Brand Loyalty Versus Store Loyalty : Consumers’ Role in Determining Dependence Structure of Supplier–Retailer Dyads

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

8 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-160
Journal / PublicationJournal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


Purpose: This article aims to integrate consumers into a channel dependence framework and explores the influence of consumers’ brand loyalty and store loyalty on the dependence structure within the supplier–retailer relationship. It also examines effects of the dependence structure on perceived conflict. Methodology/approach: The authors test the proposed triadic relationship model among department store, supplier, and consumer by collecting matched data from both retailers and consumers in a Chinese retailing channel of sports and leisure apparel. Polynomial regression in conjunction with a response surface analysis (RSA) approach is used to test the hypotheses. Findings: The results indicate that consumers’ brand loyalty positively affects retailer’s dependence on supplier, while consumers’ store loyalty positively affects supplier’s dependence on retailer. In addition, the retailer’s dependence is higher when consumers’ brand loyalty is higher than store loyalty; the supplier’s dependence is higher when consumers’ store loyalty is higher than brand loyalty; and the retailer’s dependence increases with the increase of both consumers’ brand and store loyalty when consumers’ brand and store loyalty are equal. Moreover, supplier’s dependence has a negative linear effect on retailer’s perceived conflict, whereas retailer’s dependence has an inverted U-shape effect on perceived conflict. A retailer would perceive more conflict when the retailer is relatively more dependent on the supplier; but the symmetrical interdependence has no significant effect on retailer perceived conflict. Research implications: Researchers are encouraged to explore channel behaviors from a network perspective. Consumers, in particular, should be included in research frameworks related to channel dependence and behaviors. Suggestions for further research on the effects of dependence on the conflict are also proposed. Originality/value/contribution: This study goes beyond the dyadic paradigm by integrating consumers into the framework of the channel dependence structure. It develops and tests a mechanism of consumers’ brand and store loyalty influencing dependence structure within a supplier–retailer dyad. It also enriches the literature of channel conflict by exploring the effects of retailer and supplier unilateral dependence on retailer perceived conflict with RSA methods. Practical implications: The article provides several insightful implications for managers in understanding and managing interdependence structure in business-to-business marketing, especially in supplier–retailer relationships.

Research Area(s)

  • brand loyalty, channel dependence, channel network, China marketing, response surface analysis, store loyalty

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