This study's prime interest is to assist retail managers in deciding where they are likely to get the greatest response to their expenditures on quality improvement. An empirical test involving 287 consumers reporting on a wide array of stores assesses whether the relationship between three quality dimensions (technical quality, functional quality and relational quality) and store loyalty is moderated by age, gender and store size. The structural equation model indicates that relational quality is the prime driver of store loyalty, seemingly overruling the impact of technical quality and functional quality. Most importantly, the results suggest that older consumers are relatively more strongly affected by technical quality than younger consumers. Another interesting finding is that retailers reap more benefits from their quality investments if they offer relational quality to female as opposed to male consumers. Store size was not found to mitigate the impact of the quality dimensions investigated.
Odekerken-Schröder, G. J., de Wulf, K., Kleijnen, M. H. P., Kasper, J. D. P., & Hoekstra, J. C. (2001). The Impact of Quality on Store Loyalty: A Contingency Approach. Total Quality Management, 12(3), 307-322. https://doi.org/10.1080/09544120120034474