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Influences on ethical and socially responsible shopping: evidence from the UK grocery sector

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Abstract:

Given the growing importance of ethical and socially responsible (ESR) issues in retailing, this research uses empirical evidence from the UK grocery sector to investigate the significance of these factors on shoppers' store and product choice decisions. A number of different ESR shopping motivations are identified including global and local issues in store decisions, together with product heritage, animal and human rights, and advertising and communications issues in product decisions. Results suggest that both ESR and other influences are important in explaining shopping intentions, and that these vary according to shopping occasion, particularly whether the shopper is undertaking a main or top-up shop. Whilst in some circumstances ESR motives remain paramount to the decision, in others shoppers are prepared to forgo some element of this to overcome situational imperatives. Customer service, product quality and promotions are important motivators of shoppers even when they are looking for ethical and socially responsible solutions. Implications for retailers and research, the limitations of the study, and directions for future investigation are presented.

Keywords: CONSUMER DECISION MAKING; ETHICS; GROCERY RETAILING; RETAIL STRATEGY; SHOPPING MOTIVATIONS; SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1362/026725708X326039

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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