Supermarket, customer, service, demographic, satisfaction, emerging market
Post Apartheid, the South African supermarket industry has rapidly increased in size and stature, and currently resembles a first world retail sector in an emerging market. However, customer satisfaction doesn't appear to feature highly on the retailers' list of priorities. It would seem that investment in growth has superseded investment in fostering customer goodwill. To this end, research is required into which aspects of service delivery pay dividends and the impact of demographics on the perceived relative importance of such factors. The research considers urban dwellers in the middle to upper market segments who shop at one of the major supermarket chains. A conceptual overview was gained through scrutiny of service quality literature and the empirical analysis conducted by means of a customer survey wherein descriptive statistics, ANOVA analysis and Tukey’s post hoc tests were used to analyse the data. According to respondents, the three most important service quality items were cleanliness, displaying visible prices and a helpful staff. The main reason for supermarket choice was a convenient location with the vast majority of customers citing location as the reason they shop at their particular supermarket. This was followed by convenient operation hours and a wide merchandise variety. Females, older individuals and higher LSM consumers were found to be more discerning shoppers.
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