Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 531–549 | Cite as

A customer perspective on product eliminations: how the removal of products affects customers and business relationships

  • Christian Homburg
  • Andreas Fürst
  • Jana-Kristin Prigge
Original Empirical Research


Regardless of the apparent need for product eliminations, many managers hesitate to act as they fear deleterious effects on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Other managers do carry out product eliminations, but often fail to consider the consequences for customers and business relationships. Given the relevance and problems of product eliminations, research on this topic in general and on the consequences for customers and business relationships in particular is surprisingly scarce. Therefore, this empirical study explores how and to what extent the elimination of a product negatively affects customers and business relationships. Results indicate that eliminating a product may result in severe economic and psychological costs to customers, thereby seriously decreasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. This paper also shows that these costs are not exogenous in nature. Instead, depending on the characteristics of the eliminated product these costs are found to be more or less strongly driven by a company’s behavior when implementing the elimination at the customer interface.


Product elimination Product removal Product portfolio management Product management Product policy 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Homburg
    • 1
  • Andreas Fürst
    • 2
  • Jana-Kristin Prigge
    • 3
  1. 1.Chair of Marketing IUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.Chair of MarketingUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany
  3. 3.Deutsche BankFrankfurtGermany

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