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Rural consumers' patronage behaviour in Finland

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This study focuses on researching the relations between consumers and grocery stores in the countryside. Paying more attention to researching retailing and consumer behaviour in rural areas is important because most studies have focused on researching urban consumers' buying behaviour while paying rather little attention to that of rural inhabitants, especially in sparsely populated areas. By examining the buying behaviour of rural consumers and the positive and negative features connected with the product and service supply of rural stores, the following research questions are addressed. Which factors have an impact on the store choice of rural consumers and is it possible to identify different buyer groups on the basis of consumers' shopping orientation? The objective of the study was to find new consumer buying behaviour information that can help to improve the competitive capabilities of rural grocery stores. The study identifies the most relevant store choice factors of an ideal grocery store and the most important features which best describe the rural store. Factor analysis revealed the dimensions according to which rural consumers evaluate grocery purchasing, and homogeneous customer groups with different shopping orientation were formed using cluster analysis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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