Among the largest sectors which contribute to economies around the globe is retailing. It has been one of the significant contributors to economic growth across nations (Chan et al, 1990). The evolution of this industry has influenced the resultant lifestyles of urban residents. It has also caused its successful expansion and the proliferation various marketing activities in the previous decade for sustenance of such success. The dynamism of lifestyles and changing preferences of customers has also been a determinant of retailing trends.
This has lead to changes and improvement in the marketing portfolios of retail outlets, including supermarkets, convenient stores, discount stores, shopping malls, pedestrian shopping streets, and e-business (Chan et al, 1990). Levy & Weitz (1998) gave a definition to retailing, depicting it as a business activity involving the sale of either a product or service to ultimate end users’ personal or family use. Customers may have convenient access to such products and services through retailers in the amount and quality that they so want.
Given such a context, it is crucial for retailers to comprehend customer needs and buying behavior. A profound comprehension of these may assist retailers in establishing and sustaining competitive advantage. At this ppint, it is imperative to further define cosnumer behaviour as a focus of the present study. By definition, consumer behavior is described as the mental, emotional and physical activities that are involved in the selection, purchase, use and disposal of products and services with the eventual objective of needs satisfaction (Willie, 1994).
Every person is his role as consumer manifests peculiar consumer behaviour at any place and setting. Thus, this phenomenon is understandably complicated and has several determinants including cognitive beliefs, learning processes, interpersonal response traits, attitudes, motivations, and their personalities to name a few. The current research has studied consumer attitudes and their resultant behaviours. Attitudes not only affect people’s lives, but also exert some impact on their judgment and reaction to the persons, occurences and things around them.
In carrying out the present research, the researcher selected to investigate the perceptions of patrons on both domestic and international retailers. In effec, the intention is to have an analysis of patgrons’ attitudes and their buying behaviour. India’s retail sector is currently undergoing a significant revamping exercise as conventional markets are innovating into new packages — departmental stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets and specialty stores.
Western-style malls have begun appearing in metros and second-rung cities alike introducing the Indian consumer to a shopping experience that is quite novel. Such an evolution has been constant, and the customary grocery stores are gradually evolving into bigger ‘hypermarkets’. The present research deals with how global retail players such as Tesco may effectively enter the India retail market by a thorough understanding of consumers’ perceptions (www. ft. com). The succeeding section presents the problem focused on in the current research. 1. 2 Problem Statement
From the background, it may be gleaned that retailing occupies a significant position in the economies of all modern societies, and that it is going through a period of dramatic change. Entrepreneurs within the retail industry are enhancing their profits and business practice by leveraging on technology and through a deep comprehension of consumer behaviour (Chan & Cui, 2004). With this, retail players must have a profound knowledge of consumers’ attitudes and buying behaviours. Knowledge about the factors which they attach premium importance to is critical.
In addition, they also should be aware the intervening variables that influence such attitudes including display, new product launch, aggressive promotion and packaging, that have a significant likelihood of influencing consumer attitudes and buying behaviours in a retail outlet. A general understanding of these factors can help retail players – both local and international better serve its consumers and fulfil their needs and wants in order to improve patronage and sales. 1. 3 Objectives: The specific objectives of this research are as follows:
1) To identify which demographic traits exert an influence in the assessment of different attibutes of local and global retailers, namely: gender, age, marital status, and educational attainment. 2) To determine the most influential factors that have an impact on the consumer attitudes and behaviors – friends, spouse, the consumer himself, relatives or colleagues; 3) To establish correlations among evaluation of attributes and purchasing behaviour (i. e. intent to further patronize the outlet and recommending it to one’s friends). 4) To submit recommendations to Tesco to increase the probability of its success in the retail market of India.