Building long-term supplier-retailer relationships in the jewellery sector: antecedents of customer loyalty
Keywords:supplier-retailer relationships; customer loyalty; dependence; trust; jewellery sector
Purpose of the paper: The paper aims at exploring the antecedents of customer loyalty in supplier-retailer relationships, with the final goal to identify the contribution of technical and relational factors.
Methodology: The research consisted in administering a structured questionnaire to a sample of retail customers of a well-known Italian manufacturing company operating in the jewellery sector. Data was processed applying a hierarchical multiple regression.
Results: Findings confirm the importance of building trustworthy relationships with retailers in order to maintain and enhance a good long-term relationship with them. Dependence resulted as a crucial factor in determining retailer customer loyalty.
Research limitation: The paper focuses on a sole company and sector (Jewellery). No control variables and moderating factors were considered. Next studies should apply the proposed model to other companies and sectors.
Practical implications: Given both the costs and risks associated with mismanaging a potentially valuable and loyal business partnership, deeper insights into the factors affecting a long-term supplier-retailer relationship is quite useful both for managers and business practitioners.
Originality of the paper: The building of a long-term oriented supplier-retailer relationship results to be less investigated in comparison with the higher attention given to the supplier-customer relationship by the industrial management literature. Moreover, research on supplier-retailer relationships tends to concentrate on the grocery sector, stressing the role of power rather than the impact of relational constructs on the relationship. This work aims at filling in these gaps in a barely investigated sector as the jewellery one.
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