How retail category differences moderate retailer perceptions of manufacturer brands
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This article examines how the type of product category influences manufacturer-retailer relationships involving manufacturer brands. Category management is a key retailer management mechanism, but this topic has not been addressed in the context of purchasing manufacturer brands. This study examined retailer perceptions of manufacturer brands across eight product categories and the effects on retailer relationship outcomes including satisfaction, trust, commitment and performance. A significant difference in model parameters was initially identified between the two liquor and six grocery categories. The effect of this difference on the retailer relationship outcomes with manufacturer brands was then assessed using multi-group structural equation modelling. There were no differences between the categories in terms of the effect of brand benefits on retailer satisfaction with the brand and the subsequent effect of satisfaction on retailer commitment and trust. However, the impact of retailer satisfaction with the brand on brand performance expectations was greater for liquor brands than for brands in the grocery categories. The results indicate a retailer’s assessment of a brand’s performance within the store environment depends on the role of the category as well as satisfaction with the brand.