Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to decompose total customer value as perceived by department store shoppers into utilitarian, hedonic and social dimensions, and empirically test this conceptualization in a Finnish department store shopping context. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected by a questionnaire administered over three days at a department store that generates the second largest turnover in Finland. A total of 364 shoppers completed the questionnaire. Findings – Empirical evidence supports our tripartite conceptualization of total customer value. In particular, social value is an independent construct. Further, social value varies by day-of-week, with a significant increase on Saturday (versus weekdays) when the store is more crowded, whereas no such differences in utilitarian and hedonic values were detected. Originality/value – The principal contribution is a tripartite conceptualization of total customer value that incorporates utilitarian, social and hedonic value dimensions in a department store shopping context. Individually these dimensions are all well rooted in streams of consumer behavior literature, albeit mostly at the product or brand, not the store, level. Increasing our understanding of these softer aspects of shopping, particularly the social dimension, is important because they represent possible differentiating factors in the highly competitive and often commoditized retail markets.
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