A Study into Service Quality in Grocery Retail Shops in South Africa (2014)

Grocery Retail Shops South Africa Dissertation – This study seeks to present a rigorous and systematic analysis of service quality levels in South African supermarkets. An extensive multi-method study was undertaken in South Africa, which provided a homogeneous and significant context for the research. This chapter provides an overview of the study and the research design. It begins with the background to the research, followed by the statement of the research problem, objectives and the significance of the study. Then, the literature review of the study is discussed. The chapter concludes with an outline of the organization of the dissertation.

The South African retailing industry is seen as the leading retailing body on the African continent. It is characterised by an efficient distribution channel of goods to major urban centres throughout Southern Africa and beyond. Its ever-growing retail industry consists of six supermarket chains namely Shoprite-Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar, Woolworths, Massmart and New Clicks with a total of 4 219 stores and a 93.8% market share of retail sales.

Unlike the food retail scenario in other African countries, where more modern food retail establishments are a new phenomenon, supermarkets are not a new phenomenon in the South African retailing landscape. South Africa is a pioneering country regarding supermarket development in the African context. After 1994, these supermarket chains have expanded vigorously into Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and countries in Eastern Africa.

As elsewhere in industrialised markets, retailing in the South African market is becoming intensely competitive. This is evidenced by a diverse set of highly sophisticated retail chain supermarkets (such as Shoprite-Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar, Woolworths, Massmart and New Clicks); wholesale outlets (such as Makro, Metro Cash and Carry, and Trade Center); independent stores (such as Biforce Group, Bargain Group, Shield Wholesalers); convenience chain stores including forecourts (gas stations with convenience stores); traditional stores which include independent stores such as general dealers, cafes, spaza shops, street vendors, hawkers, tuck shops, and primitive small street corner stalls at the other end of the retail sector. The grocery channel plays a vital role in conveying food and other household items to the population at large.

Dissertation objectives

  • To determine the level of customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction with regard to service quality of grocery retailers in King Williams town.
  • To identify the shortcomings that could be amended to improve consumers’ satisfaction with service quality.
  • To find the range of grocery retailers that the customers use.
  • To identify if there is a significant difference in terms of service quality offered by King Williams town grocery retailers.
  • To establish if customers in Alice base their shopping decisions on service quality.
  • 16,000 words – 56 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Excellent analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes questionnaire
  • Ideal for business management students

1 – Introduction
Statement of the Research Problem
Research Objectives
Primary Objective
Secondary Objectives
Primary Hypothesis
Secondary Hypothesis
Justification of the Study
Literature Review
Research Methodology and Design
Research Techniques
Sampling Procedures
Data Analysis

2 – Retailing
The Evolution of Retailing
Future of the Retail Sector in South Africa
The Role of Retailing in the South African Economy
Trends of South Africa Retailing
The Structure of the Grocery Retail Industry
The Retailing Environment
The International Retail Trends
Retailing Defined
Classification of Retailing According To Product Line
Specialist Stores
Department Stores
Convenience Stores
Hypermarkets and Superstores
Service Businesses
Discount Stores
Off-Price Factory Shops
Customer Satisfaction Defined
Benefits of Customer Satisfaction
Customer Loyalty Defined
Benefits of Customer Loyalty
Service Defined
General Characteristics of Services
Service Quality
Obstacles to Improving Service Quality

3 – Service Quality Measurement Models
Gap between Customer Expectations and Management Perception
Gap between Management Perception and Service Quality Specifications
Gap between Service-Quality Specifications and Service Delivery
Gap between Service Delivery and External Communications
Gap between Perceived Service and Expected Service
Retail Service Quality Model
Service Quality in Grocery Retail Environment

4 – Research Methodology
The Objective of the Study
Scope of the Study
The Survey Area
The Study Unit
The Sampling Methodology
Sampling Method
The Sample Size
Research Instrument
Data Collection Method
Research Design
Data Analysis
Reliability and Validity
Limitations of the Study

5 – Data Analysis
Response Rate
Results and Discussion
Section A: General Details
Section B: Shopping Experience with Regards to Service Quality Dimensions
Section C: Intolerable Attributes of Service Quality
Section D: Customer Satisfaction in Terms of Service Quality
Section E: Customer Recommendation to Friends
Hypothesis Testing

6 – Conclusions and Recommendation
Summary and Conclusions to the Study
Policy Implications and Recommendations
Physical Aspects
Personal Interaction
Problem Solving
Areas of Further Study
Study Limitation


Appendix A – Frequency Tables
Appendix B – Questionnaire

Grocery Retail Shops South Africa Dissertation
Grocery Retail Shops South Africa Dissertation

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