Consumer choice of store format and brand in times of economic crises

In a study from 2015, published in Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (2015), vol.23, pages 70-76, the authors examine the consumer choice of store format (supermarket versus hypermarket) and brand (national versus store-brand) in times of economic crises. Using a panel of 4500 French households the consumer’s choice of brand and store format when purchasing staple goods, is recorded and analyzed in two periods in time – before and after the 2009 recession. Effects of consumer characteristics and marketing policy variables on choice of store format and brand choice were examined in times of low versus high intensity of economic crisis. The results show that consumers – in times of economic recession-  tend to favor hypermarkets over supermarkets and store brands are favored over national brands. When intensity of crisis is high, the consumer characteristics tend to be more influential on both store format choice as well as brand choice than marketing policy. Times of high intensity of economic crisis thus have a moderating effect on marketing variables.