Shopping Behaviour; Latvia; Ethnicity; Demographics


The retail sector in transitional markets such as Latvia represents the fastest growing retail market in the European Union (Baltic Business News, 2007) but countries such as Latvia also possess a retail consumer base that is ethnically divided. One of the legacies of the Soviet Union is the approximately 25 million ethnic Russians that live in the former non-Russian Republics of the Soviet Union. Ethnic Russians, and by extension, ethnic Russian consumers, represent a non-trivial market within these newly independent states. Although the ethnic Russian minority literature embodies a large field of inquiry, no known studies have examined this phenomenon in terms of empirical international consumer research. This study presents the findings of consumer shopping surveys, divided along ethnic lines, Latvian and Russian, in the capital city of Riga, in the former Soviet Republic of Latvia. The research findings indicate that there are both similarities and differences in shopping behaviour when analyzed along ethnic lines. The survey findings were based upon actual consumer shopping experiences at the two major hypermarkets operating in Riga, Maxima and Rimi. The findings indicate that ethnic consumers reactions to service quality drivers and responses to service delivery, provides meaningful insight for store planning (both physical location, and in-store), sales training (cultural understandings) differ, and that store policy development (product returns and exchanges, stated v

Full Text : PDF

  1. Baltic Business News (2007). Latvia reports the steepest retail trade growth in EU, Newsletter, June 6, pg. 4
  2. Brown-McCabe, D., Rosenbaum, M.S., & Yurchisin, J. (2007). Perceived Service Quality and Shopping Motivations: A Dynamic Relationship. Services Marketing  Quarterly. 29, 1, pp. 1-21.
  3. Chinn, J., & Kaiser, R. (1996). Russians as the New Minority: Ethnicity and Nationalism in the    Soviet Successor States, Boulder, CO., Westview Press Inc.
  4. Craig, C.S., & Douglas, S.P. (2001). Conducting international marketing research in the     twenty-first century. International Marketing Review, 18, 1, pp. 80-90.
  5. Dabholkar, P.A., Thorpe, D.I., & Rentz, J.O. (1996). A measure of service quality for retail stores: Scale development and validation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24, 1, pp. 3-16.
  6. Dutkina, G. (1996). Moscow days: Life and hard times in the new Russia. Kodansha America  Inc.
  7. Fiore, A.M. & Kim, J. (2007). An integrative framework capturing experiential and utilitarian shopping experience. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 35, 6, pp. 421-442.
  8. Hair Jr., J.F., Babin, B., Money, A.H., & Samouel, P. (2003). Essentials of business research methods.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons Inc.
  9. Hancock, G.R. & Klockars, A.J. (1991). The effect of scale manipulations on validity: targeting frequency rating scales for anticipated performance levels, Applied Ergonomics 22, pp. 147–154.
  10. Inglehart, R., Basanez, M., Diez-Medrano, J., Halman L., & Luijkx, R. (2004). Human Beliefs and Values. Mexico City: Siglo XXI.
  11. Kinsey, J. (1994). Marketing in developing countries. London, UK: Macmillan Education Ltd.
  12. Kolstø, Pal (1995). Russians in the Former Soviet Republics. Bloomington and Indianapolis.
  13. Kotabe, M., & Helsen, K. (2004). Global marketing management, (3rd Edition). NJ: John Wiley     and Sons Inc. 
  14. Kumar, V. (2000).  International marketing research.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  15. Levinson, D. (1998). Ethnic Groups Worldwide: A Ready Reference Handbook. Pheonix, AZ:    Oryx Press.
  16. Lynch, T. (1996). DS9 trials and tribble-ations review. Retrieved October 8, 1997, from Maxima Web Site., C., & Gates, R. (2004). Marketing research essentials, (4th Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  17. McKenzie, B. (2006). Retail service quality success factors in Estonia: A qualitative approach. Baltic Journal of Management, 1/3, pp. 352-369.
  18. McKenzie, B., and Merrilees, B. (2003), Retail Service Quality in Transition Economies:
  19. An Exploratory Study, in Proceedings of the World Marketing Congress, Marketing Across     Borders and Boundaries, Perth, Western Australia, June.
  20. Mueller, R., & Mueller, J. (1996). Consumer perceptions of food distribution effectiveness in the     Czech republic. International Review of Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Research, 6, 2, pp. 161-179.
  21. Oliver, R.L. (1999). Whence consumer loyalty? Journal of Marketing, 63, pp. 33-44 
  22. Parasuraman, A., Berry, L.L., & Zeithaml, V.A. (1991). Refinement and reassessment of The SERVQUAL scale. Journal of Retailing, 67, 4, pp. 420-450.
  23. Peñaloza, L. (1994). Atravensando Fronteras/Border Crossings: A Critical Ethnographic Exploration of the Consumer Acculturation of Mexican Immigrants. Journal of Consumer Research 21, pp. 32-54.
  24. Pires, G., & Stanton, P.J. (2005). Ethnic Marketing: Accepting the challenge of cultural     diversity.  London, UK: Thomson Publishing.
  25. Reichheld, F.F. (1996). The loyalty effect: The hidden force behind a lasting value. Boston,
  26. MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  27. Remnick, D. (1997). Resurrection. New York: Random House.
  28. Rimi Web Site. Rinne, H., & Swinyard, W.R. (1995). Segmenting the discount store market: The domination of the ‘difficult discounter core’. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 5, 2, pp. 123-145.
  29. Wong, A., & Sohal, A. (2003). Service quality and customer loyalty perspectives on two levels of retail relationships. Journal of Services Marketing, 17, 4/5, pp. 495-511.
  30. Zikmund, W.G. (2003). Business research methods, (7th Edition). Ohio: South-Western  Publishing.