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Title: The consumer/store "relationship" ; an interpretive investigation of UK women's grocery shopping experiences
Author: Wakendshaw, Susan Yingli
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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The phenomenon of consumer relationships in consumer markets has been investigated by· loyalty and relationship research. However, mainstream consumer loyalty research has been developed in cognitive 'attitude-behaviour' framework. Nevertheless, relationship perspective has emerged as a theoretical perspective and attracted interest in the loyalty research domain. In addition, since the 19605, relationship priciples and relationship marketing (RM) concepts h.we also been developed in the B-to-B sectors and service markets. Moreover, relational thoughts and RM concepts have also been extended to mass consumer markets. Different types of commercial consumer relationships have been explored. However, this is the first dedicated study to explore consumer/store relationship phenomena from the perspective of individual consumers. The main objectives of this study are to: (1) develop the understanding of nature of consumer/store relationships and (3) engage in the discourse on methodology and the role of researcher in interpretive research. An in-depth study has been undertaken based on interpretive modes of inquiry. This study has explored the lived experiences of UK women in the context of grocery shopping and consumption. As a result, a richly contextualised account of consumer/store relationships has been investigated in depth and a conceptual framework for consumer/store relationships has been developed. The significance of other aspects of relationships (such as the store constellations, and the association between value congruence and relationships) has also been highlighted. Indeed, the findings have shown that stores provide support for consumers in terms of: (1) consumers' shopping task fulfilment; (2) pleasure seeking needs; (3) self concept construction and maintenance; (4) self discovery, self extension and self expression. Moreover, various interactions and multiple level effects between consumers and their stores can result in the diverse and dynamic bonds between consumers and the stores they shop. The research has demonstrated the validity of the existence and investigation of consumer/store relationships at the level of consumers' lived experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available