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Title: Retail buying behaviour in Japan : a comparative analysis
Author: Itoh, Hajime
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis is concerned with analysing the retail buying process in Japan. It adopts a comparative approach using previous work in the UK and in Australia as the basis for comparison. A number of factors are discussed that would lead the researcher to expect a different buying process in Japanese retailing. These include the unusual multi level structure of the industry and the low level of concentration and therefore retail buying power. The importance of legislation is emphasised in a study of the change in legislation and its impact on retail structure. The main empirical approach adopted is based on that used in two earlier studies in the UK and Australia. It focuses on the delisting or 'unbuying' of products, that is when the buyer decides not to continue to sell a product that is still available on the market and sold by competitors. The approach was piloted among buyers working in the UK for Japanese retailers. Further preliminary work took the form of a series of interviews about the buying process in a number of Japanese retailers. The main empirical work was conducted in face-to-face interviews with buyers in Japan. Buyers were asked to identify a product they had delisted and then questioned about the reasons for their decision and about their relationships with the supplier. Data about the buyer was also obtained. Whether the decision resulted in the ending of the relationship was also determined. The data was combined with that from the two earlier studies and explored using Structural Equation Modelling. Somewhat surprisingly the combined data set produced a single model of the buying process. The model represents the main contribution of the thesis. Models for individual countries showed some differences but these suggested that Japanese buying is not as different as had been expected from the different nature of Japanese retailing and Japanese cuiture. Specifically, decision making was similar to that in the UK. A strong, affective attitude to the relationship with the supplier did not emerge as expected. The practical and theoretical consequences of the work are discussed in the context of changes in Japanese retailing expected from recent changes in the legislation governing the sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available