An evaluative analysis of retail chains in the 21<sup>st</sup> century
The next phase in retail growth is all about change, which will be more about how retail stores connect, interact, and involve consumers in the buying process. The recent economic crisis shifted the buying habits of consumers and the next decade will bring a very different business environment for retail store chains. This research study was an evaluative analysis of retail chains in the 21st century to determine if there were empirical data to support the hypothesis that retail store chains can increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty through allocation of resources to marketing, technology, and inventory management systems. The study surveyed participants that frequent several retail store chains, specifically, Wal-Mart, Target, and Kroger to better understand how they view the relationship between marketing, technology, and inventory initiative to retail store chains satisfying them as a customer and the relationship to customer loyalty. The results show that marketing, technology, and an inventory management system relates to customer satisfaction more so than customer loyalty. This research may help decision makers in implementing programs which may benefit their customers through improvements in satisfaction and loyalty.