Store selection criteria amongst black consumers in the purchase of sportswear apparel in Soweto and the relationship with store satisfaction and loyalty

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Mathaba, Ryan Lesetja
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Research on apparel store choice and patronage has been widely studied locally and internationally. However, it is still important to understand consumers’ purchase behaviour and to develop appropriate retailing strategy. South Africa is currently experiencing a substantial growth in retail infrastructure especially in townships. Formal retailers are now expanding into township markets. Most of those retailers differentiated themselves from their competitors by developing a corporate identity, inter-alia through their store image. The purpose of the research was to examine apparel store selection criteria amongst black consumers in Soweto. In addition, this research examined the relationship between store satisfaction and loyalty. The literature review focuses on consumer behaviour variables and store image variables influential in store selection. The review was necessary to provide an overview of how consumers decide where, how and when to shop. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 489 respondents who were selected using non-probability convenience sampling. The sample size comprised sportswear apparel shoppers (blacks), both male and female, 18 years and older who patronised three shopping malls, namely Protea Gardens, Southgate, and Jabulani Mall. Data were analysed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), mean rankings, the Mann Whitney U test, correlation analysis and regression. Six factors were found to be appropriate to capture the dimensions of store selection. These factors were labelled sales assistant, store atmospherics, store appeal (interior/exterior), in-store induced appeals, promotion/brand availability and store accessibility. Furthermore, the data obtained revealed a strong linear relationship between satisfaction and loyalty as well as significant relationship amongst the dimensions of store selection. Regression analysis revealed that promotion/brand availability and store satisfaction are strong predictors of loyalty. The Mann Whitney U test revealed no significant difference in the store choice dimensions between female and male respondents. The recommendations arising from the current study could help retailers understand what motivates shoppers to select one store amongst other stores. The identification of in-store and out-of-store activities that encourage consumers to stay store loyal, are critical to the success of retail businesses. Future studies may be extended on the purchase of other products apart from sportswear items.
M. Tech. (Marketing, Faculty of Management Sciences), Vaal University of Technology.
Township markets, Purchasing behaviour, Sportswear