SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
On-line version ISSN 0258-5200
ORIENTATION: Retailers often consider other market segments ahead of mature consumers because they perceive that they have limited purchasing power. This study addressed this misperception by investigating the buying behaviour of mature consumers. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the buying behaviour of mature consumers (older than 55) in Port Elizabeth shopping malls. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The perception of mature shoppers as old people with limited financial resources is untrue. This study investigates the behaviours of mature shoppers. RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: A model guided the investigation. The authors facilitated four focus groups to gain insight into mature consumers' buying behaviours. A field survey followed with a sample of mall shoppers (n = 680). The authors performed content analysis of the focus group material and used SPSS and AMOS programs to analyse the data quantitatively. MAIN FINDINGS: Focus group interviews revealed specific buying behaviours of mature shoppers. The survey showed significant relationships between various determinants that influence respondents' buying behaviours with adequate model fit indices. These results confirmed the convergent and discriminant validity of the model that comprises mall shopping anticipation, experience and patronage. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Mature shoppers' expectations exceeded their experiences, suggesting dissatisfaction with some aspects of their experiences. Retailers and shopping mall managers need to redesign malls if they wish to cater for the segment of ageing shoppers and their spending power. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The study contributes to the research available in South Africa on service at shopping malls that cater for mature consumers.