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The Management Of Deshopping And Its Effects On Service: a Mass Market Case Study PDF Print E-mail
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By Dr. Tamira King

Prof. Charles Dennis


Purpose: Deshopping is the return of products, after they have fulfilled the purpose for which they were borrowed. Previous research indicates that deshopping is a prevalent and growing consumer behaviour. This paper examines deshopping from a retail perspective. It is a case study of interviews conducted with a mass-market retailer, to investigate their awareness and management of this behaviour.

Methodology: This paper is a case study of nine interviews conducted with different levels of staff at a mass-market retailer in their flagship London store, to investigate their awareness and management of deshopping.

Findings: The findings demonstrate the beliefs, attitudes and emotions of the different levels of employees towards deshopping and demonstrates their attempts to manage deshopping and combat the negative affects of this on customer service.

Research limitations: The limitation of this research is that it is only conducted with one high street retailer. However, it is important to highlight that this is a large womenswear retailer which is highly representative of other retailers within the sector. There is little detail given regarding the retailer itself or their fundamentals of the actual Customer Service Policy, this is due to the confidentiality agreement between the researcher and retailer. It is important to acknowledge the sensitivity of this type research to retailers who are reluctant to have this information publicised. It is also important to acknowledge that many retailers have not made any attempts to manage this behaviour by restricting their returns policy. So this research case study is conducted with a retailer that is actively introducing change to manage this behaviour.

Practical implications: The research concludes with the implications of deshopping and its management and makes recommendations on how to reduce deshopping whilst maintaining customer service for the genuine consumer.

Originality/value of the paper: This is the first case study with a mass market retailer highlighting their approaches towards managing deshopping whilst trying to maintain customer service.

Keywords: Deshopping, consumer behaviour, consumption, retail fraud, retail returns policies, returns policies, Retail customer service, customer service, Consumer misbehaviour, Customer misbehaviour, Consumer misbehavior, Customer misbehavior, Dark side, Dark side consumption

Citation: International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 35 (9): 720-733, 2007