Assortment size and option attractiveness in consumer choice among retailers

Alexander Chernev*, Ryan Hamilton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


An important decision that retailers make involves selecting the number of items constituting their assortments. A key issue in making these decisions is the role of assortment size in determining consumers' choice of a retailer. The authors address this issue by investigating how consumer choice among retailers offering various-sized assortments is influenced by the attractiveness of the options constituting these assortments. The data show that consumer preference for · retailers offering larger assortments tends to decrease as the attractiveness of the options in their assortments increases and can even lead to a reversal of preferences in favor of retailers offering smaller assortments. This research further presents evidence that the relationship between assortment size and option attractiveness is concave, such that the marginal impact of assortment size on choice decreases as the attractiveness of the options increases. Data from eight empirical studies offer converging evidence in support of the theoretical predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-420
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Assortment
  • Consumer behavior
  • Consumer choice
  • Context effects
  • Retailing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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