Factors influencing consumer choice of supermarkets in Nairobi, Kenya
Njoka, Isaac Kanyi
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This study aimed at identifying the factors that influence consumer choice of supermarkets in Kenya. Supermarket sub sector is characterized with low customer loyalty where customers keep switching between stores in search of better bargains. This makes customer behaviour in store choice a fundamental area of focus. The study attempts to isolate customers store choice and patronage factors. To resolve the problem of choice, objectives touching on variables like proximity, ambience, product variety, price, mode of payment and customer service are used to guide the study. A descriptive research design is used to describe the current status among supermarket customers. A two section questionnaire was administered on fifty respondents, ten selected from each of the five selected stores. Overall the study established product variety and proximity as the main factors driving customer store choice. Surprisingly staff and referral factors ranked lowly which sharply contradicts some earlier studies notably the one by Piyush and Banerjee (2004). The study concludes that conveniently located stores, opening for long hours, offering special discounts and good product quality help win customers. The three lowest ranked components include; enough sales assistants, delivery of products to parking areas and home delivery of bulk goods. However the study found no extremes among the five independent variables used. All the variables ranked between mean scores of three and four which means they influence store choice either to some extent or large extent. The study recommends that supermarkets undertake continuous customer surveys to isolate factors driving customer choice of stores. The study finally suggests further research based on other forms of retailers.