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What drives consumers to certain retailers for organic food purchase: The role of fit for consumers’ retail store preference

Jiyoung Hwang and Jae-Eun Chung

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2019, vol. 47, issue C, 293-306

Abstract: Consumers’ responses to organic foods have been widely researched. However, despite increasing competition among retail chains selling organic foods, little is known about how consumers choose stores for organic food buying. This study fills this important research gap by examining the role of perceived fit between retailers and organic food in US consumers’ choice of retail store for organic food buying. We also investigate antecedents of fit perception and how age-driven differences (younger vs. older consumers) interplay with the role of fit. The data were collected from both younger and older consumers through web-based surveys employing a realistic context of organic food purchases at a retail chain, Walmart. Social desirability bias was incorporated. The results evidence significant moderating roles of retailer-organic food fit in two specific attitudes: attitude toward organic food and attitude toward a retail chain. Store quality is a significant antecedent of fit between retail chain and organic food, but price perceptions and consumer beliefs about corporate social responsibility-corporate ability are not. The moderating role of retail chain-organic food fit is different for younger vs. older consumers. This study provides insights into the significance of matching the image between retailers and organic products (i.e., fit). Also, the proposed model can be applicable to the contexts of fit between retailer and other specialty products. The findings provide insights into how to more effectively attract consumers for organic food purchases through matching brand/product image.

Keywords: Organic food; Fit; Store choice; Store quality; Younger consumers; Older consumers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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