Consumer influence on retail prices of rice in Imo state of Nigeria
The increasing prices of rice in Imo State seem to emanate from retailers without consumers considerations as they are regarded as the king. Consumers‟ bargaining power influence on retail prices most times appear latent, hence the need to analyze consumer influence on retail prices of rice in Imo State. The study aimed at estimating consumers bargaining power and its effect on price flexibility of rice in the area. A multi stage sampling technique was used in the selection of 90 retailers and 81 consumers drawn from three metropolitan cities within the agricultural zones. Primary data were obtained by means of interview schedule administered to consumers of rice at retailers‟ shops and the data were analyzed using descriptive techniques and multiple regression analysis (OLS). The results show that the mean purchase volume of rice consumers was 5kg at an average monthly unit price of ₦163.09. However, consumers indicating a weak level of consumers bargaining power accounted for 64.20%. The result of the multiple regression revealed that rice consumers show that the co-efficient age (X4) is positive and has significant relationship with consumers bargaining power. Result of estimation of rice revealed that quantity demanded (Qty) has negative relationship with price and it is significant. Showing the need for consumers to be more aware that increase in quantity bought reduces retailers selling price and to be aware of their position as price givers and king while making purchases. Consumers‟ influence on food pricing and with the knowledge of consumers bargaining power helps consumers‟ understanding of marketing systems and its modus operandi, price trends, formation and fixing, become more aware of their right as price givers and king in the market place in order to maximize utility. More research needs to be carried in the area of food pricing, consumers‟ influence bargaining power and behaviour to help consumers minimize profit accruing to retailers by educating consumers on technicality involved in marketing.
Keywords: Consumer, retail prices and Rice