Department stores can trace its history back to 1836 A.D. to Kendal Milne & Faulker which is the world’s oldest department store in Manchester. The world has come a long way since 1836 and so has department stores. There are very few papers regarding retail chain store business in Bangladesh and whether it’s time to focus on a specific departmental store then there is hardly found any research paper which carried out this field. Some papers have been found on the topic called customer satisfaction of superstores in Bangladesh. Among them in 2012, there was a study by Mohammad Abul Kashem which mainly was on a very small scale as the geographical limit was confined to only Chittagong.
In 2008 there was another study by Thomas Reardon, Christopher B. Barrett, Julio A. Berdegue and Johan F.M. Swinnen, where before and after the “take-off” of retail transformation in the early 1990s was described shortly, which included the “supermarket revolution” and also the rapid spread of fast food chains in developing countries. According to Thomas Reardon, a professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, Bangladesh is part of a fourth wave that just barely has emerged in the last few years. Other countries at a similar stage are Cambodia, Bolivia and certain countries in West Africa.
In 2008 Dieter Bachmann, Swiss publicist and writer published an article about Retailing on Britain’s most successful newspaper The Daily Star, where he shortly but clearly described the diffusion of the supermarket. According to Bachmann, supermarket dissemination has occurred in three waves in developing countries, so far, starting in the 1990s with much of South America, East Asia (outside China) and South Africa. This was followed by a second wave in the mid-to-late 1990s, including Mexico, Central America and much of Southeast Asia. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a third wave hit China, India, and Vietnam.
On the other hand, the American researcher feels it is likely that the diffusion of the retail chain store will be quite slow for the fourth wave, compared to the first three waves. The reason is that the key socioeconomic changes necessary for a change in the retail environment are happening in Bangladesh, at a pace much slower than for example in India. These changes acting as a driving force behind supermarket diffusion include increasing urbanization, increasing number of women working outside their home (which leaves them with less time for shopping of essentials), and increasing incomes per capita. By the estimates of Ashok Gulati, director of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it will probably take another decade or two, until retail chain store diffusion in a country like Bangladesh is appreciable, meaning that roughly around 20-25% of retail sales are made through this channel. “But the time for South Asia seems to have come,” he adds. “Just look at the expansion of Cargills Ceylon in Sri Lanka.” That retailer has more than 120 food super markets all over the country.
In fact, Sri Lanka with a population of over 21.2 million has more than 240 supermarkets while Dhaka with its 165+ million inhabitants just has 121 such stores. In 2011 on the study, the factors that influence the consumer in choosing departmental stores in Bangladesh by Seiranevoda, the identification of the Factors influencing consumers to shop Superstore in Bangladesh- in specific six probable extrinsic cues. The six extrinsic cues- Brand Image, Perceive Price, Perceived Quality Product Availability, Location of the store and Environment were tested to see if they have any positive influence on customers’ decision making to go shopping from a Chain Superstore.
In 2010 there was another research investigation by Palto R. Datta of The Academy of Business and Retail Management, Harrow, England, United Kingdom, with expertise in Business Administration, Business Economics, which mainly focus on the identification, description and analyzing of the factors that have an impact on customers retention in the Bangladesh food retailing context. In that research Datta argued that customer retention has received considerable attention and has become a prime issue for food retail organizations desiring to stay in business, maximize profits and/or build and sustain competitive advantage in the food sector. The longer customers and retained by an organization, the more benefits it is likely to accrue from a sustained income steam.
To focus on customer satisfaction of departmental store, in 2011 Dr. Jeevananda S, Professor & Administrator at Christ University, Bangalore, India, suggested gaining high levels of customer satisfaction is very important to a business because satisfied customers are most likely to be loyal and to make repeat orders and to use a wide range of services offered by a business.
The same way in 2011, Dr.Rajul Bhardwaj, Human Resources Professional, Delhi Public School, Ranipur, haridwar, has attempted to measure the links between attribute perceptions and consumer satisfaction and between consumer satisfaction and sales performance in the food retail sector of India. The study relies upon an extensive data set of consumer satisfaction and sales information from approximately 180 consumers.
On the other hand, Manish Madan and Sima Kumari, Assistant Professors of Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research, Delhi, India, in 2012 conducted study on factors influencing customer satisfaction of organized retail outlets in Delhi where they identified the following cues as the determinants of customer satisfaction in retail outlets.
The cues are personnel interactions, physical aspects, promotional campaign, price, location and product quality (according to Hussain and Ara, 2004). Bangladesh’s retail sector is dominated by traditional shops nonetheless; it has shown growth and modernization, keeping pace with overall economic growth, the increase in middle-class consumers and changes in consumption patterns. The organized retail sector, including supermarkets, remains relatively small but consumes increasing volumes of imported food products and exhibits the fastest growth.
According to McTaggart (2004), an American lecturer, journalist, author, and publisher, competition and a fragmented state of the grocery stores are being faced with new challenges with the aggressive growth plans of super center. As a result, few considerable factors like range, price, expertise, convenience and experience have been recommended for retail business by McKinsey. Among these factors, price is comparatively much important factor in any business strategy in the dynamic business environment. Moreover, today’s retailing has been revolutionized through online that have influence on investors and entrepreneurs to revamp accordingly to be effective with realizing the customer behavior. However, retailers should keep in their minds regarding price factor and the factors related to dramatize revolution.
Professor Dr. Abdullah Farouk, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business Studies, University of Dhaka, has studied on traditional retail marketing in Bangladesh. The study has identified that in Bangladesh, the importance of retail business is increasing but there is no up-to-date information on this business. The study has also showed that maximum (88%) of the retail shops are owned by sole-proprietors, among the visitors to a retail shop, only about 50% of them make actual purchase, retailing as yet is on a small scale in Dhaka and retailers do not go for advertisement in the media very much, credit-sale has been found to some extent, only in few product lines such as industrial goods, grocery and stationery items, only a few retailers give emphasis on quick delivery, specialist service or trying to build trust among the customers, most of the surveyed retailers (61%) do not know the laws of and the rights of the consumers except only 50% surveyed medicine shop owners know such laws.
In another study, Professors of Dhaka University, Azad and Bhuiyan (1992) have identified the characteristics and problems of grocery retailing in Bangladesh. Their study has found that grocery trade is connected with various problems such as irregular supply; quality variations from time to time and shop to shop, price fluctuation, bargaining, adulteration, shortage of adequate capital, high cost of transportation etc. From analyzing the findings of their study, it can be assumed that there is a chance to switch customers from traditional grocery stores to modern superstores to buy their grocery essentials and other necessary items at a large space without any hassle.
In 2008 Asaduzzaman and Ithora shows on a study that consumers were highly regarding their health had medium awareness regarding the environment hazards caused by agrochemicals. But the supply of organic items in the local market was insufficient; and most mentioned that organic rice, fruits, fish, shrimp, egg and chicken satisfied less than half of their family demand. Syed Ferhat Anwar, who teaches marketing at Institute of Business Administration at Dhaka University, said a rise in supermarkets would give consumers more choices and allow them to choose independently. “It will increase consumption and help boost economy,” he said, “But the question is if the market is going to be saturated for too much increase in the number of supermarkets.” Ferhat however said organized retail shops might lead to an improvement in quality and services in the wet markets.
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