Buyers' Perception of Indian Traditional Grocery Retail Stores with Special Reference to Three Attributes: Gender, Age and Education

By Harsh, Sharma; Resham, Chopra | Advances in Management, November 2014 | Go to article overview

Buyers' Perception of Indian Traditional Grocery Retail Stores with Special Reference to Three Attributes: Gender, Age and Education


Harsh, Sharma, Resham, Chopra, Advances in Management


Abstract

This paper attempts to study the buyers' perception of key retail attributes in Indian traditional grocery retailing from the perspective of three important demographic characteristics i.e. gender, age and education of the buyers. Grocery is one of the largest segments of retail worldwide and it would be academic as well as business interest to understand demographic peculiarity in the case of buyers' perception as seen in the context of Traditional Grocery scenario. Also as Indian grocery retail is dominated by the traditional grocery stores i.e. Kirana Stores; knowledge of the difference in buyers' perception based on various demographic variables would lead to a better understanding of consumer retail buying behaviour by these stores so as to devise their strategies to enhance the customer patronage and enduringly survive the onslaught of organized retailers.

Keywords: Retail, Buyer Perception, Demographic Variables, Grocery, Indian Retailing.

Introduction

Retailing, in India, is witnessing the transition period as the organized retail players are attempting to gain market share from the traditional age-old formats. That in turn is now turning retailing into a fiercely competitive industry where wafer thin margins, floating buyers and intensive promotion have been accepted as necessary evils. So it demands retailers to continuously keep developing insight of consumer behaviour which is very dynamic and then to devise effective strategies accordingly to successfully survive and to grow. In its entire attempt to woo retail customers it is significant for retailers to know that why shoppers pick one retailer while avoid the other stores and what are the important variables/factors that may influence store choice decisions and without this understanding of the buyer, the efforts of retailers would not produce the desired results.

Retail store attributes are the components/ characteristics of retail stores and customer evaluates these attribute before he patronizes the store. Customers hold perception of a retail store which governs their store selection. A retail store is perceived on its individual attributes that are its basic characteristics and these individual perceptions also sum up overall perception or impression about the store.

It is a general view in industry and academia that organized retailers will cause the traditional mom-and-pop stores to struggle for continued existence. As the organized retailers are known for their policy based systems and processes, tactical procurement practices, aggressive promotions, exciting assortments, creative pricing, innovative merchandizing and use of latest technology etc., these store will asphyxiate the traditional retailers. On one hand all these seem to provide organized retailers various competencies while on the other hand the traditional neighbourhood stores are commonly perceived as having many operational in efficiencies like inappropriate merchandise, unreasonable prices and unplanned activities which put these stores in a position of great disadvantage vis-à-vis modern trade. Stone30 found that the shopping habits of customers fundamentally change after the introduction of discount mass merchandisers. They purchase more of their merchandise at the mass merchant and less at local merchants.

Globally, the top three retail categories are grocery, apparel and furniture. In India the grocery retailing is an extremely large market but the share of organised sector of this market is very small. With about 6.5 million grocery outlets accounting for over half of the Indian retail market, it is essential that the industry develops a mature understanding of retail consumer behaviour.

Grocery is one category which is regularly and frequently purchased and customers of different demographics are involved in it. So it is thought that by identifying the important perception difference among different demographic customers of store attributes these vulnerable traditional grocery stores would be able to plan out their strategies in more effective manner to target the specific and relevant demographic groups and would be effectively able to face the challenges posed by the organized players. …

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