The net growth of retail service industry has played a rather significant role in the world economy. The general merchandise retail industry especially gains the fame of the window economy. This research will focus on the evaluation of the reference frames and consuming behaviors when consumers are engaged in general merchandise purchasing. The principal goal at the end of this paper is to provide suggestions for firms to establish favorable store image under limited amount of resources to other pats of the world. Thus, this paper will lay emphasis on the consumers of general merchandise retail industry in three cross-strait areas: Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Through understanding consumer behavior and life style, the study could be served as a reference for providing strategies for Taiwanese business, which intends to invest the China market.
According to the purpose of this study, we probe consumer’s different impression of store image in the general merchandise retail industry of this research in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is suggested that consumers with different patterns of life styles exposures to different advertising media and promotion activities will lead to different preferences of store image attributes. This paper adopts Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), which combines Factor Analysis and Path Analysis, to analyze our study model in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Prior studies have indicated that a consumer’s awareness; concept of bias and attitude is very vague and uncontrollable during the process of decision-making. In order to overcome this uncertainty, this paper will adopt Chan(1999) interpretations on ways consumer react to constructive Fuzzy Linguistic Scale for the consumers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. By using this model, the problems that involve different cognitive awareness on linguistic terms from the interviewees, could eventually be surmounted. There is a strong lack of records and documents from scholars that focus on the consumer activities of multinational general merchandise retail industry. As a result, this paper will classify the effect of consumer evaluation on the related variation from store image through case studies. The fourth aim of this study is to find out the positive bias from a consumer’s point of view on the degree of satisfaction in favorable store image. All this careful examination will act as reference for a market.
The results show a significant difference in the consumers’ life style, the consumer condition, the advertising media, the promotion mode, different preferences of store attributes for consumers of general merchandise retail industry in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The advertising media and promotion activities of the general merchandise retail industry differ significantly in store images and from areas. This result indicates the more advertising media and promotion activities are implemented, the more influential it is on the consumers’ store images in the general merchandise retail industry. The means of promotion activities have a stronger impact than the advertising media in the choice of consumer purchase in the general merchandise retail industry. In terms of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai, consumer life style, advertising media and promotion activities have a significant influence on the store image. In Taiwan and Shanghai, the more often advertising media and promotion activities play a role, the more influences there are on consumer store image; The promotion activities on the other hand, have a significant influence than advertising media in terms of effecting the choice of consumer store image of the general merchandise retail industry. However, in Hong Kong region, the relationship between advertising media and consumer store image appear to be negative.
From the result of this paper; though the three regions share a common Chinese culture, however; economic background could result in dominant differences. Five years after Hong Kong returned to China the high economic growth in Shanghai have made the structure and development a step closer to Taiwan. In terms of some partial content, there is no significant difference. As a result, this paper takes living styles and factors that influence consumer behavior into consideration, to further discuss what makes the consumers of similar background and life styles affect one another. So researchers must construct a complete behavior model, including important variables that might cause consumer behavior differences, and thus be able to provide international marketing studies for business implementation.
Consumer Behavior, Reference, Store Image, Promotion Mode, Media