Rapid acceptance of the relationship paradigm, within marketing, is in no small part due to the powerful metaphor of marketing-as-relationship. Through observation of localized television home shopping (THS), with its intensive use of communication between salesperson and customer, we examine how local meanings of relationship marketing are abstracted to their constituent values for broadcast over television, extending the metaphor of marketing-as-relationship to more accurately reflect differing values among American, Japanese, and Chinese retailing cultures. Combining observations with historical records, and ethnographic data, we propose culturally specific shopping relationship metaphors that help managers quickly understanding core local values of retailing.

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