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Retailers’ presentation of merchandise to consumers is often organized by brand or by price to facilitate comparison and processing of competitive information. While such organization of product information is presumed to assist consumer decision-making, we suggest that sorting of alternatives on brand names strain cognitive resources more than a price sort, leading to differences in sensitivity to prices for a target product accompanying these two sorts. We conduct three studies to examine this issue and find that sorting of alternatives interacts with consumers’ motivation and influences price perceptions. Our results add nuance to the findings from previous studies examining how assortment affects consumers’ price sensitivity, and suggest that retailers whose appeal is not primarily price-based could benefit by presenting merchandise information sorted by brand name so as to increase perceptions of quality and value.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.