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EMAC 2021 Regional Conference

Not all Crises are Alike: Comparing and Contrasting Retail Consumers during a Pandemic Lockdown Versus Consumers hit by Economic Recession

Published: September 22, 2021


MARKOS TSOGAS, University of Piraeus; Evi Chatzopoulou, University of Patras


Economic Recession; Covid-19; Retail consumer


During a crisis, unusual consumer behavior has been observed globally. This paper aims to unveil the roots of changing consumer behavior when consumer habits are being disrupted by a crisis, albeit a pandemic or a strong recession, and to capture consumer buying behavior in these unique situations based on detachment theory. To fulfill the objectives of the research, 10 focus groups were conducted. The results indicate that consumers are learning to improvise by adopting new purchasing habits. In times of economic recession, consumers experience sudden and unintentional detachment from a grocery/ supermarket brand due to their inability to dispose of the necessary income, whereas, in times of the Covid-19 curfew, consumers try to dispose of the surplus of their disposable income by pursuing variety and freedom in their shopping decisions.