Satisfaction and image as mediators of store loyalty drivers in grocery retailing
The purpose of this article is to analyze the role of satisfaction and image as mediators of four store loyalty drivers (store location, service quality, assortment, and price) within a comprehensive cause?effect model. The analysis employs a more holistic view of the store loyalty model than is common in a retailing context. It is based on the consistent macro-oriented National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) approach. This makes it an important cross-over study, both enabling a comparison of results across industries and providing a more solid base for model validation. The data source is a survey among customers of a chain-based Norwegian grocery store which is analyzed by partial least square (PLS) and covariance-based structural equation (LISREL) estimation. A change in customer's perception of store image, where image is measured as a reflective ?overall? latent variable, has the expected direct significant effect on loyalty. But in addition, image will also serve as an important mediator between satisfaction and loyalty, and this is a rather uncommon result in a retailing context. Another significant finding is that a customer's perception of store assortment only influences perception of image and ultimately loyalty indirectly via satisfaction, whereas price evaluation and service quality works directly both through image building and satisfaction creation. Satisfaction creation seems to be more important for store loyalty than image building.