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An exploration of how sensory shopping evenings influence shopping behaviour in parents of children with ASD

Rennicks, Darren (2020) An exploration of how sensory shopping evenings influence shopping behaviour in parents of children with ASD. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This paper explores the impact that sensory shopping evenings have on the shopping behaviour of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder living in Ireland. The prevalence of autism is increasing worldwide, and there is a need for retailers to understand and provide a more suitable store environment for this growing segment. This is not just prudent on a corporate social responsibility level, but it also offers a commercially beneficial opportunity for retailers.

This research project was based on an extensive literature review and a subsequent qualitative research approach through semi-structured telephone interviews with eight parents of children on the autism spectrum who have shopped during these sensory evenings. Data analysis was performed using a thematic approach which were deemed relevant to the research objectives.

The main findings from this study were that parents of children with autism had changed their shopping behaviour positively since the sensory shopping evenings were launched, they consider themselves more store loyal to retailers who offer these evenings and feel they gain from a better customer experience and less stigmatisation.

The primary conclusion drawn from this research was that sensory shopping evenings are commercially beneficial to Irish grocery retailers, and it is recommended that it is in their best interest to provide them to this increasingly influential and growing customer segment.

Further research opportunities were identified at the end of the study also.

Keywords: Sensory shopping, autism, store environment, disability and consumption, environmental psychology, stigmatisation

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 16:20
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 16:20

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