The impact of retailers’ sustainability and price on consumers’ responses in different cultural contexts

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International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research


Consumers want sustainability, but at what price? With growing demands for environmental and social sustainability, retailers aim to understand how consumers might react to adaptations in retail practices. This research examines consumers’ perceptions towards retailers’ environmental and social sustainability practices and the moderating effect of price in different cultural contexts. Quantitative research methodology using scenario-based experiments was employed. Two experiments were conducted using research participants from the US (a more individualist country) and Turkey (a more collectivist country) and measured one dimension of culture, individualism versus collectivism. The results reveal that high prices negatively moderate consumers’ response to retailers’ sustainability efforts. Even though there is no significant interaction between either type of sustainability and price on purchase intention, high sustainability along with a low-price strategy leads to an increase in consumers’ commitment, satisfaction, and loyalty. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that high prices have a more negative effect on consumers’ responses in a collectivist country. This study highlights the importance of price in both individualist and collectivist cultures and provides a better understanding of a neglected dimension of sustainability, social sustainability. Managers need to be aware of the increasing demand from consumers for environmentally and socially sustainable practices but need to recognize that consumers may not be willing to pay more for these products. Companies need to formulate business strategies based on low priced-sustainable products and the cultural context of the country in which they operate.


Management, Marketing, and Logistics

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