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Title: Store personality impression formation: Comparing grocery and fashion retailing
Authors: BRENGMAN, Malaika 
Mikolacjzak - De Grauwe, Kalina
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Purpose – The ultimate aim of this study is to assess the extent to which sources of store personality inferences are generalizable across different retail sectors. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative exploratory study was undertaken with a convenience sample of Belgian adult respondents in order to systematically assess the connotations in a grocery retailing context of the 34 different store personality trait descriptors put forward by d’Astous and Lévesque (2003). Results of the current study were compared with similar findings from a previous study in a fashion retailing context conducted by Brengman and Willems (2009). Findings – This study identifies the similarities and differences in the factors people use to infer grocery versus fashion store personalities. One of the main elements capable of invoking store personality associations in both retail contexts is found to be the “store atmosphere”. Depending on the retail context we also identified differences in the way consumers form an impression of a store’s personality. Practical implications – A better understanding of the determinants of store personality is essential for retail managers who want to (re)position their stores. The present study presents an overview of (actionable) elements that retail managers could manipulate in order to establish store personality. Originality/value – The current empirical study is the first to investigate the antecedents of store personality in a grocery retailing context. By comparing the results of the current study with a similar study in a fashion retailing context we are able to determine the role of the specific retail context in store personality impression formation.
Keywords: Store personality; Grocery retailing; Impression formation; Qualitative research; Positioning; Perception
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Category: R2
Type: Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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