Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Aim: It has been demonstrated that customer satisfaction is critically important to the performance of grocery stores (Bamford and Xystouri, 2005). In Gävle, there is heavy competition among the three big brands - ICA, Willy:s and Coop. Therefore, the study of customer satisfaction in grocery stores in Gävle is worth researching. This paper aims to establish major attributes that underlie sub-attributes, to examine which pose the most dynamic influences on the degree of customer satisfaction in the different store formats.
Method: The method framework consists of analysis of three samples of customers who purchase in the three store formats of ICA, Maxi ICA, ICA Sätra Store and ICA Nära. Following a weighted mean calculation of the 15 sub-attributes, thus the result can show us the influence of the identified attributes and sub-attributes on customer satisfaction.
Result & Conclusions: The degree of customer satisfaction in Maxi ICA is highest, followed by Sätra ICA and ICA Nära. The attributes, such as additional service, store location, and store environment exert greatest influence on customer satisfaction in the three formats of stores. The principal sub-attributes, such as opportunity to meet friends, attractive price, convenient car parking, location, wide range of food and helpful staff act dramatically. It is concluded that additional service and location satisfy customers most. The degree of customer satisfaction in grocery stores in Gävle, as different formats of stores can meet customers' different needs and requirements.
Suggestions for future research: Four suggestions for future study are introduced. Firstly, researching in other cities, such as Stockholm or Malmo, is advisable, as both of them differentiate from Gavle in terms of size of city and geographic context. Secondly, research on comparison among ICA and its competitors is also advisable to be conducted as it can investigate Swedish retailing industry from a different aspect. Thirdly, Uutialo (2001)’s result appears to be against yours, the gap between Uutialo’s and ours is advised to be examine further. Lastly, the future researchers are also advised to concern about the relationship between traditional retailing industry and e-commerce.
Contribution of the thesis: This work contributes to extant literature by assessing differences in the main factors that contribute to satisfaction in grocery stores in Gävle, depending on different store formats, as customer satisfaction is commonly linked with service marketing. Moreover, the field of grocery market in Gävle has not studied before the way we did, so this thesis has its original value.
2012. , 47 p.