Beyond Promotion-Based Store Switching: Antecedents and Consequences of Systematic Multiple-Store Shopping

E. Gijsbrechts, K. Campo, P. Nisol

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In this paper, we demonstrate that single-purpose multiple store shopping is not only driven by opportunistic, promotion-based motivations, but may also be part of a longer term shopping planning process based on stable store characteristics.Starting from a utility-maximizing shopping behavior model, we find that consumers systematically visit multiple stores to take advantage of two types of store complementarity.With 'fixed cost complementarity', consumers alternate visits to highly preferred but high fixed cost-stores, with in-between trips to less appealing, low fixed cost- stores.This compromise strategy allows them to balance transaction and holding costs against acquisition costs. 'Category preference complementarity' occurs when different stores offer the 'best value' for different product categories.It is found to be an important driver of multiple store shopping, and a necessary condition for combined (chained) shopping trips.Tying these multiple store shopping motivations to characteristics of different grocery store formats leads to interesting new insights into the nature of retail competition and the strategic role of more quality-oriented retail marketing mix instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Store selection
  • consumer shopping behavior
  • utility maximization
  • multiple store patronage


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