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Title: Determinants of fashion store personality. A consumer perspective
Authors: BRENGMAN, Malaika 
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Academy of Marketing - Brand SIG
Source: Guzman, Francisco (Ed.) Experiential Brands, Identity and Reputation: The Power of Intangible Assets in Expresive Organizations and Markets. p. 9-9.
Abstract: As today’s mature retail markets appear to be characterized by store commoditization and retail brand confusion, retail differentiation on the basis of utilitarian store image attributes seems no longer adequate. ‘Store personality’ may provide a more enduring point of difference. Although the importance of ‘store personality’ in retail branding is beyond dispute, it is still not quite clear what determines a store’s personality or how retailers should build it. Studies with regard to retail personality have often remained too general to be of use to retail managers. Apart from some conceptual work, no empirical research has yet systematically investigated the antecedents of different store personality dimensions. It was the objective of the current study to identify the main determinants of store personality, as perceived by the shopper. We decided to focus on the specific case of fashion stores and aimed to discover the key factors responsible for the different fashion store personality trait perceptions, in order to comprehend how these humanlike personality traits are induced in a fashion retailing context. The purpose was to identify which controllable (but perhaps also uncontrollable) cues shoppers use to make inferences about a fashion store’s personality. We aimed to systematically elicit salient determinants for each of the five store personality dimensions proposed by d’Astous and Lévesque (2003) : ‘genuineness’, ‘solidity’, ‘sophistication’, ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘unpleasantness’. To this purpose, a qualitative study was undertaken. 70 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of Belgian adult respondents. The connotations of the 34 different store personality trait descriptors within the five store personality dimensions put forward by d’Astous and Lévesque (2003) were systematically assessed by asking participants what fashion stores are thought to be exemplar for each of these specific personality traits and by probing for the sources of inference they used to form these impressions. The findings reveal that the store environment and particularly store design is an important factor in determining the personality of fashion stores. Also other factors, such as corporate social responsibility, reputation, service level, the salespeople, the merchandize sold, price/quality perceptions and the consumer base appear to determine store personality perceptions. The comprehensive overview of the main factors inducing specific fashion store personality traits may provide a better understanding of the particular determinants, which is primordial for retail managers who want to build up a store personality or reposition a store with regard to its personality.
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ISBN: 0-9549730-3-8
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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