Exploring the Purchasing Experience of Cross-Cultural Consumers in Northern Remote, Rural Communities: Thompson, Manitoba
AbstractThompson is the largest community in northern Manitoba which was built originally to service the mining industry. This community has faced challenges in providing effective customer service and sufficient goods to meet local demands. Like many other resource based communities in northern Canada, the human resource base includes transitory workers, a large First Nations and Metis population and in recent years an increasing immigrant and temporary foreign worker population. As a service centre for northern Manitoba, it is critical to maintain a robust retail and service sector which meets the purchasing needs of the community. This research explores some of the nuances of purchasing patterns through primary and retail service sector gaps, experience of residents with customer service, and the role of various cultural groups and variations in purchasing experiences. Our findings indicate that there were low levels of customer satisfaction and there was a need for cross cultural customer service. Respondents also indicated that the limited availability of products and services in the community resulted in retail leakage. While the economic livelihood of this community is not solely tied to resource extractive industries such as mining, the link is significant enough to merit significant vision by local leadership to ensure that the economy is diverse and responsive to the economic, social and cultural climate of the region.