The relationship between retail store environment and customer loyalty A Male’ based study

Is There a Relationship Between Retail Store Environment and Customer loyalty? A Male’ Based Study

The research is focuses on the retail environment of Maldives capital city Male’the central point of shopping in the country Such a study will give assistant for the retailers by creating awareness among them regarding the importance of customer retention and the significance of their store’s environment in creating loyal customers

Objectives
Understanding the significance of store environment to create customer loyalty

To examine the retail strategies those are carried out by retailer to achieve loyalty through enhancement of environment

Assessing to extent to which retailers have achieved this through such strategies

To recognize the key factors in the environment that effect customer loyalty

Questions
How important is the store environment of a retailer to create customer loyalty? What are the retail strategies that are carried out by retailers to achieve loyalty through enhancement of environment? How far have the retailers been successful in building such strategies? What are the key factors in the environment that effect customer loyalty?

How important is the store environment of a retailer to create customer loyalty?
• “ The cognitive evaluations of store factors have a direct impact on emotional responses. The study finding shows that in-store aroma has a direct affect on store satisfaction, leading to customer loyalty” Walsh, Shiu, Hassan, et al., (2009) • Chu & Lam, (2001), Indicated that an appropriately designed store environment as a powerful means for providing a pleasant shopping experience for consumers, and enabling the retailer to obtain a competitive advantage over its competitors

What are the retail strategies carried out by retailers to achieve loyalty through enhancement of environment?
 According to Gilbert, (2003), customers judge a retailer’s service quality through the measures of the following dimensions; Tangibility), Reliability, Responsiveness and Assurance  “ In-store aroma has a direct affect on store satisfaction, leading to customer loyalty” Walsh, Shiu, Hassan, et al., (2009)  Gremlera & Brownb, (1996), suggested that selective employee recruitment and proper training of personnel help to strengthen the interpersonal relationships

 Similar recommendations by: Berman & Evans, (2004) and Pegler (1997)

What are the key factors in the environment that effect customer loyalty?
◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Location Store Atmospherics Store design Sales person

◦ Berman & Evans, (2004), “a retailer’s atmosphere may influence people’s enjoyment, as well as their time spent browsing, willingness to conserve with personnel, tendency to spend more than originally planned, and likelihood of future patronage”

◦ Research shows that its vital to invest on training programs focusing in product knowledge and in building interpersonal skills, Yavas & Babakus, (n.d)

When developing the questionnaire it will be partly based on the aspects highlighted in the background section with regard to store environment Primary research will be done to assess the customer loyalty in terms of retail store environment and also to evaluate strategies undertaken retailers and salesmen's interpersonal skills also will be examined

Sample frame: The participants of the study will the retail stores located in the Male’ and the personnel and customers of those stores Sample method used:
◦ Stratified sampling: The population will divided in to two significant strata based on whether it is a Grocery store or a Garment store ◦ Each of the cases within the stratum was given a unique number and then a sample of 250 retail stores will be taken simple randomly from both of the strata

Survey methods:

◦ The retailers will be asked open-ended questions through interviews ◦ Response of salespersons and customers will be scaled on ratings on questionnaires and will be focused on mostly closed questions.

The resources required to undertake this research includes access to computer and software, audio-tape, photocopying and printing

Date

Description of the assignment

June- July 2010

Read literature

August 2010: October 2010: September 2010 November-December 2010

Define objectives for the study

Methodology literature read and devising of research strategy
Draft literature review

Develop questionnaire, pilot test and revise questionnaires

January 2011 February-March2011

Primary data collected and analysis of data Draft finding chapter and final analysis of data Revise draft and final writing of the project

April-June

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