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Segmenting the market for food shoppers using attitudes to shopping and to time

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Market segmentation in retailing can be based on traditional demographic measures of the customer base or on other measures including shoppers' motivations. One criticism of existing approaches is that they are not based on a theoretical model of consumer behaviour. In this paper the potential for time allocation theory to provide the necessary theoretical underpinning is investigated. It is argued that attitudes to time underpin attitudes to time-consuming activities such as food shopping. A questionnaire instrument was developed to measure five time attitudes (past, present and future orientation, time pressure and succession) and five shopping attitudes (apathy, convenience, enjoyment, shopping as a routine activity and as an event). Correlations are hypothesised between the time and shopping attitudes and shopping behaviour. The results of a survey of shoppers are reported to test these relationships. Cluster analysis is used on the shopping and time attitudes to define four segments. The ability of the clusters to identify differences in retail patronage is tested. The relative ability of time and shopping attitudes to predict patronage is compared with traditional demographic measures and the distance from the respondent's home to the store. Attitudes to time were found to contribute more frequently in describing actual behaviour than other types of variable.

Keywords: Food; Retailing; Shopping; Time; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-02-01

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