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Journal cover: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Superstore interactivity: a new self-service paradigm of retail service?

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Title:Superstore interactivity: a new self-service paradigm of retail service?
Author(s):Bill Merrilees, (Bill Merrilees is Professor of Marketing and Retailing and), Dale Miller, (Dale Miller is Lecturer in Retailing (Sessional), both in the School of Marketing and Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.)
Citation:Bill Merrilees, Dale Miller, (2001) "Superstore interactivity: a new self-service paradigm of retail service?", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 29 Iss: 8, pp.379 - 389
Keywords:Innovation, Multiple retailers, Self-service, Service
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/09590550110396953 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:The nature of retail service varies from personal service to the provision of greater ambience. Indeed, anything that adds value to the merchandise itself can be considered part of the service provided by the retailer. The focus of this paper is on that part of retail service that involves direct interactivity between the store and the customer. There are two main types of physical interactivity, namely personal service and store design and atmosphere. This paper aims to develop constructs of these two types of interactivity and analyse their impact on store loyalty. An extra dimension is added to this study by contrasting the role of service between superstores and traditional specialist stores in two retail categories. A key finding was that the major difference between the service provided by superstores compared to traditional specialist stores relates to store design and atmosphere. This leads to the suggestion that the recent wave of superstores has ushered in a new paradigm of retail service, one with elevated emphasis on self-service principles. A further finding was that store design and atmosphere was one of the more important determinants of store loyalty. The paper shows that superstores have revolutionised the nature of retail service, mainly by more effective configuration of self-service, mediated through store design.

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