India has witnessed tremendous increase in the new retail formats in apparel stores sector, in the last decade. Big corporate houses have diversified themselves and have entered into retail business in India with introduction of new retail formats such as department stores, discount stores, organized retail stores, and even the whole malls are introduced to sell where majority of their product portfolio is apparels.
Past research has shown that the retail format that has gained the interest of big corporates is the big shopping complexes, organized retail stores or the shopping malls. Organized retail stores are expected to provide delighted shopping experiences to customers which ultimately may lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty towards the store. Consumers have witnessed various advantages of organized retail stores over traditional ones. These benefits include the comfort, more variety of products, ambience, style and speed. Organized retail format provides consumer more convenience, better services and choice along with enhanced experienced, as compared to that of traditional retailing.
The developing and the developed economies have witnessed major transformations in retailing formats. In the emerging economy, such as India, consumers have various avenues to satisfy their shopping needs. The nearby areas located in their close vicinity were the ideal choice for the consumers for their shopping, in previous decades (Mai et al.2003; Srivastava, 2008). However, big corporate houses have understood the benefits and the potential of the organizaed retailing and have penetrated into Indian retail industry. Due to intense competition in organized retail apparel stores, customers have more options for apparel purchase and hence easilty switch retailers. This has resulted in critical situation faced by retailers to retain their customers for longer durations. It has become imperative to provide high quality services within the store to enhace in-store customer satisfaction leading to store loyalty
Various factors of these organized retail stores/shopping malls affect the perception of the customers related to the service quality of these stores. The service quality perceived or experienced by the customers is believed to directly affect their loyalty and satisfaction towards the store. It is assumed that more the satisfaction of the customer, higher is the probability of the customer becoming loyal to the store resulting in repeat patronage.
This research was aimed to investigate the relationship between various determinants of service quality of the organized retail apparel store and the customer loyalty & satisfaction. The respondents were selected from Ahmedabad city. Data was collected with the help of “Service Quality of Retail Stores” scale, developed by Dabholkar et. al (1996). The statements for constructs of customer satisfaction and loyalty, were developed on the basis of the literature review. Structural Equation Modeling was employed to identify the relationship between the service quality dimensions of the store and the satisfaction and loyalty of the customers towards these stores in Ahmedabad city. This study will help the managers of organized retail apparel stores to understand the relationship between the determinants of service quality and the customers’ satisfaction and loyalty which will enable them in decision making related to improving the quality of the service in their stores with respect to various determinants of service quality.
Keywords: Organized Retail, Apparel Stores, Service Quality, Satisfaction, Loyalty
Paper presented in International Conference (ICBIS-2019), at Auro University Surat, on March 01-02, 2019, by Mayank Bhatia and Dhruv D Shah.