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Abstract

In the past, retailers secured customer loyalty by offering convenient locations, unique assortments of goods, better services than competitors, and good credit policy. All this has changed. Goods assortments among stores have become more alike as national-brand manufacturers place their goods in more and more retail stores. Service differentiation also has eroded. Many department stores have trimmed services, and many discount stores have increased theirs. Customers have become smarter shoppers. They don`t pay more for identical brands, especially when service differences have diminished. In the face of increased competition from discount storess and specialty stores, department stores are waging a comeback war. Growth of intertype competition, competition between store-based and non-store-based retailing and growing investment in technology are changing the way consumers shop and retailers sell. Different types of stores-discount stores, catalog showrooms, department stores-all compete for the same consumers by carrying the same type of merchandise. The biggest winners are retailers that have helped shoppers to be economically cautious, simplified their increasingly busy and complicated lives, and provided an emotional connection. The growth of e-retailers has forced traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to respond. Basically brick-and-mortar retailers utilize their natural advantages, such as products that shoppers can actually see, touch, and test, real-life customer service, and no delivery lag time for small-sized purchases. They also provide a shopping experience as a strong differentiator. They are adopting practices as calling each shopper a "guest". The store atmosphere should match the basic motivations of the shopper. If target consumers are more likely to be in a task-oriented and functional mindset, then a simpler, more restrained in-store environment may be better. Consistent with this reasoning, some retailers of experiential products are creating in-store entertainment to attract customers who want fun and excitement. The retail experience must deliver value to turn a one-time visitor into a loyal customer. Retailers need a tool that measures the full range of components that define experience-based value. This study uses an experiential value scale(EVS) developed by Mathwick, Malhotra and Rigdon(2001) which reflects the benefits derived from perceptions of playfulness, aesthetics, customer "return on investment" and service excellence. EVS is useful to predict differences in shopping preferences and patronage behavior of customers. EVS consists of items measuring efficiency, economic value, visual appeal, entertainment value, service excellence, escapism, and intrinsic enjoyment, which are subscales of experiencial value. Efficiency, economic value, service excellence are linked to the utilitarian shopping value. And visual appeal, entertainment value, escapism and intrinsic enjoyment are linked to hedonic shopping value. It has been found that consumers value hedonic experiences activated from escapism and attractiveness of shopping environment as much as the product quality, price, and the convenient location. As a result, many department stores, discount stores, and other retailers are introducing differential marketing strategy based on emotional/hedonic values. Many researches suggest that consumers go shopping not only for buying products but also for various shopping experiences. In other words, they seek the practical, rational value as well as social, recreational values in the shopping process(Babin et al, 1994; Bloch et al, 1994). Retailers may enhance buyer`s loyalty to store by providing excellent emotional/hedonic value such as the excitement from shopping, not just the practical value of buying good products efficiently. We investigate the effect of perceived shopping values on the emotional experience and store loyalty based on the EVS(Experiential Value Scales) developed by Holbrook(1994), Mathwick, Malhotra and Rigdon(2001). This study assumes that the relative effect of shopping value dimensions on the responses of shoppers will differ according to types of stores and analyzes the moderating effect of store type(department store VS. discount store) on the causal relationship between shopping value dimensions and store loyalty. Emprical results show that utilitarian values of shopping experience and hedonic value of shipping experience give the positive effect on the emotional response of consumers and store loyalty. We also found the moderating effect of store types. The effect of utilitarian shopping values on the attitude toward discount store is higher than the effect of utilitarian shopping values on the attitude toword department store. And the effect of hedonic shopping value on the emotional response to discount store is higher than on the emotional response to department store. The empirical results reflect on the recent trend that discount stores try to fulfill the hedonic needs of consumers as well as utilitarian needs(i.e, low price) that discount stores traditionally have focused on.

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