Impulse shopping in convenience stores does gender make a difference?
Bremner, Pauline Ann Mary
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BREMNER, P.A.M., HAMILTON, M. and MCLENNAN, K. 2006. Impulse shopping in convenience stores does gender make a difference? In the Proceedings of the 12th European Institute of Retailing and Service Studies (EIRASS): recent advances in retailing and services sciences, 9-12 July 2006, Budapest, Hungary.
The paper explores the phenomenon of impulse purchasing, which accounts for a growing proportion of total retail spend. The study investigates whether males and females act differently in respect of impulse purchasing. Impulse purchasing has been previously investigated in a range of settings and across a range of product types. The retail setting selected here is the convenience store (c-store) sector because c-stores depend traditionally on top-up, distress and impulse purchases. The types of purchases made at convenience stores are generally smaller items. An objective of c-stores is to get customers to increase their spending on higher value items. C-stores have a core user group of 26% of adults. Differences in purchasing behaviour between genders are explored in the paper. Literature on comparisons between male and female shopping behaviour is reviewed and related to findings on variations in shopping behaviour previously identified in the c-store sector. Within the above context, quantitative primary research was undertaken. 300 postal questionnaires (150 each to males and females) were carried out with consumers from a Scottish locality. Attitudes towards their local convenience store and their purchasing habits when shopping there were investigated. The majority of respondents were female (59.8%) aged 36-50 (26.2%). Males and females had similar rank orders for choice of c-store attributes, with satisfaction of impulse needs being ranked equally unimportant by both groups. Their expectations of c-stores were similar; however there were some differences in purchasing habits. Results indicated gender differences concerning purchasing behaviour within convenience stores, both for planned and unplanned purchases. The most significant variances were females having a higher level of agreement that impulse purchasing is related to trying new products and having a higher level of satisfaction with the majority of impulse purchases. Recommendations for c-store retailers are that the merchandising techniques used to stimulate impulse purchases may have to be reconsidered in relation to gender.