The Factors Influencing Consumers Attitude Towards Patronage of De-mecks Supermarkets in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.



The aim of the study is to identify the factors influencing consumer attitudes towards patronage of De-meck’s supermarket, umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria. The major objective of the study was to determine the factors that influence consumer attitude towards patronage of De-meck’s supermarket. To achieve this, a sample of 97 respondents (showing 34 staff and 63 consumers) were administered questionnaire. The data was collected through the questionnaire. The student utilized descriptive research design. It also found among others that consumers in umuahia town always patronize to specific supermarket; however there was no evidence to prove that consumer’s demographics influenced patronage. In conclusion retailers should gear their marketing efforts towards satisfying consumers in order to influence their patronage decisions.

Keywords: Patronage, Supermarket, Consumer attitudes, consumers.



0.1     Introduction

1.1     Background of the study

This study deals with factors influencing consumer attitude towards patronage of De-meck’s supermarket. The study dwells on the supermarkets as they form an ideal customer contact point will most of the products they frequently purchase. Supermarkets are self-service stores that carry complete line of food products as well as non-food products.  (Hult, Prinde and Firell, 2011). Hence descriptive research methods are to be used in order to identify and obtain information on the factors that the supermarkets have. As Hussey (1997) pointed out that descriptive research methods help to explain facts as they exist.

          There is an observable worldwide shift towards patronage marketing in most of the sectors across various industries. In modern competitive retail markets, consumers are sovereign in dictating what shape the market will take. Returns can only be made if the customer decides to purchase and purchase again, as part of a relationship with the store and the brand (Gibert: 2001).

Evens (1997) contents that, in today’s low growth and highly competitive markets, retaining loyal customers is a more efficient strategy than attracting new customers. Knowing consumers attitudes has however been a hard takes to achieve since modern customers have become more confident and demanding. Consumers want product and services that satisfy them and have no time for the ones, which do not. (Baker, 1992) says that today’s customers are tougher and more informed and so sensitive to poor service that they often walk away and never comeback. This can be achieved through trying to convert consumers into loyal customers by identifying their needs and wants and providing and offering that will satisfy the consumers and win their patronage.

          Therefore consumer’s behavior must be studied because their behavior or expected actions affect certain decisions taken by firms.

1.2     Brief History of De-meck Supermarket, Umuahia, Abia state

          De-mecks supermarket is a whole sale and retail shopping centre dealing on gifts, perfume, cosmetics, greeting cards, accessories, fashion, home doctor and imported foods. De-mecks supermarket was esta blushed in 20th September 2004. It was established to solve problems of the consumers, by providing  their needs and wants in order to satisfy them. during the time that it was established, De-mecks supermarket was working with 15 staff. On 10th September 2010 De-mecks supermarket was upgraded by enlarging it more than it was before and also different items that was not available were now added to expand the supermarket for the purpose to attract more patronage from the consumers who were not patronizing De-mecks supermarket before because of some lack of items. During that year 2010, 20 staff was employed, which complete them 35 staff working for De-mecks  supermarket in order to serve the consumers better. Then on 20th November, 2014 De-mecks supermarket was registered so that no other supermarket will duplicate the name and also for the whole world to know that such supermarket is existing. De-mecks supermarket is located at 9, Warri Street, Umuahia north, Abia State.

1.3     Statement of the Problem

          This study assessed the factors affecting consumer attitudes of De-mecks supermarkets in Umuahia North. How consumer develop true store patronage and how store patronage can be maintained are still open questions for retail stores owners. In order to improve store performance marketers are interested in customer attitude drivers and their practical usage. Thus an investigation of these factors is likely to reduce challenges faced by supermarkets. This study identified the challenges that the supermarkets face and how they can position their stores best and which store attitude driving factors the supermarket owners need to focus on and improve in order to maintain customer attitude in their stores. The question arises therefore whether owners of supermarkets in Umuahia town have knowledge of consumer expectations and whether consumers based their decisions on specific factors.

1.4     Objectives of the Study

          The study sought to examine the factors influencing consumers attitude towards patronage of De-mecks supermarkets in Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria.

          The following specific objectives were stated:

  1. To determine the factors that influence consumers preference for a retail outlet.
  2. To find out various strategies to be adopted in order to get high and consistent patronage from consumers.
  3. To identify the specific need of the various consumers and make them available to enhance patronage.
  4. To establish support systems that give employees clear instructions for gaining and maintaining service superiority.
  5. To ascertain the impact of product strategy on the attitude of consumers towards patronage of De-mecks supermarket.

1.5     Research Questions

          The following research questions have been carefully asked:

  1. Do product strategy affects consumer attitude towards patronage of De-mecks supermarket?
  2. What factors contribute to linking of a store by consumers?
  3. How does promotion strategy, place strategy affect consumer attitude towards patronage of De-mecks supermarket
  4. Do consumers characteristics like age, education level among other’s affect their loyalty of specific supermarkets?
  5. Which factors do consumers find most important in their patronage decision.

1.6     Significance of the Study

          The researcher work extensively lo9oked at the attitude of consumers in relation to patronage of supermarkets. This research will serve as a guide towards achieving better patronage from consumers in the study area. It will enlighten the general public (consumers) on the need and benefit of patronizing a specific retail outlet/supermarket conclusively, this study will be of immense value generally because  it will give a sound understanding of consumer behaviour/attitude to various supermarkets which is essential to the long run success of their marketing program. Because  understanding consumers attitude is seen as a cornerstone of any marketing effort.

1.7     Scope/Limitation of the Study

          The study covers comprehensively De-mecks supermarket in Umuahia North, Abia State, Nigeria. The study seeks to meet the consumers in and around Umuahia north. This study was limited by inadequate funds that could not allow an extensive study with a large sample use. However, this limitation will not adversely affect the results o the research.

1.8     Definition of Terms

          The following terms were defined?

Consumer Loyalty: This is an attitude by consumers to create a relationship with a particular brand or a repeat patronage to particular products or services. Fournier (1998).

Brand: This refers to a name, symbol, or design or a combination of item, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitor. (Phillip Kotler)

Supermarket/Supermarket Store: This term has been used in this study to refer to the retail outlets that sell their products by displaying on the shelves for customers to pick and buy them. They also offer renting spaces for companies to place their products for sale (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990)  .

Customer: This is a party that receives or consumers products (good or services) and has the ability to choose between different products and supplies. See also buyer (Joseph M. 1988).

Need: This is a motivating force that compels action for it satisfaction.

Packaging: This is a processes (such as cleaning, drying preserving) and materials (such  as glass, metal, paper or paper board, plastic) employed to contain, handle, protect, and/or transport an article (Rodgers, G.B.)




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