Scholarly article on topic 'The Effects of Green Image of Retailers on Shopping Value and Store Loyalty'

The Effects of Green Image of Retailers on Shopping Value and Store Loyalty Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Jamaliah Mohd. Yusof, Rosidah Musa, Sofiah Abd. Rahman

Abstract This study aims at examining the influence of green image on shopping value and store loyalty. Convenience sampling using quota sampling was used to collect data of a sample of 565 consumers. Using structural equation modeling, it was found that green image of retailers has no significant relationship with store loyalty but has a significant influence on shopping value. Shopping value appears to mediate the relationship between green image of retailers and store loyalty. The result provides important findings to researchers and practitioners as well as implications for future research directions and management of the retail industry.

Academic research paper on topic "The Effects of Green Image of Retailers on Shopping Value and Store Loyalty"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 50 (2012) 710 - 721

AcE-Bs 2012 Bangkok ASEAN Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, Bangkok, Thailand, 16-18 July 2012

The Effects of Green Image of Retailers on Shopping Value

and Store Loyalty

Jamaliah Mohd. Yusof*, Rosidah Musa & Sofiah Abd. Rahman

Faculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam 40450, Malaysia Institute of Business Excellence, Faculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam 40450, Malaysia

Abstract

This study aims at examining the influence of green image on shopping value and store loyalty. Convenience sampling using quota sampling was used to collect data of a sample of 565 consumers. Using structural equation modeling, it was found that green image of retailers has no significant relationship with store loyalty but has a significant influence on shopping value. Shopping value appears to mediate the relationship between green image of retailers and store loyalty. The result provides important findings to researchers and practitioners as well as implications for future research directions and management of the retail industry.

©20122 Published by Elsevier Ltd . Selection and peer- review under responsibility of the Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planniug & Surveyi ng , Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

Keywords: Green image; shopping value; store loyalty; consumer behavior

1. Introduction

Retailing industry has long accounted for a substantial economic growth of Malaysia. With the rapid growth of retail establishments over the years, retailing industry in this country has become very competitive (Tan, 2004). Therefore, the implementation of new ways of doing business is often required. In retailing, whilst image which is based on retailers' functional attributes, has become a common

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-03-5544-4778. E-mail address: jamaliah162@salam.uitm.edu.my

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Centre for Environment- Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs),

Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.08.074

strategy among retailers, the intense competition demands for a new and different strategy. Researchers have expended considerable efforts to understand the importance that consumers place on image when they evaluate the retail store. Store image has been found to affect profitability and success (Amirani & Gates, 1993; Mitchell, 1993) as well as store choice (Ou, Abratt, Dion, 2006), patronage intention (Chang & Tu, 2005; Grace & O'Cass, 2005) and loyalty (Osman and Jabri, 1996). Howev er, with the growing importance of environmental issue in retailing nowadays, looking at the functional aspect of store image is somehow not adequate (Ness, 1992).

While there is unrelenting interest on the green environment aspect in both academician and practitioners, there has been little attention directed toward understanding this concept that relates with store loyalty and with the incorporation of consumers' experience as in the shopping value. Furthermore, an important extension to past research in the area of store image is to provide an analysis of functional attributes of retail store (e.g. Koo, 2003; Sirgy & Samli 1985; Ballantine, Jack, & Parsons, 2010; Puccinelli, Goodstein, Grewal, Price, Raghubir, et al., 2009). There has been little attention directed toward understanding the green image of retail store that specifically relates with shopping value and store loyalty. Against this backdrop, the aim of the study is to investigate the influence of green image on shopping value and store loyalty and the influence of shopping value on store loyalty. In addition, this study is also to examine the role of shopping value in the green image of retailers and store loyalty relationship. The significant interactions were investigated based from previous studies that confirmed the important role that green image and shopping value have in consumer behavior (e.g. Baker, Parasuraman, Grewal, & Voss, 2002; Sarkar, 2011). To this end, we first develop our hypotheses, and then we explain our research methodology, and consequently present our results and discuss our findings. By proposing and subsequently testing the structural relationships of the conceptual framework with three constructs, this study is intended to achieve the following research objectives: (1) to examine the influence of green image of a retail store on shopping value, (2) to investigate the effects of green image on store loyalty, (3) to examine the influence of shopping value on store loyalty, (4) to investigate the role of shopping value in the green image and store loyalty relationship.

2. Literature Review and Study Framework

2.1. The proposed hypothetical model

Figure 1 depicts the proposed hypothetical causal model for the current study. Previous studies reveal that store loyalty is influenced by many factors such as satisfaction (Liang & Wang, 2007; Faullant et al., 2008) image (Martenson, 2007; Abdullah et al., 2000) and green image of retailers (Yusof, Musa, & Rahman, 2011). The model for the current study examines the structural, causal relationships between green image of retailers, shopping value and store loyalty. Hypothetically, green image influences shopping value and store loyalty. In addition, shopping value influences store loyalty.

Fig. 1. Proposed Hypothetical iviuuel

2.2. Theoretical view of constructs

2.2.1. Green Image

The environment aspect of retailing has been much studied as one of the important initiatives of CSR. In fact, among other initiatives, environmental issues were among the most commonly reported by retailers, especially the food retailers (Jones et al., 2005). Stem from the increase in green consumerism and also regulations by the government, companies are enforced to incorporate the environmental agenda in their strategy. According to Chen (2008), companies which invest in efforts on environmental issue, are able to improve their corporate images and to develop new markets as well as to increase their competitive advantages. In addition, companies that embrace the concept of green environment with environmental-friendly products and packaging can charge relatively high price for their products and hence increase their differentiation advantages of their products (Shrivastava, 1995; Chen, 2008; Porter & van der Linde, 1995).

In investigating environmental issue as a green marketing tool on consumer purchase behavior, Rahbar and Abdul Wahid (2011) found that consumers trust in eco-label and eco-brand and their perception of eco brand show positive and significant relationship with actual purchase behavior. In addition, Manaktola and Jauhari (2007) found a significant relationship between consumer attitude and behavior towards green practices of the hotel industry. In a more recent study, green image of retailers was found to influence store loyalty (Yusof, Musa, & Rahman, 2011).

2.2.2. Shopping value

Shopping value was derived from consumers' shopping experience and from the product they purchased (Levy, 1959). Levy (1959) acknowledged that consumer purchased a product not just based on the tangible variables, but also from what they mean. Shopping value of retailers has been viewed has having two major sources: hedonic value and utilitarian value (Carpenter, Moore, Fairhurst, 2005). Hedonic is referred to as the value that is derived from pleasurable experience and utilitarian is referred to as the value which is derived from efficient experience from the functional aspect. The elements of hedonic shopping value include characteristics such as smells, sights, as well as memories evoked by shopping as well as social interactions incurred while shopping. The utilitarian shopping value will be experienced by a consumer when specific goals for a shopping trip was satisfied such as finding the item they were looking for (Carpenter & Fairhurst, 2005). As defined by Babin, Darden, and Griffin (1994), utilitarian shopping value can be obtained depending on whether the particular consumption needs stimulating the shopping trip were accomplished.

On contrary, the hedonic shopping value is derived from the benefits consumer obtained which are reflected from the emotional or psychological worth of the purchase or shopping trip (Babin et al., 1994). Example of such experience can be fun, excitement, and enjoyment. Previous literatures have found that consumers can experience both the utilitarian and hedonic shopping value from their shopping (Belk, 1979, Fischer & Arnold, 1990). Yu and Bastin (2010) describe hedonic shopping value as subjective, personal and experiential compared to utilitarian shopping value.

In examining the effect of utilitarian and hedonic shopping benefits or value, Carpenter and Fairhurst (2005) found that these two types of shopping value have an effect on satisfaction, loyalty and also word of mouth communication in a retail branded context. Previous research has found that both of these shopping value play equal roles in predicting consumer behavioral outcome such as buying intention (Basin, Darden, & Griffin, 1994) although Jones, Reynold, and Arnold (2006) point out that behavioral outcome such as satisfaction, word-of-mouth and re-patronage intention are influenced more by the hedonic aspects of shopping than the utilitarian aspects. Yu and Bastin (2010) found that hedonic value of consumer shopping experience has an influence on impulse buying behavior. Past studies have also

acknowledged on the importance of value on product or store choice (e.g. Shim & Gehrt, 1996; Tauber, 1972). As argued by Batra and Ahtola (1990), individuals perform their shopping behaviors based on two basic reasons 1) affective (hedonic) which is based on one's expectations of more intangible factors in their shopping experience and 2) utilitarian which is based on one's expectations of functional attributes such as quality, store location, price, and availability of merchandise.

2.2.3. Store loyalty

Loyalty has been broadly studied in the marketing literature and is an important concept in strategic marketing. Many researchers have accepted the notion that loyalty or loyal customers are the lifeblood of an organization regardless of its scale and business scope (Chen & Quester, 2006). Oliver (1999) asserts that keeping loyal customers is critical for business to maximize their profit. In a similar vein, Ailawadi and Keller (2004) agreed that customer loyalty could result in an increased profit for retailers as customers purchase a higher percentage of merchandise from retailers.

Loyalty has also been the subject of study in retailing. The retailing environment that becomes increasingly competitive and also the slow growth faced by today's retailers' call for the paramount pursuit of consumer loyalty. In a more recent study, the emphasis of loyalty concept by retailers is as a result of reemergence of relationship marketing (Terblanche & Boshoff, 2006). In a different view, Martenson (2007) examined store loyalty in retail context by analyzing corporate brand image and satisfaction as the factors that influence store loyalty. Bloemer and Oderkeken-Schroder (2002) take a closer look at the relationship between store satisfaction and store loyalty by assessing antecedents of store satisfaction in terms of store image, positive affect and consumer relationship proneness. Their results reveal that store image as well as consumer relationship proneness and store affect have a positive impact on store satisfaction and in turn lead to store loyalty. Similarly, Bloemer, De Ruyter, and Peeters (1998) investigate how image, perceived service quality and satisfaction determine loyalty in a retail bank setting at the global construct level and the empirical study reveals that image is indirectly related to bank loyalty through perceived quality. Their result concludes that there is a clear positive relationship between image and loyalty, but image is indirectly related to bank loyalty via satisfaction. Abdullah et al. (2000) also did a similar study that focus on image and investigate the relationship between image, satisfaction and loyalty.

On the basis of preceding findings, the following is hypothesized:

• Hypothesis 1: Green image has a significant positive effect on shopping value

• Hypothesis 2: Green image of retailers has a significant positive effect on store loyalty

• Hypothesis 3: Shopping value has a significant positive effect on store loyalty

3. Research Methodology and Data Analysis

3.1. Research design

To test the hypothesis, questionnaires were distributed to consumers of apparel to answer the questionnaire with regard to the latest and frequently purchased apparel. Apparel industry was chosen as the research context for the current study. Apparel industry in the Malaysia retailing industry has witnessed the growth of an average 6.5% since 2005 through 2010 (with the exception of 2009) which indicates that it is one of the important sectors that has shown a steady growth over the years (Euromonitor, 2011). In any particular retail format, apparel department is often regarded as the flagship category of most retailers in terms of its contribution to the total sales. Therefore, apparel purchase provided by retailers is deemed an appropriate context for this study.

The adult consumers of over 18 years old were chosen as the target group for the distribution of the questionnaire. Adult consumers of over 18 years old represent an appropriate frame for this study because it is often the target group by retailers. Furthermore, it is the cut-off age where the Malaysians have finished their tertiary education and some are already in the workforce. Ahmed, Ghinghold, and Dahari (2007) as well as Musa (2004) have used the same approach in the context of Malaysian consumers.

3.2. Sampling method and procedure

700 questionnaires were distributed using a survey methodology based on the quota sampling of the shopping population of four major cities in the Klang Valley. These four cities were generally assumed to have higher number of shopping malls and outlets where most of the shopping activities take place. Age and gender as well as ethnicity had been used as the controlled variables for the quota sampling. The study utilized a survey approach, with self-administered questionnaires, which were distributed in office as in drop off and collect technique. Research has shown that this technique is suitable for extensive questionnaires and furthermore, it can minimize non-response errors (Hair, Babin, Money, and Samouel (2003); Lovelock, Stiff, Cullwick, and Kaufman 1976).

The survey instrument has also included a screening question to the respondents to ensure they have purchased any apparel during the past one year. The respondents were asked for information about their perception of retail store in terms of green or environment practices and also the value they derived in terms of utilitarian and hedonic as a result of their most recent or most frequently visited retailers for the purchase of the apparel. Subsequently, they were also asked about specific behavior that may have occurred as a result of the perception. Finally, they were requested to provide demographic information about themselves. For a period of over four months, 598 questionnaires were collected and finally there were 565 usable questionnaires to be included in the actual data analysis.

3.3. Measures

The questionnaires include three constructs namely green image, shopping value and store loyalty. The scales were adopted from the extent literature due to their relevance to the study context and their reliability. A seven-point scale was used as the response format with assigned values, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.

Green Image. Taking as frame of reference the studies of Maignan (2001); Salmones et al. (2005), 9 items to measure the green aspect of CSR were developed. The items of the scale measure the extent to which they perceive the green initiatives of the retailers.

Store Loyalty. Store loyalty was measured by 7 items selected from Campo, Gijsbrechts, and Nisol (2000); Ailawadi, Neslin and Gedenk (2001).

Shopping value. Measures for hedonic and utilitarian shopping value were borrowed from Babin, Darden, and Griffin (1994). The scales consist of 10 items.

3.4. Data analysis

SPSS 16 was used for data analysis for descriptive statistics and AMOS version 16 was used for structural equation modeling. The three research constructs in the proposed model were tested with a AMOS procedure of structural equation modeling (SEM) (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1993) and the Maximum Likelihood (ML) method of estimation and the two-stage testing process were adopted. The hypothesized model in this study was designed to measure causal relationships among the unobserved constructs.

Missing values, outliers, and distribution of all measured variables were examined to purify the data and reduce systematic errors.

As a general procedure, the first phase involves the item screening and purification using the internal consistency and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) (Churchill & Brown, 2007). The purpose of EFA is to identify the underlying structure of the constructs examined. Using varimax rotation the latent root criterion of 1.0 was used for factor inclusion, and a factor loading of 0.5 was used as the benchmark to include items in a factor. This analysis procedure was done to help to reduce or decrease multicollinearity or error variance correlations among indicators in the confirmatory factor analysis of the measurement model (Yoon and Uysal, 2005). Such errors should be avoided as much as possible in structural equation modeling procedures (Bollen, 1989). Four factors with eigenvalue above 1.0 were generated which explained about 74% of the total variance. Each factor has yielded a reliability coefficient ranging from 0.8 to 0.9. Factor with Cronbach alpha value greater than 0.6 is considered as having good internal consistency (Hair et al., 2003; Malhotra, 2004).

Subsequently, the second phase involves a two-stage structural equation modeling (SEM). The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the measures. The maximum likelihood was used as the estimation method for the analysis of this study. Indices such as Chi-square (x2), ratio of Chi-square to degrees of freedom, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), goodness of fit index (GFI), normed fit index (NFI), and comparative fit index (CFI) were adopted for model fit criteria. After further refining the data by omitting items with high residual value, the second part which is the structural model, was performed.

For scale reliability and validity, internal consistency measures (i.e. cronbach alpha and composite reliability), convergent validity and discriminant validity were tested. Alpha coefficient was used as the measurement for reliability and the cronbach alpha value which is greater than 0.7 is acceptable and deemed to be adequate (Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). Reliability was also measured using the AVE value and the value has to be above 0.5 (Bagozzi and Yi, 1988; Fornell and Larcker, 1981). The indicator loading greater than 0.7 is assumed to be acceptable (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988). The scales exhibit high level of reliability, with composite reliability above the recommended 0.6 benchmark (Bagozzi & Yi, 1988) and average variance extracted above the recommended 0.5 benchmark (Fornell and Larcker, 1981). Discriminant validity is established when the estimated correlations between factors is below 0.85 (Kline, 2005). Additionally, Fornell and Larcker (1981) suggested that discriminant validity is evident when the squared correlations between one construct and any others are lower than the AVE for each construct.

4. Results

4.1. Sample characteristics

Two demographic variables have been identified as the control variables of quota sampling for the composition of the sample (i.e gender and age) with majority of the respondents in the 20-29 years of age category. This is consistent with the study by Kamarulzaman and Lee (2010), which surveyed customers in the shopping mall in Klang Valley and found that their samples were predominantly comprised of female, particularly those within these age groups. The major ethnic group of the respondents was the Malay. This is shown as 49% which comprises of 277 of respondents. Another major ethnic group was the Chinese, which consisted of 204 respondents representing 36%. The composition of this ethnic group was also identified as one the control variables for the quota sampling, and the breakdown is in accordance with the Klang Valley ethnic composition of the population (Department of Statistics, Malaysia, 2009). In terms of marital status, the result shows that the respondents were mainly single. It

is reflected by 262 of respondents with 46.4%. The respondents with STPM/HSC/Certificate/Diploma were equal in number with those having Bachelor's Degree. These two education levels represent the major group of the respondents. In terms of income level, 180 respondents or 31.9% are having an income of between RM2001 - RM4000 which is the major income level. The next significant group is the one that has an income level of between RM1000 - RM2000. It consists of 147 or 16% of the respondents.

4.2. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA)

Exploratory factor analysis was also conducted on all the three constructs. The initial run of the analysis of exploratory factor analysis of twenty-six items has yielded three factors. The initial purification exercise resulted in deletion of five items due to having very high cross loading which is greater than 0.30 on multiple factors. The second round of exploratory factor analysis based on the existing items was run again. This has resulted in four factors which accounted for 72.85% of total variance explained. Other items have displayed factor loading greater than 0.55. The KMO value was 0.94, which exceeds the recommended value of 0.8 as suggested by Sharma (1996). In addition, Bartlett's test of sphericity was statistically significant which indicates that the factorability of the correlation matrix was supported (Field, 2002).

4.3. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)

One iteration of the CFA was performed to examine an acceptable measurement model. The measurement model consists of 9 items of hedonic and utilitarian shopping value, 8 items of green image of retailers, and 7 items of store loyalty. The overall fit indices, Chi-square = 940, df = 132, (x2/df = 7.12), p < 0.001, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA = 0.1), goodness of fit index (GFI = .83), normed fit index (NFI = 0.89), and comparative fit index (CFI =0.9) indicated moderately model fits. The results show that X2 statistics is significant and thus did not achieve the adequate level for model fit. This is expected due to relatively large sample size (Bagozzi & Yi, 1988). To improve the model, standardized residual was examined for values greater than 2.58 (Joreskog & Sorbum, 1988). As a result, three items of the green image and two items of store loyalty were dropped from further analysis. The fit measures for the re-specified model has improved with acceptable fit, Chi-square = 411, df = 74, (x2/df = 5.55), p < 0.001, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA = 0.09), goodness of fit index (GFI = .91), normed fit index (NFI = 0.94), and comparative fit index (CFI =0.95). Based on this result, the measurement model was deemed acceptable and further analysis was done with the SEM.

4.4. Validity

The assessment of the Cronbach alpha and the composite reliability has revealed good internal consistency and reliability. All the constructs have values exceeded the minimum benchmark of 0.7 proposed by Hair et al. (1998). Additionally, convergent validity was assessed by examining the average variances extracted (AVE) and composite reliability for each constructs. The average variance extracted (AVE), which assesses the amount of variance captured by the constructs' measures relative to measurement error and the correlations among the latent constructs in the model has values range from 0.67-0.86. The values exceeded the minimum recommended level of 0.50 which indicates the convergent validity is achieved. Table 1 summarizes the result of the measurement model. The reliability of the variables were also achieved with AVE value greater than the threshold value of 0.5 (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988), composite reliability value greater than the threshold value of 0.6 (Bagozzi & Yi, 1988)

and Cronbach alpha greater than the cut-off value of 0.7 (Anderson & Gerbing, 1988). To test for discriminant validity, the correlation matrix of latent variables was examined. The correlations between each latent variables were lower than 0.8, a cut-off point for discriminant validity (Yanamandram & White, 2006) which in this measurement model it indicates discriminant validity was established. For a rigorous test of discriminant validity (see Fornell & Larcker, 1981), the AVE for each variables was found to be greater than the squared correlation between that variable and any other variables in the construct which confirmed the presence of discriminant validity. In conclusion, it is reasonable to claim that all the measures used in this study possess adequate psychometric properties. The measures of the proposed constructs have achieved satisfactory reliability, convergent, and discriminant validity.

Table 1. Summary of Result of Measurement Model

Variables Shopping Green Image Loyalty AVE Composite Cronbach

Value Reliability alpha

Shopping Value 1 0.67 0.93 0.86

Green Image 0.60 1 0.86 0.92 0.92

Loyalty 0.64 0.67 1 0.75 0.96 0.87

4.5. Structural model test

The structural model was tested to assess the hypothesized structural relationships of the three (3) constructs (Refer to Figure 1). The results revealed that the structural model has a significant x2 value (x2 = 207, df = 50, x2/df = 4.14, p< 0.001) indicating inadequate fit of the data with the hypothesized model. Based on the suggestion by Hair et al. (1998), reliance on the chi-square test as the sole measure of fit in not recommended due to its sensitivity to sample size. Hence, alternative fit indices were used as the test for model fit. Based on the result of other fit indices (RMSEA = 0.07, GFI = 0.94, NFI = 0.95, and CFI = 0.97), it was shown that the model fits the data satisfactorily. Hence, the study's attempt to establish a plausible model that has statistical and explanatory power, which could permit confident interpretation of results, was thus fulfilled. Therefore, the model was accepted as reasonable and the hypothesis tests were interpreted. Figure 1 illustrates in detail the results of the hypothesized model.

4.6. Hypothesis test

The regression weight indicated that two hypotheses were significant in the hypothesized direction. The relationship between green image and shopping value was significant and positive (Standardized estimate= 0.46, t-value 8.91, p=0.001) and thus supporting H1. However, H2, which link between green image and store loyalty was non-significant (standardized estimate = 0.03, t-value = 0.74, p=0.5). This result thus does not provide support for H3. Likewise, H2, which is the relationship between shopping value and store loyalty was also supported (standardized estimate = 0.80, t-value = 11.43, p=0.001).

Table 2. Results of the tested hypotheses

Hypotheses No. and Hypothesized Paths Standardized Critical Ratio Results

Coefficient (t-value)

H1 Green Image Shopping Value 0.46 8.91 Supported

H2 Green Image ^ Store Loyalty 0.03 0.74 Not Supported

H3 Shopping Value ^ Store Loyalty 0.8 11.43 Supported

Significant at p<0.001 (t-value >3.29)

5. Discussion and Conclusion

The findings suggest that two of the hypotheses in the study were supported by the data. The hypothesis test results indicated that green image has no significant relationship with store loyalty. In contrast, shopping value has a significant relationship with store loyalty and green image has a significant relationship with shopping value. In testing the hypothesis, the result demonstrated that shopping value has the effect as a mediator between green image and store loyalty relationship. This study has contributed to extending the green image and store loyalty framework in the retailing context. An important distinction was found that green image of retailers has no influence on store loyalty when integrated with shopping value, although Yusof, Musa, and Rahman (2011) in their study has found the link between green image and store loyalty. This finding also contradicts previous researchers' arguments of a positive association between green environment and consumer behavior (e.g. Rahbar and Abdul Wahid, 2011; Manaktola and Jauhari, 2007). Therefore, in the current study, shopping value must be present to mediate green image and store loyalty relationship. Thus, the finding is new to the knowledge and contributes in theory building in marketing as well as retailing contexts.

The relationship between shopping value with store loyalty has also been tested. The hypotheses that links between shopping value, which is the perceived utilitarian and hedonic aspects of the retail stores, and store loyalty has been supported. In contrast to the study by Carpenter and Fairhurst (2005) shopping value and customer loyalty relationship was mediated by customer satisfaction. Interestingly, there has been little attention directed toward examining the role of shopping value in the green image and store loyalty relationship. Hence, this new finding suggests that shopping value of customers of the retail store is an important construct that has an effect on consumer behavior.

The findings of this study provide several managerial implications for green image strategy in retailing industry. Firstly, despite the emphasis by many retailers on the green image initiatives, the shopping value of customers or shoppers cannot be undervalued. Whilst, green image of retailers has no influential effect on store loyalty, shopping value has a significant influence on store loyalty. This suggests that shopping value (hedonic and utilitarian) are important in the customer's shopping experiences that were translated into excitement and fulfillment for the customers. For this reason, retailers have to provide the shopping environment that could enhance customers' experiences. Also, shopping value provides retailers with more space to create their green images by attaching unique associations to the quality of their service, their in-store atmosphere, product assortment and merchandising and many others. The importance of these aspects to the retailers is because they have the ability to create rich experiences to the consumers, which play a crucial role in building or develop store loyalty. Additionally, because of the dynamism of retailing industry, retailers should take a dynamic view of consumer behavior. This study reveals the important role of shopping value in the green image and store loyalty relationship. Thus, in

order to develop store loyalty, retailers must gain some comprehension of consumers especially with regards to their experiences while shopping at the retail store.

6. Limitations and Future Research

A major criticism of this study is related to external validity as the sample for this study which solicited respondents who reside and work in the Klang Valley may not be a representative of all markets. This is simply because this study was conducted on the basis of Malaysian' perception and behavior with different cultural background, lifestyles and socio-economics. Therefore, there is a possibility of a cultural bias playing a role in the outcome of the study. The results of this study only verify that the relationships of the constructs were supported by the sample data collected for only this study. Therefore, in order to further validate this model, the important next step for future research is to fit the model with other samples of data through different target sample.

Similarly, factors other than those investigated in this study for other constructs would also need to be considered. In retailing or marketing context for example, while store loyalty included in this study was chosen specifically for their possible relevance to the retail environment, other types consumer or shopper behaviors, which have been advanced in prior literature, may also be equally pertinent. Future studies can examine the relevance of the other types of consumer behavior in a different context. In addition, continuous and more thorough investigations with incorporations of other measures of the constructs may be needed in order to enhance our understanding of the concept of store image either in the same setting or different retail environment.

In addition, this study only focused on specific apparel item and as a result, green image of a retail store has no influence on store loyalty, but the shopping value. However, convenience goods or food and beverages could show a different result. Therefore, future studies involving additional products or multiple product categories to examine differences in consumer shopping segments between products should be conducted to enhance the generalizability of findings of this study.

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