Purpose - The aim of this paper is to identify and analyse the current issues in the Irish Supermarket Industry that are affecting customer loyalty, buyer behaviour and consumption. Design/Methodology/Approach - Research data were taken from an online survey carried out on one hundred and sixty employees of a nationwide Irish organisation. Two mini focus groups were also conducted to aid the design of the survey. To strengthen this research, various journals and literature relating to the grocery retail industry was consulted to broaden this body of work.
Findings - The results show that the Irish consumer are re-evaluating their perceptions of discounters and changing their shopping habits accordingly. The recession has cause shoppers to break from their established routines and to seek out value, quality and convenience in a retailer. This research has not identified any dramatic changes in the consumer decision processes; it does however identify a number of changes in consumption, selection and purchasing habits. The findings of this paper also reveal that consumers at present have a preference for price-based promotions. Also confirmed are the results from previous researches such as consumer perceptions of retail brands (Dick et al., 1995) and that satisfaction is a necessary but not sufficient condition for loyalty, as loyalty is established when the customer makes a commitment to the brand (Rowley, 2005). Originality/Value - Previous research that has been carried out was more focused on specific areas such as price behaviour (Stamer and Oilier, 2006), loyalty marketing (Capizzi and Ferguson, 2005) or purchase behaviour (Sirohi et al., 1998); none of which looked at how one area could effect the other. The function of this research is to look at customer loyalty, buyer behaviour, store choice and consumption and see how they relate to each other.