Commercial friendships between gay sales associates and straight female customers in luxury settings: A proposed theoretical framework

Rosenbaum, Mark S., Russell-Bennett, Rebekah, & Drennan, Judy (2015) Commercial friendships between gay sales associates and straight female customers in luxury settings: A proposed theoretical framework. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 27, pp. 179-186.

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This study investigates friendships between gay sales associates and heterosexual female customers in luxury retail settings. By employing grounded theory methodology, the study integrates theories and findings from diverse literature streams into an original conceptual framework to illustrate the resources gay sales associates and straight female customers receive from and provide to each other during retail exchanges. The study explains why gay male–straight female friendships are uniquely suited for luxury consumption settings. Female customers characterize their friendships with gay sales associates as providing honesty, security, trust, and comfort, which stems from the absence of sexual interest and a lack of inter-female competition. Gay sales associates receive acceptance for who they are and for their displays of unconventional masculinity in retail settings. They also obtain a temporary rite from their female customers, a so-called mandate of privacy, which permits both parties to ignore the bounds of modesty and accept a degree of intimacy. Such intimacy facilitates transactions that require both personalization and customer–employee closeness, such as the selling of high-end apparel, accessories, and jewelry.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 87425
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Commercial Friendships, Gay Consumers, Relationship Marketing, Luxury Retailing, Gay-straight Friendships
DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.08.004
ISSN: 1873-1384
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations) (150503)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Deposited On: 14 Sep 2015 01:30
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 01:16

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