Building customer confidence in the automobile age: Canadian Tire 1928-1939

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Title Building customer confidence in the automobile age: Canadian Tire 1928-1939
Author Miller, Dale
Journal Name Journal of Historical Research in Marketing
Editor Professor Brian Jones; Leighann Neilson, Stanley Shapiro
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald
Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how one Canadian retailer developed customer confidence in the interwar years when the automobile was in its infancy. The emphasis is on products and product information in the mail-order catalogue. Design/methodology/approach – The research design strategy draws on a longitudinal case study research using primary archival data collection and analysis. Findings – In the 1930s, the firm used multiple approaches to respond to opportunities and challenges and to reassure customers through product assortment, guarantees, branding, quality assurance and support services. Generating an extensive mail-order business occurred in tandem with the opening of stores, and together these approaches created rapid growth. In the early years, the emphasis was on maintenance, repairs and some augmentation through accessories. From the mid-to late 1930s, with easing economic conditions, the focus shifts from automobile functionality to include roles for leisure and sport products, and the injunction to engage with the Canadian countryside. Originality/value – The paper uses original historical research to contribute a new way of understanding how retailers developed customer confidence. The study contributes to knowledge about Canadian retailing in the interwar years, and the means for building customer confidence using a range of marketing techniques. For researchers, the study demonstrates a further example of the efficacy of using archival materials to explore marketing questions.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 3
Issue Number 3
Page from 302
Page to 328
ISSN 1755-750X
Date Accessioned 2012-02-07; 2012-02-20T05:48:05Z
Research Centre Griffith Institute For Tourism
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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