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Consumer patronage behaviour : an analysis of an urban grocery system Lew, Michael Peter

Abstract

Most marketers and retailers agree that the location of a particular retail outlet may be instrumental in that outlet’s sales and profits. One of the proposed solutions to this problem of retail store location is Huff's gravity model. Using Huff's gravity model as a structural guide, the major purpose of this thesis is to analyse consumer patronage behaviour within an urban grocery system so as to assist the retail grocery store location analyst. The analysis centers around those consumer patronage behaviour variables suggested by the author as being important in the consumer's decision to patronize a retail grocery outlet. The analysis will also serve as a guide to retail grocery location analysis in specific and to the possible effects of particular consumer patronage behaviour variables on retail outlets in general. Relationships are tested using simple and multiple regression analyses and t-test analysis on data collected on all grocery stores in the Lower Mainland Area of Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of the more important findings are: 1) neither the number of customer checkouts nor the number of parking spaces provided can be employed to predict sales per square foot of supermarket selling area. 2) a discount price policy will not yield greater mean sales per square foot of supermarket selling area than a retail price policy. 3) in general a combination of good internal and external appearances yields greater mean sales per square foot of supermarket selling area than a combination of low internal and external appearances. 4) in general the addition of internal and/or external facilities yields greater mean sales per square foot of supermarket selling area than those encountered before the addition or additions of such facilities. The study also indicates that in some specific cases supermarket size should be accounted for in the analysis.

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