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1.

0 Introduction
This is the age of advanced science and technology and life has eventually become very fast. So, with time people are becoming more and more time sensitive. These days they are not at all ready to spare extra time to spend in shopping. To overcome this problem superstore has been introduced as the complete shopping solution for the busy shoppers. In Bangladesh shopping for daily necessary goods is not an easy experience. Tremendous bargaining, intolerable noise, unhealthy environment and excessive crowd --- all have become a big problem now-a-days. Superstore concept has been introduced in Bangladesh to avoid such rush and to do some relaxed shopping shop. Though supermarket is not a very age old concept in Bangladesh, it has a great impact on peoples mind. In last ten years or so, the lifestyle of people in Bangladesh, especially in Dhaka city changes dramatically compared to time of late seventies or early eighties. Whether it is clothes, food or the way one sets up one's home, dramatic changes have taken place. Increases in purchasing power, greater exposure to world trends through the electronic media, rapid urbanization and so on, have created influences in lifestyle, beyond the control of the middle class urbanite. The change occurred also in purchasing behavior; people those who are used to conduct their shopping at traditional kitchen market, now shifted to superstore. By superstore, we understand a large shop which has great assortment & variety of products ranging from groceries to cloths under same roof, with the convenience of hygienic products, sound atmosphere for shopping, ease of payment and so forth. The customers are moving towards supermarkets for those value added services which are not provided by traditional open market. In Bangladesh most of the retail shops do not have any defined market strategy. They usually do not do any market survey to find out the customers demand, what they are actually looking for. Now days, life become more complicated, people have many things to do, and it is convenient for them to purchase all their necessary items from one store. This reason gives rise to the emergence and sustainability of superstores, which gives people to the opportunity of conduct shopping in a more hassle-free shopping environment which are absent in traditional open market.
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2.0 Background
Four years ago, when I came to Dhaka city for first time, I was quite amazed to experience shopping at superstore at Baridhara D.O.H.S. The neat & clean shopping atmosphere, no chaos, no bargaining for price, self administered way of choosing products, people were waiting in queue to pay, all were quite unique experience to me. Most startling thing was to me that cloths to fish, all sorts of products were being sold under the same roof! On that very day, I realized one thing that the convenience and facility superstore providing, one day it would certainly abolish the traditional so called kitchen or open market. Superstore, a most widely uttered term by Dhaka city dwellers, who experienced the convenience of purchasing different types of products with great assortment and variety under one roof. It is an extremely large store or hypermarket. In a retail environment, a superstore is a large retailer who stocks and sells a wide variety of merchandise including groceries, clothing and general supplies, or a large store that sells a massive quantity of goods in one product line such as electronics or shoes. A superstore is also referred to as a super center or megastore. A Superstore is supposed to be a place where the public can go to find the things that they need for living in a quick precise manner. With all the hustle and bustle of life, Superstores enable us to find things quickly. When people think of a Superstore, they think of a place to go for just about anything. Whether you need groceries, lawn supplies, clothes, car care products, electronics or personal hygiene products, the Superstore has it all. In general, superstores are large, low-cost, low-margin, high-volume, selfservice stores that carry a wide variety of food, laundry, and household products (Kapoor & Kansal, 2003, p. 55). The best example of a superstore is Wal-Mart. Few years back the concept Supermarket was not introduced in our country although it was well accepted and popular in foreign countries. In recent times this concept was introduced in our country and it has been warmly accepted. According to the Dhaka Calling article Agora introduces a new way to shop (2009), Bangladesh entered the 'supermarket era' on August 24, 2001 with Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. launching Agora, a retail chain superstore in Bangladesh, introducing a new way to shop. Along with Agora, there are other dominating superstores like Nandan, PQS, Meena Bazar, etc in Dhaka city. Recently ACI group also started their chain super store named 'Fresh N' Near'. There are also so many superstores in different locality of Dhaka city.
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Typically the superstores are currently focusing on food retailing, ranging from a wide variety of fresh vegetable, fruits, meat and fish to grocery, bakery, dairy, personal and household products. They provide their customers with guaranteed quality and freshness. In the last eight years, many small and big supermarkets made debut in the trade to attract middle and upper middle class consumers, a section of whom are shifting to the chain stores from the wet or kitchen markets. Now around 50 chain supermarkets are operating in Bangladesh, recording an annual turnover of around Tk700 crore, according to Bangladesh Supermarket Owners Association. Consumer confidence is increasing and that's why many are planning expansion, said Kazi Inam Ahmed, chief executive of Meena Bazar, a concern of Gemcon Group that operates through eight outlets with six in Dhaka. Supermarket operators said a rise in the organized retailing would offer consumers hygienic foods at competitive prices compared to those of unorganized retailers in the kitchen markets where commodities are sold mostly in unhygienic manner. It's a business to connect consumers with better products and prices, and create a market for local manufacturers, said Inam (Parvez, March 10, 2009). Superstore opens up the new door for consumers, makes their life more convenient, hassle-free shopping environment which they have to encounter in traditional open market. According to a senior official of ACI, We feel that customers are ready because of changes in their lifestyle, preferences and needs. Syed Ferhat Anwar, faculty member of IBA, Dhaka University said that a rise in supermarkets would give consumers more choices and allow them to choose independently. But a decade ago, the trade was in the hands of thousands of small retailers in the wet markets and grocery shops in cities and remained out of the focus of business conglomerates. The landscape began to change after 2000 as Rahimafrooz Superstores, operating company of Agora, began to catch up a slice of retailing and wholesale trade, which has been growing annually by more than 6 percent on an average and contributing over 13 percent to GDP since 1999-2000 fiscal years (Parvez, March 10, 2009). Therefore, superstores play a significant role in changing consumers life style, providing ease of purchasing almost all kinds of products under same roof along with many facilities which they will certainly never get in traditional open market.

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3.0 Areas of Research


For a successful research, a researcher must have a clear idea about the boundaries of his/her research. I have investigated the following areas concerning my topic. How frequently people usually go to superstore? First, I need to know how frequently people usually go to superstore for purchasing their necessary goods. This finding would be important finding for the research as it will reveal the general customers dependence on superstore, the time interval between each purchase and so forth. What are the major drivers that motivate consumers to purchase from superstore instead of open market? Superstore has some distinct characteristics which are absent in traditional open or kitchen market. These features include convenience of having everything in the same place, great assortment & variety of products, cleanliness, ease of payment, pleasant shopping environment, fixed pricing/no bargaining and so forth. In my research, I tried to find out which feature of superstore acts as a driving force to purchase from superstore. I also tried to distinguish between male and female preference in choosing superstore. What do the people think about the quality of the products provided by superstore? Superstore offers customers a great assortment & variety of products which they can purchase under one roof with greater convenience. However, it is important to identify the quality of those products, how customers of superstore perceive the product quality of superstore. What is the level of consumers price sensitiveness? In the outside world, it is a common practice by the most superstore that they charges lower price for their products. However, in Bangladesh, the scenario is completely reverse. Here, the superstores in our country charge premium price for their products. I want to figure out
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the customers of these superstore are price sensitive in what extend. Are the customers are willing to pay more for the extra benefit that they are getting from superstore? Is it rational for them to pay extra money for their given benefit? How consumers see the self-administered way of choosing products at Superstore? Another important feature of superstore is the self-administered way of choosing products. In superstore, the customer can easily choose what they want to purchase; no one is going to interrupt him or her. Only if s/he needs help, then the sales people will go and try to resolve his/her problem. How customers of superstore evaluate this procedure of buying goods from superstore? Whether they want the supervision from the sales personnel or not? Is it really force them to purchase from superstore or they dislike it and seek supervision of sales people?

4.0 Hypothesis
Superstore concept has achieved a lot of popularity there is no doubt about that. People attracted to superstore for its distinct characteristics. However, there is diverse insight about the price charged by superstore among potential customers of superstore. Based on different opinions from my friends, relatives and neighbors about superstore I constructed my hypothesis that Dhaka city dwellers shifting from open market to superstore because of its spatial convenience, great assortment and variety though the price in superstore is higher than open market.

5.0 Methodology
To get the proper insight about the purchasing behavior at superstore, I used both primary and secondary sources to collect the data. Primary Source
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Questionnaire Survey 30 questionnaire Interview Secondary Source Online Book Newspaper Journal According to our course instructors guideline, I surveyed 30 people who are mainly service holders and students. Some of them are also self-employed. I did not include people who does not have any exposure to superstore or has very limited exposure. I took interview of Mr. Abul Kalam, Assistant Manager, Pick & Pay superstore at Baridhara Corporation (HSBC), who regularly do purchase from superstore for last five years. To get the detail information about superstore, I took help from different books, websites and different newspapers (The Independent, The Daily Star and Dhaka Calling). From the newspapers and websites I gathered secondary data which helped me to know about the superstore, superstore in Bangladesh and so forth. D.

O. H.S. and Mr. Mohammad Fahim Arman, Credit Office, Hongkong & Shanghai Banking

6.0 Data Presentation and Analysis


In this section the primary data are discussed literally and expressed graphically through the assistance of bar graphs, pie charts, etc. the answers to the questions are numbered correspondingly.
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6.1 Survey Questionnaire Analysis


Question no 1 Have you ever purchased anything at a superstore like Nandan, Agora, etc? Yes No Yes Male Female Total 100% 100% 100% No 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%

We can see from the table that, all my respondents both male and female purchased from superstore. Question no 2 Indicate the time when you started buying from superstore? Less than 1 year More than 1 to 2 year More than 2 to 3 year More than 3 year Less than 1 year 16.67% More than 1 to 2 year 26.67% More than 2 to 3 year 23.33% More than 3 year 33.33%

From the above data, 33.33 % of all respondents started buying from superstores more than 3 years, 23.33% more than 2 to 3 year. So almost half of the respondents purchases from superstore more than 2 to 3 years. Question no 3 How frequently do you go to a superstore?
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After 2- 3 days Once a week After 15 days Once in a month After 2- 3 days 13.33% Once a week 26.67% After 15 days 16.67% Once in a month 43.33%

From the above table, it is clear that most of the respondents (43.33%) purchase from superstore once in a month. Respondents who go to each week are 26.67%, after 15 days are 16.67% and -3 days are 13.33%. Question no 4 Are you satisfied with the services provided by superstores located in Dhaka? Yes. No. Its more or less ok. Below standard 2

Yes.

No.

Its more or less ok.

Below standard
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46.67%

3.33%

43.33%

6.67%

Momentous numbers of respondents (46.67%) are satisfied with the services provided by superstores and 43.33% said it is more or less ok. Only very few insignificant number of respondents are dissatisfied. Question no 5 Rank in order which is the most driving force that motivates you to switch from traditional open market shopping to superstore. Convenience of having everything at the same place Great assortment & variety of products Cleanliness Ease of payment Pleasant Shopping Environment Fixed Pricing /No Bargaining

In General:

From the above table, we can conclude that Convenience of having everything at the same place got the first preference, Great assortment & variety of products got the second preference, and the others are accordingly. For Male:
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For male, convenience got the highest preference and assortment and variety is the second preference.

For Female:

Interestingly, for female, pleasant shopping environment along with the convenience got the highest preference for most driving force that motivate them to go to superstore which was absent in the case of male. Question no 6 What is your impression about the product quality of superstore?
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Extremely Good 6.67%

Good 60%

Neutral 30%

Bad 0.00%

Extremely Bad 3.33%

So, it is clear that most of the respondents are satisfied with the product quality of superstore. Only very insignificant portion of respondents (3.33%) are dissatisfied. Question no 7 The price of products at superstore is reasonable compared to its product quality & services.

Strongly Agree 3.33%

Agree 36.67%

Neutral 36.66%

Disagree 16.67%

Strongly disagree 6.67%

Among the respondents 36.67% agrees that the price charged by superstores are reasonable compared to its product quality & services and 36.66% were neutral at their opinion. However, more than 20% of the respondents disagreed that superstores price didnt reflect the product quality.
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Question no 8 Is it rational for you to purchase from a superstore where price is relatively high instead of buying from store situated in your locality?

Yes No Yes
33.33%

No
66.67%

Most of the respondents (66.67%) said that they want to purchase from the stores situated at their locality rather than going to superstore where the price is relatively high.

Question no 9 How do you define the product assortment & variety at superstore?

Extremely Good 13.33%

Good 63.33%

Neutral 20%

Bad 0.00%

Extremely Bad 3.33%

Most of the respondents said that they were satisfied with the great assortment & variety of products at superstore. Only 3.33 % of respondents commented that the product assortment & variety of superstore was extremely bad. Question no 10 Do you think the self-administered way of choosing products without any assistance from sales person is excellent system provided by superstore?

Yes

No

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Yes 86.67%

No 13.33%

So, it is clear that most of the respondents like the self-administered way of choosing products without any assistance from sales person.

Question no 11 Do you think superstore shopping creates any effect on your own lifestyle?

Yes

No

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63.33% of my respondents agreed that superstore shopping created some effect on their lifestyle. (For more details see Appendix)

6.2 Interviews
For my research purpose, I took interview from Mr. Abul Kalam, Assistant Manager, Pick & Pay superstore at Baridhara D. O. H.S. He was in this profession for more than four years. He shared some of his vast experience with me. He said these superstores made the peoples life more easy and give them abundant chance to choose as superstores brings with great assortment and variety of products. He argued with the common perception against superstore that they charged higher price. He said the price that superstores charging are quite ignorant compared to the facilities provided by superstores. He said superstores are providing unique and uncommon products which are not offered by kitchen market. He also added the no bargaining, cleanliness, ease of payment, convenience facilities made superstore user friendly to its customers. Another interview that I took was from Mr. Mohammad Fahim Arman, Credit Office, Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), who regularly do purchase from superstore for last five years. He said that he prefer superstore over traditional kitchen market because it offered the great convenience of choosing many kinds of products under the same roof. The shopping environment
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he liked most, he could purchase at any moment with great convenience whether its raining or heavy sun. He agreed that superstores charged much, but he would not shift to open market because superstore made a significant change in his life, which couldnt be accomplished by shopping at traditional superstore.

7.0 Summary of Research Findings


The summary of the research findings are given below: More than half of the respondents said that they started to purchase from superstore for last 2-3 years or more which indicated the familiarity of people with superstore.

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Majority of the respondents are satisfied with the service provided by superstore, others are moderately satisfied, very less portion are dissatisfied. In general, convenience of having everything at the same place is the major driving force to shift from open market to superstore. However, while male respondents were mostly motivated by convenience and great assortment of superstore, female respondents were choosing superstore for pleasant shopping environment apart from convenience of having everything in the superstore. Most people perceive that the products offered by superstore are good. The perception about the price of superstore is quite mixed. One third of the respondents said its acceptable, others were neutral or disagree. Most people appreciate the great assortment and variety of superstores and the selfadministered way of choosing products. Finally, it is not surprising that most people agrees that superstores play a significant role in changing their life-style.

8.0 Suggestions
I have some specific suggestions regarding this issue: To create more customer base, the superstore should charge less for their products.

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In Bangladesh, superstores lack some facilities which was quite common practice in abroad. For example, here most of the superstore dont have adequate car parking facility which sometimes bother customers. So they need to focus on it. The open market businessmen should painstakingly monitor the facilities provided by superstores and should concentrate more on how to improve their product and service level gradually.

9.0 Limitations
o

Sample size was only 30. This amount of sample size is not actually enough to prove the credibility of my research. If I got more time then I would able to increase my sample size, which would give more concrete results.

o Some people while interviewing couldnt believe me whether I am actually doing a research paper or using it for commercial purpose. o Some of the respondents were reluctant to answer my questions. o Time constraint was also a great challenge to encounter.

10.0 Conclusion
Superstores create great convenience in customers life. It eases their purchasing their day to day commodity goods and makes them greater chance to choose from various kinds of products. Though superstores charge higher than traditional kitchen market, people still prefer superstore as
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it provided the convenience of purchasing every kinds of product from same place with great assortment and pleasant shopping environment. Therefore, my hypothesis is proven right.

References
Agora introduces a new way to shop [Electronic version]. (2009, March). Dhaka calling, 7 (6) Arman, F, personal communication, April 1, 2009
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Bachmann, D. (2008. December 26). Supermarkets on the rise [Electronic version]. The Daily Star. Kalam, A, personal communication, March 31, 2009 Kapoor, S. K., & Kansal, P. (2003). Basics of Distribution Management: A Logistical Approach. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India. Parvez, S. (2009. March 10). Supermarkets to spread out [Electronic version]. The Daily Star. Rashid, R.B. (2006. February 21). Coming out of the cocoon [Electronic version]. Life Style, (28). 3

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