When the middle class rose, people started wanting products that will give them the aura of stability and class, thus a foundation for stores. Apart from this, the public transportation contributed to the phenomenon, allowing clients spread all over the city to gather, leading to the development of universal stores. The railroads connected cities and towns, which helped manufacturers to ship large quantities of merchandise, and also facilitating access to the residents who were living on the outskirts.
A retail store has become an important part for our daily shopping and merchandise. Large parts of consumer goods are being marketed through these supermarkets and stores, making retail stores an important segment of market economy. With increasing importance, recently this industry has also become very competitive. Since this industry is importantly associated with sale to consumer, it is mandatory to have a better impression in customers’ mind about the brand value of a particular store.
Like any other business entities, these stores too have brand-value, multinational operations and huge investments and other related different strategies. These strategies often focused to understand the decision making process of consumer. On the basis of certain preferences, a consumer choose a particular supermarket, understanding of these strategies are important for formulating new marketing plans and assessment of existing marketing policy (Taylor and Houthakker, 2009, p. 8).
For the purpose of management and marketing studies, much attention was given on these strategies. There have been several researches to identify important aspects which affect the consumer decision-making process while selection of a particular supermarket or retail store. The research problem of consumer decisions in special reference to retail store is more complex as it is based on different factors including comparison shopping, branding, types of goods and services, location and modern service like order on call or internet purchasing. The factors like age and gender, price, marketing, convenience etc. also affect the consumer decisions. These factors are very complex when it comes to the analysis of the shoppers of supermarket and retail stores. With the growing diversification of retail stores and their expanding domain, many other factors are also involved like specialized services, mode of payment etc. While pricing remain the major factor for the formulation of retail marketing strategy and it largely affects the consumer decision. The individual outlet plays important role in this respect. As consumer choose for the least cost store, the store-level shopping decisions regarding a product depend on the relative price of entire market at different stores (e.g., Bell, Ho and Tang, 1998; Bell, Bucklin, and Sismiero, 2000).
This study is focused on the question of how consumers will make choices relative to available retail alternatives; which are the key variables for the making of related decision; what are the factors for choosing Marks and Spencer. The objective of the identification of main factors in consumer preference will be based on the theoretical background and will also be supported by primary survey of such consumer and empirical analysis of collected data.