Malaysian grocery shoppers' behavioural response to stock-outs

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Miranda, Mario J and Jegasothy, Kandiah (2008) Malaysian grocery shoppers' behavioural response to stock-outs. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 20 (4). pp. 396-412. ISSN 1355-5855


Purpose – A better understanding of the response of shoppers in developing countries to inevitable product stock-outs would help logisticians to put structures in place to reduce the disruption. The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences in orientations that characterize shoppers’ responses to stock-outs in retailing environments by comparing an emerging economy, Malaysia, with a developed economy, Australia. Design/methodology/approach – Randomly selected adult grocery shoppers across Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were surveyed to examine shoppers’ behavioural response to a most recent stockout of their preferred dairy item. This study followed the methodology and reporting framework adopted in an Australian study. Findings – When responding to stock-outs of their preferred grocery items, shopping lists serve as instruments that give archetypical Malaysian shoppers, unlike their Australian counterparts, a framework to adjust their budgets and seek alternatives within the store itself rather than venture to another store. Most Malaysian shoppers’ reactions to an out-of-stock situation, just as their Australian counterparts, appear to be underpinned by their household size. If their preferred item is not available, the frugal and observant among Malaysian shoppers, however, are not inclined as much as their Australian counterparts, to buy more of their alternative choice, even if these substitute items are discounted. Research limitations/implications – Insight into Malaysian shoppers’ behavioural response to inadequate shelf life of perishable products, considering that they might feel impelled to act as per their shopping lists, would give members of the supply chain confidence to adopt inventory management policies that make a judicious balance between avoiding stock-outs and ensuring stock availability with acceptable shelf life. Practical implications – Malaysian frugal and observant shoppers when responding to stock-outs of their preferred items might allow the opportunity to let a bargain pass on alternative brands or variants, because these shoppers, guided by their shopping lists, are possibly hamstrung, by budgetary constraints in not being able to make heavier purchase outlays and by likely storage constraints in their living accommodation. Retailers in Malaysia have a greater challenge than Australian retailers to dispose of stocks of grocery products that are fast approaching their expiry dates through discounting, because Malaysian shoppers may resist buying more than their immediate need. Originality/value – Malaysian shoppers, inclined to carry memory scripts to assist them in their shopping efforts, are conditioned to stay within their planned budgets and when confronted with a stock-out of their preferred item, are likely to resist buying anymore than what they had planned to buy.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1108/13555850810909722
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Economics and Finance
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > SEO Classification > 9101 Macroeconomics
Keywords ResPubID15325, Malaysia, Australia, consumer behaviour, stock control
Citations in Scopus 2 - View on Scopus
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