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Context Effects as Customer Reaction on Delisting of Brands

By Nicole Wiebach and Lutz Hildebrandt


The delisting of brands is frequently used by retailers to strengthen their negotiating position with the manufacturers and suppliers of their product assortment. However, retailers and manufacturers have to consider the risk of potential reactions when customers are faced with a reduced or modified assortment and thus, different choice. In this paper, two studies are presented which investigate customers` switching behavior if a (sub-)brand is unavailable and key determinants of the resulting behavior are discussed. Various conditions are tested by taking into account context theory. The results reveal that customer responses depend significantly on the context. A real-life quasi-experiment suggests that manufacturers may encounter substantially larger losses than retailers. Managerial implications for both parties can be derived and recommendations for further research are developed.Consumer decisions, delisting, context effects, switching behavior, retailing, logistic regression

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