for marketing to be conducted by measuring stores against one another and help marketers assess personality dimensions against store image, satisfaction...