The food retail sector in Europe has become more concentrated in the last decade making it increasingly important for manufacturers to understand the value crea-tion seen from a retailer's point of view. To analyse this gap, a study on the consequences and values sought by retail buyers in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom was initiated. To the best of our knowledge, consequences and values have not been analysed in relation to retail buyer behaviour, as previous research has focused on the specific product or supplier attributes. The purpose of the study was to identify the common consequences and values sought by buyers, and to identify the relationship between and hierarchy of specific attributes, consequences and values in the four countries, and with the purpose of analysing differences. To analyse the values of retail buyers, 83 laddering interviews were conducted with the retail buyers responsible for buying pork in the four countries. The value maps created by the means-end structures showed that many of the attributes, consequences and values were the same across countries and products. While there was a similarity in the elements used, we found major differences in the relationship of attributes and consequences for product quality, consumer satisfaction and retail image among retail buyers of pork. Our study also showed that the same attributes lead to different consequences in the four countries. The study revealed that it is possible to analyse what the retail buyers want to achieve from certain attributes, and what the difference in value means, and this may support manufacturers, when they choose countries and segments of retail buyers on the basis of their strategy and competence profile.
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6th Recent Advances in Retailing & Services Science Conference, 1999