Through exploring factors influencing effective retail positioning strategies in an emerging market environment, this paper challenges the role of isolation mechanism and heterogeneous idiosyncrasy argued by the resource-based view (RBV) theory. By drawing on a sample of 11,577 customers from hypermarkets, electronic appliance specialty stores and department stores in major Chinese cities, we set up 10 hypotheses and confirm a nine-item model for customer-oriented retail positioning (perceived price, store image, product, shopping environment, customer service, payment process, after-sales service, store policies and shopping convenience). Our results show that different retail formats achieve success through the implementation of similar positioning strategies, in which case, it is not heterogeneity but homogeneity that contributes to retailers' success greatly at the development stage of retail expansion. Our results challenge previously proved effectiveness of inimitability to success by the RBV, and support homogenous idiosyncrasy of retailers in the implementation of customer-oriented positioning strategies in an emerging market.
- the resource-based view, customer satisfaction, positioning strategy, anti-isolation mechanism, retailing, China