Purpose – Retailers who stay open for longer times may be overestimating demand during these times and might struggle to turn round a profit by operating extended trading hours. This paper aims to analyse the frequency and time at which consumers make unscheduled store visits in order to suggest ways that retailers might use to attract more patronage in this mode of grocery shopping. Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology includes administration of a structured questionnaire among randomly selected shoppers, exiting two supermarkets across a major Australian city. The survey seeks information about various aspects of shopping behaviour, in a range of contexts and within selected demographics. Two econometric models aimed at predicting frequencies and times of the day that shoppers do unscheduled shopping are constructed. Findings – The study identifies shopping profiles of consumers who are inclined to make unscheduled visits to the grocers. Research limitations/implications – The investigation does not discriminate between idiosyncratic unscheduled purchase behaviour during extended trading times on weekdays and weekends. Greater understanding of the extenuating factors that encourage unscheduled shopping on Sundays will give an added dimension to the policy issues debate on Sunday trading. Practical implications – Retailers can attempt to condition their patrons to expand purchases during the time the store keeps its doors open longer. Originality/value – The findings could impel retailers during the extended trading times, to take affirmative actions to make customers' unscheduled visits more experiential, and help the stores achieve higher customer outlays.
Management Research News – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2009
Keywords: Retailers; Shopping; Retail trade; Hours of work; Supply and demand; Behaviour
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