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Dan-Cristian Dabija, Brînduşa Mariana Bejan and David B. Grant

Abstract

Customer loyalty enables companies to outperform competitors and better satisfy customers’ needs and desires. People today are increasingly interested in buying green or sustainable products, pursuing responsible consumption, getting involved in environmental protection activities and preserving resources. These key elements of sustainability are crucial in retailer strategies for approaching customers, strategies encompassing both communication and well-structured offers of sustainable, green and environmentally friendly products to gain customers’ loyalty and assist them in adopting responsible (green) consumption behaviours. This may not be the case in all retail markets or sub-markets, however. This paper investigates these issues in the context of the emerging European economy of Romania, using a survey conducted in four major retail segments comprising more than 3,000 respondents. Using structural equation modelling the authors reveal that Romanian retailers are concerned with drawing customers and gaining their loyalty by adopting strategies based on the principles of sustainability. The results indicate that in this emerging market behavioural antecedents differ across the analysed retail formats in building green loyalty, which represents a challenge for retailers in their attempt to draw, satisfy and bind consumers to their retail formats and stores. At the same time, there is also a growing awareness of green aspects among Eastern Europeans, even if they have been challenged with sustainability issues and the need to adopt green behaviours more recently than their Western European counterparts.