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Factors That Influence Students Supermarket Choice Marketing Essay

Supermarkets in the United Kingdom account for a prominent share of the U.K retail market. In 2009 the U.K grocery market rose by approximately 4.8% which lead to an increase from £139.6bn to £146.3bn and the growth continued in 2011 to £156.8bn, Grocery markets account for 52% of all U.K retail sales (IGD, 2012). The four popular supermarket; i.e. ASDA, Morrison’s, Tesco and Sainsbury’s dominate the food and grocery market by controlling 61% of it (RTT, 2006). The main goal of the majority of supermarket in the world is to sell the products they have and increase their competitive advantage every year (Suttle, 2009). Consequently it is imperative to consider the factors that influence supermarket choice, as it affects some important decisions that consumers make such as what, where and how much to buy. Similarly this research would look at the possible elements students consider, and how important culture or ethnicity is to that choice.

This is of interest to both the small and more popular supermarket companies who are concerned with aiming their commercial enterprise on possible business and competitive advantage brought by students. Students are viewed as a very prospective and lucrative segment of the population with is commercially important and business should seek to establish a semi permanent relationship with them (Ness, et al (2002). This research proposal will analyse the various components students take into consideration, as well as other variable that may come into play when selecting a supermarket. It will likewise make an investigation into the following research questions:

What are the choices students’ have when looking for a supermarket?

What are the main factors influencing students’ choice?

What variables affect these factors?

Annotated Bibliography

Beynom, M.J., Moutinho, L., Veloutsou, C. (2010). Gender differences in supermarket choice: An expositional analysis in the presence of ignorance using CaRBS. European Journal of Marketing, 44(1), 267-290.

This article looks at consumer’s genders and discusses if it is a contributing factor to supermarket choice, and makes use of the classification and ranking belief simplex (CaRBS).

It discloses that gender affects consumers approach in decision making and that women have lower risk taking tendencies that men which causes them to stick to products and 8isupermarkets that they are familiar with. The research shows that gender has a major impact on consumer behaviour when it comes to supermarket choice but observes that its effects are limited.

This article is relevant to my research proposal, as it shows not only how gender might be a factor but also looks at other various factors that could be considered to affect supermarket choice. It was carried out in Maryhill and Patrick in Glasgow. Both quantitative and qualitative research method were used; 12 participants were interviewed and 160 questionnaires were returned. Sample size appears to be significant which may mean results could be generaliable to the population sampled.

Ness, M., Gorton, M., Kuznesof, S. (2002). The student food shopper: Segmentation on the basis of attitudes to store features and shopping behaviour. British Food Journal, 104(7), 506-525.

This journal is aimed at investigating student food shopping behaviour and the various segments students can be divided into, and how their segments affect their shopping behaviours. This article looks at important elements that influence students to go food shopping; such as university accommodation which increases students’ independent lifestyle. It also looks at why targeting students is important for businesses saying that it is during their years of education that students will formulate their own preference, opinions and notions about what stores and shops they would keep throughout their lives, which makes students a very important market segment to be targeted.

This journal was essential to my research proposal as it concentrated on students and their food shopping behaviour. It discusses food shopping in general but does not focus particular on supermarket. The research was carried out in the University of Newcastle. The research strategy used was a survey and the main research tool was a questionnaire which returned 731 useable responses. Quota sampling was utilized in this research, which is representative and may reflect that in the actual population.

Hansen, T., Jensen, J.M., Solgaard, H.S. (2011). When supermarket consumers get stocked in the middle. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 39(11), 836-850.

This article discusses the elements that influence consumers’ supermarket satisfaction. It focuses on consumers’ preference structure as well as the level at which consumers’ expectations affect their supermarket satisfaction. In the first part, it looks at how mental justification is a consumer basic choice motivator, stating that metal justification is how consumers’ rationalize their decisions to shop at a particular supermarket. The second part, discusses how consumers’ in discount supermarkets and patronisers of upper scale supermarkets use metal justification when looking at factors like price and quality in choosing their supermarkets.

This article is relevant to my research proposal, as it looks into consumers’ supermarket satisfaction, but it only looks into the price and quality of goods as factors that influence consumers’ supermarket choice. This research was carried out in the University of Southern Denmark. The research strategy used here was a survey, 1500 questionnaires were distributed but only 130 responses were used. Custer sampling was the preferred sampling used but this method can reduce the representation of the sample.

Richbell, S., Kite, V. (2007). Night shoppers in the ‘open 24 hours’ supermarket: a profile. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 35(1), 54-68.

This article examines how the introduction of night shopping is a strategy use by supermarkets to keep their existing customers and appeal to new ones. It addresses how the establishment of 24-hours supermarkets provides an additional service for their customers’. Given that the demand for night shopping has increased, it allows more people to visit supermarkets after work which they may have not been able to do before. 24 hours supermarkets also allow for more job opportunities. This service is aimed at targeting different and new types of shoppers.

This article is relevant to my research proposal, as it shows a unique service which supermarket have started offering which can affect student supermarket choice. This study was carried out in Sheffield, United Kingdom. It adopted a quantitative methodology. Random sampling was used, 148 shoppers were interviews. This method of sampling can lead to a representation or result that is free from bias.

Narhinen,M., Nissinen, A., Puska, P. (1999). Healthier choices in a supermarket: The Municipal Food control can promote health. British Food Journal, 101(2), 99-108.

This article evaluates how encouraging supermarkets to sell healthier food options can affect consumers’ supermarket choice as well as helps to increase consumers’ health. The idea this article brings forward is that if supermarket display healthier products it could change consumers’ shopping behaviour which could be beneficial for supermarkets. It also looks at how companies’ choice to reduce the level of salt and saturated fat in their food items can persuade consumer to choose healthier foods.

This article is partly relevant to my research, as it looks at how the supermarkets providing services like healthier foods can affect consumers’ supermarket choice. This study was carried out in Finland. A survey was carried out were 600 people were interviewed and 185 questionnaire were returned. A non-probability sample was used, and because so many interviews were executed there is a possibility of interviewers’ bias.


The aim of this research is to investigate the link between certain factors and how they affect students’ supermarket choice. In order to do so choosing the best research strategy that would suit the research question is crucial. To achieve this, an exploratory research method can be used, as it concentrates on examining a problem or situation for the purpose of explaining the relationship between variables (Sanders et al, 2012). It also allow for a less formal structure and a high level of flexibility (Webb, 1999).

The research strategy to be used here is survey. The specific relationship between some variables can be obtained in survey strategies using quantitative research in data collection (Sanders et al, 2012). In this research a quantitative and qualitative method would be carried out with the use of questionnaire and structured interviews so as to analysis students’ supermarket choice. The use of both methods allows for a significant and a higher chance of the result being valid (Wright, 1995). Questionnaires and structured interviews are appropriate here because they allow the researcher to analyse and explain the relationship between variables (Sanders et al, 2012).

A sample is a sub-group or division of a greater population. Sampling is a method that allows researcher to collect representative data for a group or sub-group instead of the entire population (in this case all students in Glasgow). Sampling is necessary in this research because of lack of time and financial restrictions. Non-probability sampling is suitable for this research, although you are unable to use statistical ground in this sampling method, it allows for possible generalisation about the population (Sanders et al, 2012). The sampling technique that would be used in this research is purposive sampling, this method is also known as judgement sampling. The idea behind this is the researcher deliberately choosing information, because of the information’s relevance to the research question (Sanders et al, 2012). In this research 20-30 questionnaire would be handed out to students in Glasgow and 10-15 structured interviews of students in Glasgow would be conducted.

Word Count: 1574.

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