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How store brands build retailer

How store brands build retailer

( 1500 words) i need to critically evaluate the research. This evaluation should cover:
1. What the aims and objective of the research are.
2. What research approach and philosophy is employed. Is the approach and
philosophy appropriate to the objectives of the research and why?
3. The strengths and/or weaknesses of the specific research methods used and
their implementation in the research. You might wish to comment on, for
example, sampling issues, interview techniques, questionnaire design, etc.
4. Given the above, how reliable are the results of the research likely to be, and are
the conclusions drawn from them likely to be valid?
You should make reference to theory and literature on research methods to support your
claims. These sources should be referenced using the Harvard referencing scheme

****i will attached the assignment and the Sample to make assignment same the Sample
*** this is the Sample
INTRODUCTION
Most of the previous researches in the field of performance appraisal focus on the positive aspects of the performance appraisal process. However, certain studies suggest that employee attitudes are strongly driven by negative assessments and hence a low quality performance appraisal experience may cause an employee to react in a negative way (Brown et al. 2009). The authors have examined the role of low quality performance appraisals on three indicators of organizational efficiency ? job satisfaction, organizational commitment and intention to quit.
Brown et al. determined the quality of an employee?s performance appraisal experience by combining aspects of the performance appraisal process into a measure of their total experience. Their study was based on the results of a survey of an Australian public sector organization. Based on the data from 2,336 non-managerial employees, performance appraisal experience clusters were identified and regression analysis was performed to observe the correlation between low quality performance appraisal experiences and job satisfaction, organizational commitment and intention to quit.
RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY
The authors adopted a positivist philosophy wherein they observed and described the reality from an objective perspective without interfering with the phenomena being studied. As advocated by Gill and Johnson (2010), the authors used a highly structured methodology in order to facilitate replication. The emphasis was on quantifiable observations that would aid the authors in objective interpretation and statistical analysis (Saunders et al. 2009).
The positivist philosophy is suitable for the selected research topic because the authors were trying to establish a relationship between different elements of the subject in a systematic manner and subsequently relate them to a set of hypotheses with a rational explanation. The established hypotheses lead to further development of existing theory; however, no new theory was established.
However, an element of phenomenology could have been incorporated in the research philosophy. This would have helped the authors add a social world perception and thus add another dimension to the research findings.
RESEARCH APPROACH
The authors adopted a deductive approach for their research. The authors collected quantitative data to establish their hypotheses. A sufficiently large sample size (2,336 employees) was selected to generalize the conclusions. A highly structured methodology was
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employed to test the correlation between the three dependent, four independent and twelve control variables.
As suggested by Robson (2002), the authors progressed through the various stages of deductive research, i.e., a set hypotheses were deduced; a relationship between dependent, independent and control variables was established; operational hypotheses were tested using questionnaires and finally the specific outcomes of their theories were tested.
The deductive approach is ideal for the research as the authors do not develop a new theory, but rather tests an unexplored area within previously developed theories.
RESEARCH STRATEGY
The authors adopted survey as their research strategy. Standardized self-administered questionnaires, which would be interpreted in the same way by all respondents, were forwarded to the employees. The standardized questionnaires enable easy comparison of responses. Standardized self-administered questionnaires make sizeable samples feasible and consequently making the results statistically significant.
Surveys/questionnaires are suitable for the research as it enables the collection of a large amount of data from a sizeable sample in a very economical methodology. However, random in-depth interviews would have helped the authors to explore the attitude of the employees towards performance appraisal.
STRENGTHS OF THE RESEARCH METHOD
1. Primary data was used for the regression analysis process. Although primary data involved considerable time and cost as compared to secondary data, they were easily outweighed by their advantages. Primary data was obtained specifically for the research and hence have high reliability and validity.
2. A sizeable sample was used for the regression analysis process, i.e., the authors managed to obtain the response from 2336 after excluding managerial employees and incomplete questionnaires. A sample of this size helped the authors obtain an unambiguous view and explicit depiction of the employees? attitude towards performance appraisal among the non-managerial staff and also helped in making the results statistically significant.
3. Multiple regression analysis was carried out to test the hypotheses.
A hierarchical cluster analysis was initially used to establish the precise number of clusters. A non-hierarchical form of cluster analysis was subsequently used to identify the cluster
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solution based on the results from the hierarchical analysis. Multiple regression was then employed to evaluate the impact of the low quality performance appraisal experience on three dependent variables – job satisfaction, organizational commitment and intention to quit.
A comprehensive list of independent and control variables were employed in the multiple regression analysis that included employees? expectations of a quality performance appraisal process, demographic characteristics and situational characteristics. The detailed regression analysis process ensured the credibility of the final outcome.
WEAKNESSES OF THE RESEARCH METHOD
1. The aim of the research was to identify the role of low quality performance appraisal experience on the employees. In order to get an overall outlook within the organization, the authors should have considered the responses from managers/supervisors along with the rest of the employees.
Various researchers have identified the reluctance of managers/supervisors to undertake appraisal. Wanguri (1995) believes that many managers/supervisors view performance appraisal as a necessary evil in corporate life. This counterbalances the fact that manager/supervisors have greater control over their work and hence their ability to affect their performance outcomes as suggested by the authors. Thus, future researches on performance appraisal should consider the responses from managers/supervisors along with the rest of the employees.
2. The study was carried out in an organization were the performance appraisal process was used to determine pay increments. Thus, the feedback from the employees was influenced to a certain extent by the fact that their yearly pay increment was dependent on their performance appraisal rating. Hence, the conclusions from the study are not applicable to organizations were the performance appraisal process is not linked to pay increments.
3. The authors carried out a cross-sectional study which analyses the impact of performance appraisal at a particular time. A longitudinal study for this research topic would be time-consuming, bearing in mind that the duration of the performance evaluation cycle appraisal is one year.
However, a longitudinal study would allow the authors to look at changes in the attitude and perception of employees towards performance appraisal over time. This would also help in determining whether employees dismiss a low quality performance appraisal experience as a ?one off? or whether it affects their expectations of the subsequent performance evaluation cycle.
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RELIABILITY ISSUES
There are four possible threats to reliability (Saunders et al. 2009).
Subject or participant bias does not pose a threat to the reliability of the research design since the authors had taken elaborate steps to ensure the anonymity of respondents to questionnaires.
Observer error and observer bias do not pose a serious threat to the reliability of the research design since the authors used a structured questionnaire which minimized the possibilities of raising questions and interpreting responses in different ways.
Participant error is a potential threat to the reliability of the research design. The authors have not specified the timing of their questionnaire, i.e., whether the surveys were carried out immediately after the appraisal process or not. An employee?s response to the questionnaire could vary drastically if it were conducted immediately after the year end appraisal as compared to his/her response if it were conducted during mid-year. Thus, the responses obtained by the authors may vary on another occasion.
VALIDITY ISSUES
The authors intended to study the consequences of a low quality performance appraisal experience on the employees. However, if the questionnaires were carried out immediately after pay increment, the responses from employees can have a misleading effect on the finding of the study since the purpose of the study does not consider pay increments. This happens due to the fact that employee responses in the aftermath of pay increments can become deceptive based on their pay increments. Thus, the authors should have taken the ?performance appraisal – pay increment? link into consideration when defining the purpose of the study. Hence, history is the chief threat to validity in the research (Saunders et al. 2009).
Furthermore, the conclusions from the paper cannot be generalized since they are neither applicable to organizations where the performance appraisal system is not linked to pay increments nor applicable to organizations having a different approach to performance appraisal.
CONCLUSION
After conducting a critical evaluation of the research paper, it can be concluded that the authors have provided some insights to account for the role of low quality performance appraisal on three predominant human resource management outcomes.
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The authors adopted a positivist philosophy and a deductive approach for their research. Survey was adopted as their research strategy within a cross-sectional time horizon.
Primary data and a sizeable sample were used for the regression analysis process. A comprehensive multiple regression analysis was carried out to test the hypotheses that ensured the credibility of the final outcome.
However, the authors did not consider responses from manager/supervisors. Further studies must be undertaken to study ongoing low quality performance appraisal experience. Furthermore, the conclusions from the research paper cannot be generalized for organizations where the performance appraisal system is not linked to pay increments.
REFERENCES
 Brown, M. Hyatt, D. and Benson, J. (2010) Consequences of the performance appraisal experience. Personnel Review. [Online] 39 (3), 375-396. Available from: Business Source Premier [8th October 2011]
 Cooper, D.R. and Schindler, P.S. (2006) Business Research Methods. 9th edition. New Delhi, Tata McGraw Hill
 Kline, T.J.B. and Sulsky, L.M. (2009) Measurement and Assessment Issues in Performance Appraisal. Canadian Psychology. [Online] 50 (3), 161-171. Available from: Academic Search Complete [7th October 2011]
 Kuvaas, B. (2011) The interactive role of performance appraisal reactions and regular feedback. Journal of Managerial Psychology. [Online] 26 (2), 123-137. Available from: Business Source Premier [8th October 2011]
 Najafi, L. Hamidi, Y. Vatankhah, S. and Purnajaf, A. (2010) Performance Appraisal and its Effects on Employees? Motivation and Job Promotion. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. [Online] 4 (12), 6052-6056. Available from: Academic Search Complete [7th October 2011]
 Nickols, F. (2007) Performance Appraisal – Weighed and found wanting in the balance. Journal for Quality & Participation. [Online] 30 (1), 47-48. Available from: Business Source Premier [8th October 2011]
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 Rasch, L. (2004) Employee performance appraisal and the 95/5 rule. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. [Online] 28 (5), 407-414. Available from: Academic Search Complete [7th October 2011]
 Saunders, M. Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students. 5th edition. Harlow, Pearson Education Prentice Hall
 Schraeder, M. Becton, J.B. and Portis, R. (2007) A critical examination of performance appraisals – An organization’s friend or foe. Journal for Quality & Participation. [Online] 30 (1), 20-25. Available from: Business Source Premier [8th October 2011]

 

**** the is the assignment ( the artical )

How store brands build retailer
brand image
Florence Kremer
University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, and
Catherine Viot
University of Bordeaux ? IAE, Bordeaux, France
Abstract
Purpose ? The purpose of this research is to highlight the role store brands can play in retail
branding. Does an image transfer take place between store brands and the retailer brand? To address
this issue, the authors propose to identify and test the dimensions of image transfer from the store
brand to the retailer brand.
Design/methodology/approach ? A qualitative study of 138 consumers helped to complete the
attributes of store brand image and retailer brand image identified in the literature. A total of 322
customers of three major French retailers responded to a questionnaire. The data collected were tested
in a structural equation model.
Findings ? Results indicate that store brands have a positive impact on the retailer image. The price
image of the store brand is positively related to the retailer price image. The values that customers
associated with store brands improve the retailer brand image in terms of its values.
Research limitations/implications ? Store brands are considered as a whole, without distinction
between product categories. The paper focuses on standard store brands only, excluding ?premium?
store brands.
Practical implications ? Retailers can find a rationale for investing in their store brand range in
order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Managers should ensure that their store
brands? image is seen as congruent with their own retailer brand image. In particular, more attention
should be paid to the values reflected by the store brands and the store brands? price image.
Originality/value ? The results indicate that store brands not only benefit from the strength of the
retailer brand, but they also contribute, in a reciprocal way, to the improvement of the retailer image.
Keywords Store brands, Retailing, Brand image, Retail brand equity, Generics
Paper type Research paper
Introduction and purpose
Both in Europe and the USA, retailers have made large investments to launch store
brands, with the primary objective of securing significant financial benefits. Indeed,
since the 1990s, store brands have been well-known for generating higher margins
than national brands (Hoch and Banerji, 1993). They also give the retailer negotiating
leverage over the manufacturers of the national brands they compete with
(Scott-Morton and Zettelmeyer, 2004) and may enhance store loyalty (Corstjens and
Lal, 2000; Binninger, 2008).
More recently, retailers have become aware of a new advantage: beyond their
immediate profitability, store brands could also play a role in the process of positioning
the retailer?s shop formula as a brand (Steenkamp et al., 2004; Luijten and Reijnders,
2009). Also known as ?private labels? or ?own brands?, store brands are exclusive to
the retailer chain. Thus, they are associated with the retailer in a unique way,
especially when they share the same brand name. Moreover, retailing at 30 per cent
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/0959-0552.htm
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International Journal of Retail
& Distribution Management
Vol. 40 No. 7, 2012
pp. 528-543
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0959-0552
DOI 10.1108/09590551211239846
less than the leading national brands[1], store brands of equivalent quality[2] should
improve retailer price image, by offering consumers good ?value for money?.
Significantly, Carrefour, the second-largest world retailer, chose to use store brands in
its first campaign on French TV in 2008 by displaying its own fishing products and
baby diapers rather than the national brands it carries. Such an advertisement is
obviously product-oriented as it positions Carrefour store brands as affordable and
good-quality products. However, as the retailer and its store brands share the same
brand name, we can wonder if promoting store brands does not also aim at improving
the retailer?s brand equity, at the chain level.
This relates to retail branding, an issue that has recently garnered greater attention
from researchers (Burt and Sparks, 2002; Ailawadi and Keller, 2004; Kumar and
Steenkamp, 2007, Burt and Davies, 2010). Retail branding conceptualization has
evolved from an initial narrow focus on products only ? namely the store brands ? to a
wider perspective that takes into account the store and the corporate dimensions of the
retailer brand (Burt and Davies, 2010). Here we link these approaches by questioning
the relationship between the store brands? image and the retailer image (defined here at
the chain level and not at the store level). Simply, do store brands improve the
perception of retailer brands?
The main purpose of this research is to highlight the role that store brands play in
retailer brand building and show whether a transfer of image takes place between store
brands and the retailer brand or not. We propose to address this issue with a three-fold
approach:
(1) The first objective is to identify the main dimensions of store brands? image and
the retailer brand image: what are the dimensions of store brands? image and
the dimensions of the retailer?s image?
(2) The second objective aims to verify if a transfer of image really does take place
between the store brands? image and the retailer brand image. In other words,
do well-evaluated store brands reinforce the retailer image? And inversely, do
poorly-evaluated store brands weaken the retailer image?
(3) Finally, if it turns out that an image transfer between store brands and the
retailer brand does take place, then it is necessary to investigate the way this
transfer occurs: what dimensions of store brands? image influence the retailer
brand image? This forms the third objective.
The impact of store brands? image on retailer loyalty constitutes a more secondary
focus of this research.
From a theoretical standpoint, our research echoes Ailawadi and Keller?s (2004) call
for deeper insight into the relationship between retail brand equity and the product
assortment. Burt and Davies (2010) remind us that prior research focused mainly on
the opposite relationship: by questioning the role the retailer ? or, more often, the store
? plays in the perception of store brands (Richardson et al., 1996; Collins-Dodd and
Lindley, 2003; Semeijn et al., 2004; Vahie and Paswan, 2006; Ailawadi and Keller
(2004)). They also underline, following Ailawadi and Keller (2004), that there is still a
need for better comprehension of the role of store brands in building retailer equity.
Thus our approach is relatively new and responds to an actual concern in retail
research.
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image
529
The expected implications of this study are important: retailers have developed
store brands in almost every product category, and their economic prominence is
constantly increasing. US store brands increased their unit share and dollar share in
2009 to 21.8 and 17 per cent respectively[3]. In Europe, the unit share of average store
brands is even higher, varying between 17 per cent for Italy and over 50 per cent for
Switzerland[4]. What return on investment can retailers expect from their store brands,
from a brand-equity standpoint? Can store brands be used as a brand-equity lever to
accentuate retail differentiation, and generate more store loyalty?
The theoretical background of the research, anchored in brand extension theory, is
presented first. The ?dimensions? scope of both the store brand image and the retailer
brand image is then identified, via the literature and a qualitative study, so as to
propose a model that relates the dimensions of retailer brand image, as dependent
variables, to dimensions of the store brand image, as explicative variables. Testing of
the model is followed by an analysis of results and discussion.
Theoretical framework
The impact of retailer brand on store brands
The role played by the store image in the evaluation of the different retailed brands
was originally explored by Jacoby and Mazursky (1984). In the retail sector, it is now
well-established that a retailer with a favourable image improves the image of the store
brands it carries by sharing its brand name with them (Burt and Sparks, 2002). Further
results demonstrate that the retailer image or the store image helps fuel attitudes
towards store brands (Richardson et al., 1996; Semeijn et al., 2004; Vahie and Paswan,
2006). Consumers use cues such as the physical environment of the store (Richardson
et al., 1996), the composition and the display of the assortment or the level of service
(Semeijn et al., 2004) to build a general belief about the retailer that, in turn, determines
the attitude towards store brands. Previous concerns about how retailers influenced
store brands can easily be explained by the anteriority of retail brands over store
brands. When store brands were first introduced, they needed support from the retailer
to be accepted by consumers as reliable products. This focus on how retailers assisted
in the positioning of store brands also provides insight into cases of store brands that
have been extended into unusual product categories. As Shwu-Ing and Jui-Ho (2010)
show in the Taiwanese market, store image, store loyalty and store satisfaction have a
positive and direct influence on the acceptance of store brand extensions. These
studies, however, do not mention a potentially reciprocal effect from the store brands to
the retailer image.
A reciprocal effect from store brands to the retailer brand?
The impact of a branded product on store image has been investigated in previous
experimental studies: poor-image retailers may improve their image by being
associated with a strong brand image; inversely, poor-image brands reduce a retailer?s
high quality image (Jacoby and Mazursky, 1984; Pettijohn et al., 2002). Those studies,
however, focused on national brands only and not on store brands.
To our knowledge, only three papers have explicitly questioned the transfer of
image from store brands to their retailer (Dimitriadis, 1993; Collins-Dodd and Lindley,
2003; Martenson, 2007). In a qualitative study, Dimitriadis (1993) underlined a
discrepancy between retailers? expectations of store brands and consumers?
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perceptions of them. Whereas the retailers interviewed acknowledge that they expect
store brands to deliver a better image in terms of price and choice for their chain, the
respondents only see a downward relationship from the retailer to the store brands.
The inverse relationship, from the store brands back up to the retail brand, does not
make sense to consumers. In a quantitative study, Collins-Dodd and Lindley (2003)
highlighted a positive relationship between consumers? perceptions of an individual
store?s own-brands and the image dimensions of the associated store. However, the
regression analysis does not allow clarification of the way the relationship works.
Martenson (2007) goes further by showing, in a structural equation model, that store
brands contribute positively but weakly to the building of the corporate image of the
retailer. And yet, no link between the store brands and the retailer as a brand, at the
chain level, is taken into account.
More cues for exploring the relationship between store brands and retailer brands
can be found in the brand extension literature. Brand extension consists of using an
established brand to penetrate a new product category (Tauber, 1981). Thus, a store
brand can be analyzed as a brand extension of the retailer brand insofar as the
retailer?s brand name is explicitly mentioned on the packaging of the product it sells
(Collins-Dodd and Lindley, 2003). Such a strategy is supposed to improve brand equity.
More than developing a new brand, a firm chooses to extend its brand portfolio to a
new product in order to benefit from the favourable image and awareness of a
well-established brand (Aaker and Keller, 1990). Brand extension thus enhances the
transfer of attitude towards the new product and limits the costs associated with the
creation and the launching of a new brand (Boush et al., 1987; Keller and Aaker, 1992;
McInnis and Nakamoto, 1990; Park et al., 1991). The authors define as the ?reciprocity
effect? a change that appears in the consumer?s initial attitude towards the parent
brand after such an extension (Park et al., 1993). A brand extension introduces a new
set of attributes and beliefs that is perceived as either congruent or not congruent with
the brand image. So, a brand extension may either reinforce or dilute brand equity.
When applied to the store brands, this theory suggests that store brands do potentially
affect retail brands.
Model conception
Retailer brand image and store brand image
Here, we build a model where the retail brand image depends on the image of store
brands. The retailer?s brand image is considered to be multi-dimensional, according to
a literature that often mixes associations related to the store or to the corporate image
of the retailer, such as price (Birtwistle et al., 1999; Collins-Dodd and Lindley, 2003;
Chowdhury et al., 1998; Martenson, 2007), quality and variety of the assortment
(Birtwistle et al., 1999; Collins-Dodd and Lindley, 2003; Chowdhury et al., 1998; Gupta
and Pirsh, 2008; Martenson, 2007; Mazursky and Jacoby, 1986), values, reputation,
social responsibility (Birtwistle et al., 1999; Gupta and Pirsh, 2008), store atmosphere
(Chowdhury et al., 1998; Martenson, 2007; Mazursky and Jacoby, 1986) and quality of
customer service (Birtwistle et al., 1999; Collins-Dodd and Lindley, 2003; Gupta and
Pirsh, 2008). Since our concern is the retailer?s brand image at the chain level rather
than in a specific store, we completed our survey of the literature on retailer/store
image with our own qualitative study. 138 consumers of five major French retailers
(Auchan, Carrefour, E.Leclerc, Casino and Carrefour Market) were asked to give their
Retailer brand
image
531
opinion on the store brands, the retailer as a brand and the potential contribution of
store brands to retailer brands. Store brands were considered as a whole. We do not
investigate the impact of a specific store brand on a specific retailer brand but rather
how store brands in general affect retailers? brands, irrespective of the product
category. Moreover, we verified that the retailer?s brand image could not be confused
with store image, as, for the same chain, respondents tended to visit different stores.
Proposition of a model with transfer effects
In our proposed conceptual model, store brand image includes three dimensions that
stem from the literature review and from our own qualitative study: price, supply and
values. The price dimension refers to low prices, good deals and value for money. The
supply dimension relates to the perceived quality of store brands, packaging,
innovation and to the possibility of customers arbitrating between national brands and
store brands. The third and final dimension harnesses values such as proximity,
affordability, convenience and sustainability. Retailer brand image presents a
comparable structure (see Figure 1).
Following Collins-Dodd and Lindley (2003) who transposed the literature on brand
extension into the context of store brands, we hypothesized that an image transfer from
the store brand to the retailer occurs according the three dimensions identified.
The first transfer takes place between the store brand and the retailer?s image on
price. It suggests that competitive, low-priced store brands reinforce the retailer?s
image of competitiveness and its ability to provide good value for money.
The second transfer concerns the ?supply? dimension. Our qualitative study
suggested that a range of store brands that is attractive in both quality and variety,
Figure 1.
Conceptual model of
image transfer from store
brands to retailer brand
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with appealing packaging and innovative products, reinforces the perception that the
retailer is providing its customers with a wide array of good products in a pleasant
shopping environment.
A final transfer of image takes place regarding the values dimension: the values
conveyed by store brands may strengthen the retailer image. Indeed, many of the
respondents we interviewed associate store brands with positive values that bring
them closer to consumers. We suggest here that these values could be congruent with
the retailer?s own values and help develop a retailer image associated with proximity,
buying-power protection, convenience and even ethics.
Our purpose is to test whether and to what extent retailer image is simultaneously
influenced by store brand image in these three dimensions. H1a, H1b and H1c
summarize the theoretical relationships:
H1. There is a positive association between store brand and retail brand on all
dimensions:
H1a. price dimension;
H1b. Supply dimension;
H1c. Values dimension.
For instance, H1a means that a good price image for the store brand improves the
retailer price image. Inversely, a poor price image for store brands damages the retailer
price image.
Store brands and retailer loyalty
The ability of store brands to build retailer brand has direct relevance to loyalty, either
with regard to the store or to the retailer as a chain, by which we include all stores with
the same brand name. Corstjens and Lal (2000) have analytically demonstrated that
store brands can only generate retail differentiation, store loyalty and store
profitability if the quality of the store brand is sufficiently high. However, these major
theoretical findings have no consensual empirical validation (Ailawadi and Keller,
2004). Using consumer scanner data, Sudhir and Talukdar (2004) observe that store
sales decrease and ? simultaneously ? that store profitability increases when store
brands have a high level of penetration across a customer base. Ailawadi and Harlam
(2004) found that heavy buyers of store brands buy less from a retailer than moderate
buyers of store brands do. These results are mixed and are also embedded in the
North-American market, where store brands are less mature and possibly less
sophisticated than in Europe. More recently, based on Dutch household-level data,
Ailawadi et al. (2008) found a positive relationship between store brand share and
wallet share: higher store brand share increases wallet share and greater wallet share
increases store brand share. Binninger (2008) also showed a positive relationship
between store brands? satisfaction and store loyalty, mitigated by the attitude towards
store brands. From these results, we follow Corstjens and Lal (2000) by suggesting that
the quality of store brands in Europe is now high enough for store brands? image to
contribute positively to retailer loyalty, at the chain level. We further assume here that
store brands influence retailer loyalty in line with the three dimensions we propose (see
Figure 1):
Retailer brand
image
533
H2. There is a positive association between store brand and retailer loyalty on all
dimensions of the store brand image:
H2a. Price dimension;
H2b. Supply dimension;
H2c. Values dimension.
For instance, H2a means that a good price image for the store brand enhances retailer
loyalty, whereas a poor price image for the store brand decreases retailer loyalty.
Research design
Sampling
To test the conceptual model, a quantitative survey was performed with customers from
three major French retailers. We only selected retailers that shared the same format and
we excluded chains with smaller stores: three hypermarket chains, namely Carrefour,
Auchan and E.Leclerc, were chosen. The sample consists of 322 valid questionnaires.
The sample group is made up of 208 women and 113 men. All participants were habitual
shoppers at one of the three retailers, as they did the majority of their shopping in one of
these stores (see Table I). We focused only on basic store brands, excluding premium
store brands and discount store brands, so as to emphasise comparable products across
the three chains. We checked the consumers? familiarity with store brands: all the
respondents clearly identified store brands and had tried store brands at least once.
Measure
Retailer brand image. Existing scales focus on store image rather than on the retailer?s
brand image. Ailawadi and Keller (2004) and Burt and Davies (2010) point out that
Qualitative study
sample no. 1
2006
Quantitative study
sample no. 2
2009
Descriptive variables n ? 138 % n ? 322 %
Gender
Men 58 42 113 35
Women 80 58 208 65
Age
18-24 48 35 77 24
25-39 49 35 129 40
40-55 25 18 88 27
. 55 16 12 28 9
Most frequent retailer
Auchan (HM) 45 33 119 37
E. Leclerc (HM) 37 27 90 28
Carrefour (HM) 35 25 113 35
Casino (SM) 7 5 ?
Champion (SM) 14 10 ?
Notes: HM? hypermarket; SM ? supermarket
Table I.
Sample characteristics
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even academic studies on retailer branding per se take ?store image as a proxy for the
retailer brand image?.We therefore developed a scale specifically for the retailer brand
image that was based on our literature review and qualitative survey. The 12 items
listed explicitly mention the retailer as a brand, as in for instance ?Retailer X (brand
name) provides a large array of products? or ?Retailer X (brand name) is committed to
sustainable development?. Items include the retailer?s low prices, special offers, value
for money, quality and variety of assortment, store atmosphere, innovation, proximity,
convenience, protection of buying power, commitment to sustainable development and
protection of the environment (see Table II). Five-point Likert scales were used to
measure the consumers? agreement with the retailers? brand statements.
Store brands? image. Following Collins-Dodd and Lindley (2003), we decided to
duplicate the retailer brand scale for the store brands. The items previously cited for the
retailer brand become, for example, ?The store brand X proposes a large array of
products? and ?The store brand X is committed to sustainable development?. Thus, the
items we used to measure the image of the store brands were very similar to those
employed to measure the retailer?s brand image.We used principal components analyses
and structural equation modeling to develop and to confirm these scales (see Table II).
Retailer loyalty. Retailer loyalty is measured by two items on a five-point Likert
scale: ?I do most of my shopping in the stores of retailer X? and ?I am loyal to retailer X?.
Components
Items Values Supply Price
Retailer brand image a
a 0.86 0.73 0.80
RV1 ? The retailer X is committed to sustainable development 0.865
RV2 ? The retailer X is concerned with the environment 0.834
RV3 ? The retailer X fights for the customers? interests 0.759
RV4 ? The retailer X is close to customers 0.730
RV5 ? The retailer X is convenient 0.653
RS1 ? The retailer X provides a large array of products 0.896
RS2 ? The retailer X offers good quality products 0.766
RS3 ? The retailer X has pleasant stores 0.696
RP1 ? The retailer X has low prices every day 0.914
RP2 ? The retailer X offers good value for money 0.835
Store brands image
a 0.90 0.69 0.73
SBV1 ? The store brand X is committed to sustainable development 0.927
SBV2 ? The store brand X is concerned with the environment 0.908
SBV3 ? The store brand X fights for the customers? interests 0.854
SBV4 ? The store brand X is close to customers 0.754
SBV5 ? The store brand X is convenient 0.724
SBS1 ? The store brand X offers good quality. 0.876
SBS2 ? The store brand X provides a large array of products. 0.789
SBS3 ? The store brand X has an appealing packaging 0.674
SBP1 ? The store brand X has low prices every day. 0.963
SBP2 ? The store brand X offers good value for money 0.735
Notes: aExplained Var. ? 71,6%; KMO ? 0,809; Bartlett ? 1455; df ? 45; a ? 0,001; bExplained
Var. ? 69,1%; KMO ? 0,847; Bartlett ? 1626; df ? 45; a ? 0,001
Table II.
Principal components
analysis
Retailer brand
image
535
Testing of the model
The model relates the three dimensions of the store brands? image to the three
dimensions of retailer brand image. The dimensions of store brand image are also
related to retailer loyalty (see Figure 2). Structural equation modeling was used to test
the model.
Results
Validation of the scale. Factor analyses conducted on the scales of image perception
show that retailer brand image and the store brands image can be broken down into
three dimensions, as postulated (see Table II). The first dimension includes values
shared by both the retailer and the store brands: commitment to sustainable
development, protection of the environment, protection of buying power, proximity
and convenience. The second dimension refers to the supply side: variety, quality of the
assortment, pleasant stores for the retailer, quality, product variety and appealing
packaging of the store brands. The third dimension is related to the retailer?s prices
and store brand prices (low prices and value for money). After the confirmatory
analysis, two items were discarded in both the retailer and the store brand scales.
Model validation. The model was fitted against the data with AMOS 5.We obtained
the following results: x 2 ? 449; df ? 194 for a parcimony indicator of 2.34 that is
congruent with the recommendations of Pedhazur and Pedhazur-Schmelkin (1991).
RMSEA ? 0.064 and GFI ? 0.873 indicate that the model fits the data well (see
Figure 2 and Table III).
Evidence for convergent validity was established in accordance with the Fornell
and Larcker procedure (1981). When the AVE is above 0.5, the variance of a construct
is better explained by the items which measure it than by error. For each factor, the
average variance extracted was above 0.5, except for ?Retailer Supply?.
To establish discriminant validity, we followed the method suggested by Fornell
and Larcker (1981). Discriminating validity is confirmed if the AVE of a dimension is
superior to the square of every correlation between itself and other latent concepts. We
were unable to calculate this for the Retailer Brand Image. Indeed, the dimensions of
Retailer Image were considered as dependent latent variables in the model, so we did
not have the correlations between factors at our disposal. Discriminant validity is
established for the three factors of the store brand image (see Table IV).
The results confirm the existence of a reciprocity effect that transfers from the store
brands to the retailer brand (see Figure 2). The effect appears to be significant in two
dimensions: the price dimension of store brands is positively related to that of the retailer
brand image; and the store brands? values are positively related to the retailer?s values.
H1a and H1b are supported. The supply image of store brands, however, has no
significant effect on the retailer supply image but it is positively related to retailer loyalty.
The price and values dimensions of the store brands? image have no significant
effect on retailer loyalty. Thus, there is no support for H2a and H2c. Only H2b is
supported.
Discussion and implications
This research shows that store brands can influence the brand image of the retailer.
This finding will be of great importance to retailers who have been actively developing
store brand programs for the last ten years.
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536
Figure 2.
The contribution of store
brands to the retailer
brand image
Retailer brand
image
537
Theoretical implications. Our results clearly show that the link between the store brand
and the retail brand is not limited to a downward relationship. Whereas previous
literature has demonstrated that the retail brand provides backing to the store brand
(Richardson et al., 1996; Semeijn et al., 2004; Vahie and Paswan, 2006), we empirically
validate a reciprocity effect from the store brand up to the retail brand. This image
transfer from the store brand to the retailer brand can be likened to the positive link
identified in the brand extension literature between the extension and the parent brand.
Relying on a qualitative study and previous literature on store image, we first suggest
that the image transfer operates according to three dimensions: a price dimension
(including price level and value for money), a supply dimension (including range,
product quality and packaging) and a values dimension (including environmental
concerns, protection of the customers? interests, commitment to sustainable development,
proximity and convenience). The quantitative study validates an image transfer within
Components
Items Loadings
Joreskog?s
rho AVE
Retailer brand image
RV1 ? The retailer X is committed to sustainable development 0.88 0.89 20.63
RV2 ? The retailer X is concerned with the environment 0.84
RV3 ? The retailer X fights for the customers? interests 0.77
RV4 ? The retailer X is close to customers 0.76
RV5 ? The retailer X is convenient 0.70
RS1 ? The retailer X provides a large array of products 0.70
RS2 ? The retailer X offers good quality products 0.85 0.73 0.48
RS3 ? The retailer X has pleasant stores 0.49
RP1 ? The retailer X has low prices every day 0.79
RP2 ? The retailer X offers good value for money 0.76 0.75
Store brands image
SBV1 ? The store brand X is committed to sustainable development 0.92
SBV2 ? The store brand X is concerned with the environment 0.91
SBV3 ? The store brand X fights for the customers? interests 0.83 0.92 0.70
SBV4 ? The store brand X is close to customers 0.79
SBV5 ? The store brand X is convenient 0.71
SBS1 ? The store brand X offers good quality 0.73
SBS2 ? The store brand X provides a large array of products 0.84 0.79 0.55
SBS3 ? The store brand X has an appealing packaging 0.65
SBP1 ? The store brand X has low prices every day 0.75
SBP2 ? The store brand X offers good value for money 0.82 0.77 0.62
Note: AVE ? Average variance extracted
Table III.
Confirmatory factor
analysis
Phi-square Values Supply Price
Values ?
Supply 0.36 ?
Price 0.29 0.45 ?
AVE 0.70 0.55 0.62
Table IV.
Discriminant validity of
the store brand image
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538
two of the three hypothesized dimensions: price and values. Store brands associated with
lower price and good value for money help improve the competitive image of the retailer.
Moreover, when consumers notice that store brands are committed to respecting the
environment or satisfying their needs, the retailer?s image is improved. Nevertheless, an
image transfer through the supply dimension has not been validated. An attractive store
brand supply (characterized by good quality products, variety and appealing packaging)
seems to have no significant effect on the retailer brand image. This might be first
explained by the positioning of store brands in Europe. By increasing the quality of their
store brands, European retailers have progressively closed the quality gap between store
brands and national brands (Kumar and Steenkamp, 2007; Steenkamp et al., 2010).
Product quality may not be as salient as price when consumers evaluate store brands.
Moreover, the reduction in quality gap has not been accompanied by a smaller price gap.
This confers on store brands a unique advantage over national brands in terms of value
of money, especially in the context of economic crisis.
We also found that store brand image contributes to retailer loyalty. Interestingly,
only the supply dimension of store brands? image is positively related to retailer
loyalty, but the same dimension appears to have no effect on retailer brand image. It is
not surprising that customers are loyal to a retailer when the supply appeals to them.
However, if the supply is not attractive enough to customers, then price and the values
espoused by store brands may not be enough to keep them loyal. This result suggests
that there is a threshold for store brands in terms of quality and in the variety of supply
required for customers to be loyal to the retailer. We obtain this result in a European
context where consumers are very familiar with store brands and their market share is
high. This result is an additional empirical validation of the research even though its
results are not consensual.
Practical implications. This research sheds light on the contribution of store brands
to retailer brand image. It enables practitioners to have a clearer understanding of the
role that store brands play in retail strategy. The image transfer from store brands to
the retailer?s brand confirms that integrating store brands is the interests of chain
managers, especially when they are deciding their communication strategies.
Our paper highlights the dimensions that retailers should focus on to promote their
store brands. Traditional characteristics associated with store brands such as low price
and value for money seem efficient in improving the price positioning of the retailer.
This is crucial in a context where consumers are price sensitive and retailers compete
on price. More surprisingly, unexpected factors related to store brands? values also
seem to enhance retail brand equity. The five components we identified in the values
dimension give indications of how to differentiate a given retailer from its competitors.
Aligning a store brands? values with its own image will help retailers build a richer
positioning than just low pricing. For instance, the perceived proximity between store
brands and customers is underexploited by retailers in their communications. We
suggest here that store brands can help retailers express or enhance their brand
identity, especially retailers whose brand identity is weak.
Our results are more ambiguous when it comes to quality. On the one hand, we
show that store brand quality positively influences retailer loyalty; but, on the other
hand, store brand quality does not significantly impact the retailer brand image. Is it
then relevant for retailers to invest in innovative and quality store brand programs?
The answer is, only if they are profitable. As shown by Kumar et al. (2006), Kumar and
Retailer brand
image
539
Shah (2004) and Reinartz and Kumar (2002), the quest for loyalty should not be
disconnected from long-term profitability. Product quality, variety and attractive
packaging for store brands may lead customers to be loyal to a chain, but retailers
must weigh up expected benefits against the cost of creating sophisticated store
brands. Kumar and Steenkamp (2007) provide retailers with a ?get-out? from the pitfall
of developing new lines of store brands that go beyond copycat product creation to
requiring marketing costs as high as those needed to manufacture a new brand.
Further research. We limited our research to standard mid-range store brands.
Many retailers have segmented their store brand range into three tiers: generic store
brands with a discount positioning, standard store brands that copy the quality and
look of the leading manufacturers? brands, and premium store brands with high
value-added products (Ailawadi and Keller, 2004). Future research is needed to
compare the respective contribution of store brands vs premium store brands, and to
compare generic products to the retailer image. In the same way, the impact of thematic
store brands (such as organic store brands or store brands for children) on the retailer
image should be explored.
Our study was conducted across chains and across product categories. In further
research, image transfer could be investigated retailer by retailer. Moreover, it would
be interesting to test the indirect effect of SB on retailer loyalty mediated by their
respective retailer brand (i.e. price, supply and value respectively)[5]. That would mean
increasing the sample size for each retail chain.
Our research could also be replicated by isolating product categories, in order to fuel
research into store brand extensions across categories. We also suggest investigating
image transfer across time from store brand to retailer brand, in a longitudinal study.
Whereas European grocery retailers have developed store brands in almost all food
product categories, there is still an opportunity for launching specific store brands in
the whole retailing sector (clothing, toys, home improvement product and services,
etc.). In specific cases, it would be interesting to compare the image of the retailer
before and after the introduction of new store brands. Similar research could, finally, be
replicated for hard discounters such as Aldi or Lidl, which have massively
reintroduced national brands into their assortment, whereas in the past they only
promoted their own discount products. It would be interesting to examine whether and
how national brands influence their image, from a retail branding perspective.
Notes
1. Price gap between standard store brands and branded manufacturing goods varies from
about 25 per cent (in Italy, Germany, The Netherlands) to 43 per cent in Spain. It reaches 31
per cent in the US and 35 per cent in France. Yet, price gap also varies across retailers,
product categories and store brand type (generic, standard or premium store brands). Source:
Store brands special Report: US & Europe Store Brands Trends, SymphonyIRI Group, 2010.
2. ?Store brands are as good quality as manufacturing goods? for 63 per cent of consumers in
France, 68 per cent in Germany and 67 per cent in The Netherlands. Source: Bord Bia
Periscope, 2008.
3. Source: the Nielsen Company in ?The Future of US Store Brands?, L. Rider, Food technology,
03.2010, 32-37.
4. Source: the Nielsen Company for PMLA 2010.
5. We thank one of the reviewers for this suggestion.
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About the authors
Florence Kremer is Associate Professor of Marketing at University of Bordeaux where she
teaches marketing, retailing and entrepreneurship. As head of a program that trains retail
managers, she works in partnership with ten major French retailers. Her research focuses on
relationships between producers and retailers and store brands. She is member of the team of
research in marketing of IRGO (Institut de Rercherche en Gestion des Organisations) ? Bordeaux
University. Florence Kremer is the corresponding author can be contacted at:
florence.kremer@u-bordeaux4.fr
Catherine Viot teaches courses in web marketing, wine marketing and marketing strategy.
She is Associate Professor of Marketing at Institut d?Administration des Entreprises (IAE) de
Bordeaux. She is member of the team of research in marketing of Institut de Rercherche en
Gestion des Organisations (IRGO) ? Bordeaux University. Her research focuses on strategic
brand management, brand identity, brand personality, web marketing and wine marketing. Her
research has been published in International Journal of Wine Business Research, and Journal of
Product & Brand Management.

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