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Major Shifts in Sustainable Consumer Behavior in Romania and Retailers’ Priorities in Agilely Adapting to It

Abstract : The sustainable consumption and integration of digital solutions with respect to sustainable consumption have been encouraged by the new European circular economy action plan. Digital adoption has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic; companies have been challenged to rapidly adapt to the constant evolution of consumer needs and expectations, leading to valuable insights into the advancement of green business practices and a consequent rethinking of their business model. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the major shifts in sustainable consumer behavior on the Romanian retail market within the context of the Green European Deal, and retailers’ priorities in agilely adapting to these significant evolutions. Based on a comprehensive literature review on these major shifts and significant evolutions at the national and international levels, a quantitative study was carried out to evaluate the Romanian retail market and identify the major challenges faced by retailers in dealing with the new set of priorities. The data collection was conducted via a survey used in the retail environment, applied within a Romanian supermarket chain. The Romanian retail sector has a particular configuration, which may have an impact upon the study’s generalizability. Located in Central and Eastern Europe at the crossroads of the EU, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the Middle East, Romania is a leading destination for foreign direct investment, and it is recognized for the similarities of its distribution and sales channels, the range of its retail outlets, and the local retail market dominance on the Big Box segment by reputed major retailers. A spectacular evolution is recorded in Romania’s e-commerce market, including from the point of view of the long-standing and memorable traditional relationship between Romania and China which was confirmed more recently by Romanian consumers who prefer to buy online from stores in China. Our consumer research provides retailers with deep consumer insights with regard to their priorities in their agile adaptation. According to our research, Romanian consumers are environmentally concerned consumers, displaying an increased awareness about the important role they play with respect to impacting sustainable production and consumption by adopting green purchase behavior. Our study also points to the fact that retailers, although faced with challenges in targeting consumers with customized messages to reinforce their brand perception on sustainability issues, do pay considerable attention to sustainability as a personal value embraced by consumers and are willing to focus on digitizing their business processes to enable new, sustainable business models.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 12:02:06 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, August 6, 2022 - 3:22:35 AM

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Theodor Purcărea, Valeriu Ioan-Franc, Ştefan-Alexandru Ionescu, Ioan Matei Purcărea, Victor Lorin Purcărea, et al.. Major Shifts in Sustainable Consumer Behavior in Romania and Retailers’ Priorities in Agilely Adapting to It. Sustainability, MDPI, 2022, 14 (3), pp.1627. ⟨10.3390/su14031627⟩. ⟨hal-03604212⟩

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