Journal of Consumer Sciences

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The influence of supermarket attributes on consumer selection of a supermarket: a South African perspective

KM Makhitha, NM Khumalo


Growth of the middle-income group in South Africa has motivated international supermarket retailers such as Walmart to enter the local market. Local retailers have also expanded. For instance, Fruit and Veg City Holdings has expanded by including supermarket offerings under the Food Lover’s Market brand. Large supermarkets are expanding into new markets in townships and rural areas. Supermarkets in South Africa (SA) are facing competition from other retailers, locally and internationally. Therefore, supermarket need an understanding of the supermarket attributes that consumers consider when selecting a supermarket in order to position their supermarkets against their competitors. For this study, an online survey was conducted among 3494 internet users; 104 responded. A convenience sampling method was adopted and internet users listed in the database collected for research purposes were targeted. To achieve the objectives of this study, various statistical analysis were conducted such as  descriptive statistics, factor analysis, a t-test and the ANOVA test. The majority of consumers buy from Pick n Pay, followed by Checkers, as revealed in this study. The majority of consumers buy groceries once a month, followed by those who buy once a week. Consumers were found to buy some products from one supermarket while also buying other products from another supermarket. The five groups of attributes identified through factor analysis were: personnel, convenience, product, service and price. The study has also found that the attributes most important to consumers do not differ across gender, age and income groups. The findings of this study are valuable to retail supermarkets and should be incorporated in their marketing strategies.


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