Cultural Impact on Retail Trade during Crisis
University of Wales
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The present study focuses on culture as an additional factor that affects retail goods consumption of people, who are not always taking rational consumption decisions. In particular this study looks into the effect of individualism over retail trade in a period of crisis based on the logical assumption that close societal contacts and interpersonal communication are differently affecting the consumer behaviour of people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures. The purpose of this research is to prove the importance of culture as determinant of consumption and study whether retail trade during crisis is related to individualism and if this relation is stable over the period of crisis. Based on this research purpose five research objectives were developed and studied in a logical sequence. Critically reviewing the relevant literature revealed some identifications that consumption is determined by cultural characteristics of consumers and more specifically that consumption is related to the individualistic characteristics of the particular culture. Secondary and primary research findings and consequent analysis confirmed the importance of culture as retail trade consumption determinant during a period of crisis and also revealed more information of interest that helped answering the previously set research hypothesis and objectives. Based on all reviewed information was concluded that culture is an important determinant of retail trade, however the relation between individualism and retail trade is not stable over the whole period of crisis; it has most considerable effect in the early stage. The effect of individualism over retail trade also fluctuates among different retail goods categories as it is more influencing retail trade of non-food products compared to retail trade of food products. Studying the people’s family values and societal contacts proved that respondents from all cultures trust their family and friends to a similar extent and that’s why this cannot be a used as explanatory cultural characteristic affecting the consumer behaviour in a period of crisis.
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