Although the use of store flyers have lost some
impetus in recent years, it continues to be one of the most important marketing
tools used by retailers, due to both, communication with their customers and
the economic and financial effect on their budget. In the United States it accounted
for more than 65% of the budget of the companies of the sector in 2012 (Ziliani & Ieva, 2015). In Spain, more than 590 million Euros were invested in 2013, including
a reduction of more than 30% of the budget compared to the year 2008
(Sánchez-Revilla, 2014). In Italy and France, the amounts invested exceeded one
billion euros in each country during 2012, representing more than 50% of the
budget of the retail companies in those countries (Gázquez-Abad &
Martínez-López, 2016).

One of the most important factors
for its application is related to its ability to influence consumers in the
different stages of their buying cycle, at home and in the store (Ziliani & Ieva, 2015), to prove to be more effective than
other traditional means of communication (Burton, Lichtenstein, & Netemeyer, 1999), and beyond that, are a source of
financial revenue from manufacturers who also rely on flyers to get directly to
consumers (Gázquez-Abad & Martínez-López, 2016). As an instrument
of communication and promotion, store flyer has different goals: it promotes
new products and discounts, as a short-term goal, it contributes to release
their assortment variety, as a medium-term goal, and it improves retail image
as a long-term goal.

Consequently, different studies
evaluated their influence on consumer behavior. They identified that certain
characteristics of the flyer are capable of influencing positively the consumer
perception about a greater assortment variety and the image of the
establishment (Mimouni Chaabane, Sabri, & Parguel, 2010), in the intention of visiting and
buying products offered (Gijsbrechts, Campo, & Goossens, 2003) and, even, in those that are not
offered and arranged on the flyer (Burton et al., 1999). As well as improving the sale of
store brand products, which represent better margins and benefits (Gázquez-Abad & Martínez-López, 2016). However, the role
that store flyer design can play in maintaining this causal relationship
between perceived variety, image and purchase intention is not as well known.

Considerations about perceived
variety and image need to be highlighted. Naturally, consumers tend to prefer
assortments with greater variety, since they offer a greater possibility to find
a product that best suits their preferences or needs both in the present or in
the future (Townsend & Kahn, 2014). In addition to contributing significantly
to greater satisfaction and loyalty (Chang, 2011). According (Mimouni Chaabane et al., 2010), the variety
perceived by the consumer is considered as one of the main factors of
performance of the retailers. On the other hand, (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000), note that assortments with a wide
variety of products negatively influence sales volume and negatively affect
consumer satisfaction (Townsend & Kahn, 2014). Furthermore, the image of the
establishment is also affected by the perceived variety (Semeijn, van Riel, & Ambrosini, 2004). That, in turn, substantially
affects the consumption of products, especially store brand products (Diallo, 2012). The perception of the image of the
establishment is developed in the mind of the consumer (Zimmer & Golden, 1988) and formed on the basis of
different attributes, being real and imaginary (Beneke & Zimmerman, 2014). As with the perceived variety,
different evaluations, positive or negative, occur in the evaluation of the
image of the establishment through the flyer, which consequently affects the
intention to consume available products, being national or store brand (Mimouni Chaabane et al., 2010; Pieters, Wedel, &
Zhang, 2007).

Given the considerable strategic
importance to retailers, it is important to understand the implications of how different
flyer models, through different changes and combinations in basics attributes
in their composition, affect their power and promotional effectiveness on
consumer behavior, mainly related to the assortment variety, perceived image,
and purchase intention, in particular the purchase of store brand products.
However, it is observed in most of the recent studies, when evaluating the
performance of the flyer, some results were related to the overall sales outcome,
based on the total number of invoices issued, or on the traffic observed at the
establishment, without actually identifying whether the consumer’s contact with
the flyer existed and whether it was actually influenced by this (Gijsbrechts et al., 2003; Luceri, Latusi, Tania
Vergura, & Lugli, 2014). Others evaluated the efficiency of
the flyer over the national company’s perspective by comparing the number of
products of national companies present on the flyer and their influence on
consumer behavior without actually considering the brand of the retailer (Mimouni Chaabane et al., 2010). And in this way we fail to
understand the true effect that different flyer templates have on consumer
behavior.

Our approach is
from the Behavioural Decision Theory (BDT), which proposes that preferences are
not stable due to the presence of framing and context effects. It is observed
that the decision-making process of the consumer is affected and formed by the
set of information to which it is exposed (Chernev, 2005). As noted in the BDT, different
assessments and choices in the decision making process occur through exposure
to different scenarios, but objectively they may be equivalent, for
example the presence or absence of a slogan on the cover (Levin, Schneider, & Gaeth, 1998). According (Payne, 1982; Simonson, 2008), preferences, or pre-disposition by
certain attributes are versatile, and most frequently are developed based on
the context to which the consumer is exposed and may change depending on how
the decision-making process is formulated. Therefore,
context effects are changes in perception generated by changes in the size of
choice set, for example flyer size (van Lin & Gijsbrechts, 2016). In addition to
being formulated, through pre-existing preferences by certain attributes, the
presence of attributes that are less salient or with less impact in the
presented context are equally important in the evolution of consumer
decision-making (Simonson, 2008). In this way, the establishment of
preference is considered to be influenced by the general context to which the
consumer is exposed, but which may vary as the scenario varies.

Therefore,
when considering the incomparable importance and complexity that the use of the
flyer represents in the performance of retailers, its considerable economic /
financial impact on its budget and given the existing literature……. Based on our
exploratory analysis with more than twenty brochures of supermarkets, we
detected a quite similar structure, mainly related
to the extension of the flyer, the promotion of a national or store brand
product on the front page, and in some cases, the use of an institutional
slogan. There is a clear need, and an important research opportunity, to
explore in more depth the composition and effect of different flyer models on
consumer behavior. Consequently, this study raises a key question: -What is the
effect that different, but similar, flyer models have on consumer behavior?

In this study, we
propose to analyse the mediating role of the establishment image between the
perceived variety and in the intention to buy in the shop and in the intention
to buy retail’s brands. Moreover, how this relationship is affected by the
flyer design. To study this effect, an experiment was carried out with four
flyer designs (scenarios), based on three different attributes: 1) its extension
(with the possibility of using a larger or smaller number of pages); 2) the
brand advertised on the first page (promote and advertise a product of own
brand of the retailer or a national brand); and, 3) the use of an institutional
slogan as an advertising incentive (presence or absence of a slogan on the
front page) about consumer behavior. To achieve the objectives, based on the
three basic attributes of the flyer presented, an experiment was developed
among subjects to construct four distinct, but objectively identical flyer
scenarios. The analysis of consumer responses was performed through the
modeling of structural equations, whose main issue was to improve the
understanding of the four main variables present in the performance of
retailers: 1) perceived variety; 2) perceived image; 3) general purchase
intention in the establishment; and, 4) intention to purchase a product from
the retailer’s own brand.

To avoid the image effect of a known
retailer (brand) was developed a fictitious retailer with its brand and also
fictitious products. After analyzing different flyers of the main retailers
present in the Spanish market and its different characteristics, a single
subject design (intra-subjects) was used to complement the interior of the
flyer with the presence of different national brands, promotional strategies,
different price ranges and be the closest to a real exhibition of the flyer.
Due to the considerable cost involved in the production and printing of a
printed flyer a digital flyer was developed, which was made available
electronically to the participants of the experiment.

Through this theoretical
model we intend to offer a deeper understanding of scholars and practitioners.
At the same time that we evaluate, from the perspective of the retailer (call
of (Ailawadi, Beauchamp, Donthu, Gauri, & Shankar, 2009), the
different characteristics of the flyer and its influence on consumer behavior,
more precisely on the variety and perceived image and their intention to
purchase. In addition to contributing to the analyzes through a digital flyer,
sent and made available by email through an access link (call of (Ziliani & Ieva, 2015)), which
represents a new frontier for retailers.

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