Assessing the maximum level
of customer satisfaction
in grocery stores
A comparison between Spain and the USA
a Pilar Martı
Cuenca Faculty of Social Sciences,
University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain and
Ana Isabel Jime
Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain, and
Department of Marketing, University of Central Florida,
Orlando, Florida USA
Purpose – This paper aims to establish the main factors that underlie store attributes, to examine
which exert the greatest inﬂuences on the achievement of a maximum level of customer satisfaction.
This study seeks to determine if there are signiﬁcant differences not only in the factor compositions but
also in their inﬂuence on customer satisfaction, depending on the country of residence of focal customers.
Design/methodology/approach – The test of the proposed framework consists of analyses of two
samples of customers that purchased in grocery stores in Spain and the USA. Following a factor analysis
of the principal components, a binary logistic regression analysis tests the inﬂuence of the identiﬁed
factors on customer satisfaction.
Findings – This work contributes to extant literature by assessing differences in the main factors that
contribute to satisfaction with food stores, depending on the location of the customer.
Practical implications – This work is especially useful to grocery retailers that operate, or plan to
operate, in different countries; it outlines key factors to consider to achieve upper-bounded customer
Originality/value – The proposed classiﬁcation of attributes and factors, according to their
importance for customers’ evaluations in different countries, includes three main factors. The ﬁrst-order
factor includes the most valued attributes by all customers, independent of the country of residence.
The second-order factors include attributes with lesser importance though still valued by customers;
the importance depends on the country of residence. Finally, the third-order factor attributes are
valued relatively less.
Keywords Customer satisfaction, Grocery stores, Store attribute perceptions, Different countries, Spain,
United States of America
Paper type Research paper
Grocery retailers today face more dynamic and competitive environments than ever
before. From the supply side, the processes of fusion and acquisition during the past
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
This research was funded by Fundacio
n Areces (Spain).
Received 11 October 2009
Revised 25 September 2010
Accepted 9 February 2011
International Journal of Retail &
Vol. 39 No. 7, 2011
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited