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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The influence of cultural trauma on customer experiences in retail – evidence from a post-transitional economy

Published: May 27, 2020


Agnieszka Kacprzak, University of Warsaw; Katarzyna Dziewanowska, University of Warsaw


customer experience; cultural trauma; Poland


This paper aims at investigating the perception of customer experiences in retail context in Poland, which has undergone the transition from communism to capitalism. This shift resulted in a cultural trauma that has left a mark on Polish consumers and their behavior until today. In the paper we present results of 2 studies: a quantitative survey and focus group interviews (FGI). The survey, conducted on a representative sample of 1,045 Polish consumers, suggests different perception of utilitarian and hedonic retail experiences among representatives of pre- and post-transitional generations. In turn, the results of the FGIs allowed for a deeper understanding of the differences in the perception of customer experiences observed in Study 1. The paper offers a new perspective on customer retail experiences in a post-transitional society. Presented findings emphasize the unique market context of discussed generational differences and are basis for managerial implications.