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Consumer response to exterior atmospherics at a university-branded merchandise store

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Abstract

This study examined the influence of exterior store atmospherics upon college students’ responses to a university-branded merchandise store. The research was informed by Mehrabian and Russell’s (1974) Stimulus–Organism–Response (S–O–R) model, which proposes that consumers’ emotional responses to a physical store environment mediate how the environment shapes their patronage behaviors. An online survey with a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design component was implemented to explore the influence of three aspects of exterior store atmospherics (i.e., landscaping, store greeter, and electronic kiosk) upon three dependent variables: consumer emotional state (pleasure/arousal), consumer liking of the store exterior, and patronage intentions. The sample included 336 college students. Analyses provide support for the S–O–R model and related research; collectively, findings are consistent with the premise that pleasure and liking of the storefront exterior shape patronage intentions at a university-branded merchandise store. The exterior store atmospherics manipulated in the present study, however, did not positively influence consumers’ emotional states or liking. This study examined the influence of understudied aspects of exterior store atmospherics on consumers’ emotional states and liking as well as their patronage intentions toward a university-branded merchandise store. Contrary to prior work, findings provide evidence that, in some retail contexts, store greeters may generate negative responses from consumers.
Consumer response toexterior
atmospherics ata university‑branded
merchandise store
Karen H. Hyllegard*, Jennifer Paff Ogle, Ruoh‑Nan Yan and Kevin Kissell
Introduction
Store atmospherics impact consumers’ perceptions of value and store image as well as
their retail choice and patronage intentions (Baker etal. 2002; Cornelius etal. 2010; Pan
and Zinkhan 2006). Much of the research in the area of store atmospherics has focused
upon consumer response to store interiors (see Mari and Poggesi 2013; Milliman and
Turley 2000; Spence etal. 2014). An emerging body of work, however, has considered
consumer response to exterior store atmospherics, which might be characterized as a
store’s “curb appeal” (e.g., Cornelius etal. 2010; Mower etal. 2012; Oh and Petrie 2012).
Exterior store atmospherics comprise such elements as a store’s signage, entryway, dis-
play windows, architectural features, landscaping, parking, and greeters (Arnold 2002;
Otterbring et al. 2013; Turley and Milliman 2000). e purposeful manipulation of
Abstract
This study examined the influence of exterior store atmospherics upon college stu‑
dents’ responses to a university‑branded merchandise store. The research was informed
by Mehrabian and Russell’s (1974) Stimulus–Organism–Response (S–O–R) model,
which proposes that consumers’ emotional responses to a physical store environment
mediate how the environment shapes their patronage behaviors. An online survey
with a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design component was implemented to explore the
influence of three aspects of exterior store atmospherics (i.e., landscaping, store greeter,
and electronic kiosk) upon three dependent variables: consumer emotional state
(pleasure/arousal), consumer liking of the store exterior, and patronage intentions. The
sample included 336 college students. Analyses provide support for the S–O–R model
and related research; collectively, findings are consistent with the premise that pleasure
and liking of the storefront exterior shape patronage intentions at a university‑branded
merchandise store. The exterior store atmospherics manipulated in the present study,
however, did not positively influence consumers emotional states or liking. This study
examined the influence of understudied aspects of exterior store atmospherics on
consumers’ emotional states and liking as well as their patronage intentions toward
a university‑branded merchandise store. Contrary to prior work, findings provide
evidence that, in some retail contexts, store greeters may generate negative responses
from consumers.
Keywords: Atmospherics, Retail, Landscaping, Store greeter, Electronic kiosk
Open Access
© 2016 Hyllegard et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
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indicate if changes were made.
RESEARCH
Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
DOI 10.1186/s40691‑016‑0056‑y
*Correspondence:
Karen.Hyllegard@colostate.edu
Department of Design
and Merchandising, Colorado
State University, Fort Collins,
CO 80523‑1574, USA
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
exterior atmospherics may represent a viable differentiation strategy in a competitive
retail environment (Cornelius etal. 2010), especially for independent retailers operating
in downtown shopping districts (Grewal etal. 2003; Mower etal. 2012), who may lack
the visual brand recognition of national retailers.
e present study, guided by Mehrabian and Russell’s S–O–R model (1974), explored
how three exterior store atmospherics—landscaping, a store greeter, and an electronic
kiosk—influenced college students’ emotional states and patronage intentions toward a
university-branded (and owned) merchandise store (i.e., a retailer that sells collegiate-
licensed merchandise). e S–O–R model is based upon the Stimulus–Organism–
Response paradigm, which suggests that an individual’s responses (R) to the physical
environment (S) are mediated by his/her emotional states (O). To date, researchers have
not examined the role that exterior store atmospherics may play in shaping consumer
behavior within the context of a University-branded merchandise store, even though
purchases in these retail environments tend to be emotionally-driven (Greenberg 2013).
Landscaping, a store greeter, and an electronic kiosk were selected for study because they
represent under-studied variables in the store atmospherics literature. Further, all three
represent exterior store elements that could readily be implemented by an independent
retailer selling university-branded merchandise. As such, this study was informed by the
S–O–R model as well as research exploring the specific store atmospheric variables con-
sidered in this study and the university-branded merchandise store. is literature pro-
vided a context for the examination of college students’ responses to the exterior retail
environment of a store that sells university team-licensed merchandise.
Literature review
In varied contexts, landscaping, and flowers, in particular, has been found to elicit posi-
tive emotional responses in both men and women (Haviland–Jones etal. 2005). Much
of the empirical research exploring the impact of landscaping upon consumer attitudes
and behavior has focused upon the presence of trees in urban (i.e., main street) busi-
ness districts. Findings from this literature reveal that the integration of trees into retail
environments has the potential to provide pleasurable and restorative experiences for
consumers as well as to increase consumer perceptions of retailers, store traffic, and
product sales for merchants (see Joye etal. 2010 for a review of this work). In particular,
the presence of trees has been associated with positive inferences about product value
and quality as well as customer service and a greater willingness to pay more for prod-
ucts (Wolf 2005). Further, it has been suggested that flowers, plants, and other forms of
landscaping may be used to enhance consumers’ perceptions of retail environments as
well as to influence patronage intentions and/or behaviors (Bengman etal. 2012; Mower
etal. 2012; Spence etal. 2014). For example, Bengman etal. (2012) discovered that the
inclusion of greenery in the interior of a clothing store positively influenced consumers’
feeling of pleasure and subsequently their approach intentions in complex store environ-
ments, but not in simple store environments. Mower etal. (2012) found that exterior
landscaping (i.e., “oversized glazed terra cotta planters with tiny purple and yellow flow-
ers with ivy draping over the edge of the pot”) at a clothing store positively influenced
consumers’ liking of the store as well as their patronage intentions (p. 447).
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
Landscaping
In varied contexts, landscaping, and flowers, in particular, has been found to elicit posi-
tive emotional responses in both men and women (Haviland–Jones etal. 2005). Much
of the empirical research exploring the impact of landscaping upon consumer attitudes
and behavior has focused upon the presence of trees in urban (i.e., main street) busi-
ness districts. Findings from this literature reveal that the integration of trees into retail
environments has the potential to provide pleasurable and restorative experiences for
consumers as well as to increase consumer perceptions of retailers, store traffic, and
product sales for merchants (see Joye etal. 2010 for a review of this work). In particular,
the presence of trees has been associated with positive inferences about product value
and quality as well as customer service and a greater willingness to pay more for prod-
ucts (Wolf 2005). Further, it has been suggested that flowers, plants, and other forms of
landscaping may be used to enhance consumers’ perceptions of retail environments as
well as to influence patronage intentions and/or behaviors (Bengman etal. 2012; Mower
etal. 2012; Spence etal. 2014). For example, Bengman etal. (2012) discovered that the
inclusion of greenery in the interior of a clothing store positively influenced consumers’
feeling of pleasure and subsequently their approach intentions in complex store environ-
ments, but not in simple store environments. Mower etal. (2012) found that exterior
landscaping (i.e., “oversized glazed terra cotta planters with tiny purple and yellow flow-
ers with ivy draping over the edge of the pot”) at a clothing store positively influenced
consumers’ liking of the store as well as their patronage intentions (p. 447).
Store greeters
e general responsibility of store greeters is to say hello or to welcome customers as
they approach or enter a retail store (or access an online retail site). Although store
greeters also may point consumers in the direction of merchandise or a salesperson and
watch for shoplifting as customers exit a store, their responsibility is distinct from that
of retail salespeople (or “hailers”), who attempt to continue interactions with custom-
ers throughout the store and to influence customers into making a purchase (Musgrove
2011).
It has been suggested that store greeters may augment retailers’ efforts to attract
consumer attention, build customer relationships, establish feelings of comfort among
shoppers, and communicate brand image (Arnold 2002; Murray 2006). However, only
one empirical study has examined the influence of store greeters upon consumer behav-
ior. Findings from this experimental study (Otterbring etal. 2013) revealed that a store
greeter (compared to an empty store entrance) positively impacted consumers’ spend-
ing, satisfaction, and perceptions of employees. Findings further revealed gender differ-
ences in consumers’ responses to store greeter conditions (i.e., store greeter alone at the
store entrance vs. store greeter in combination with products at the store entrance). e
store greeter in combination with products at the store entrance negatively influenced
male consumers’ purchase behaviors, whereas the purchase behaviors of female con-
sumers were unaffected by the store greeter conditions. e researchers suggested two
possibilities for this difference in male consumers’ response to store greeter condition.
First, the store greeter in combination with products at the store entrance condition may
have resulted in an overly cluttered store environment/heighten stimulation, which may
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
have encouraged avoidance behaviors. Second, the store greeter condition may have led
male consumers to infer a persuasion motive on the part of the greeter, which may have
increased their suspiciousness and decreased their willingness to purchase (Otterbring
etal. 2013).
Electronic kiosks
Electronic, or interactive, kiosks (a.k.a., self-service technologies, or SSTs) provide con-
sumers increased access to products and services by allowing them to conduct product
information searches, register for promotions, obtain loyalty and gift cards, create gift
registries, pay bills, and make purchases without assistance from sales personnel (Castro
etal. 2010). As such, electronic kiosks offer consumers and retailers, alike, the potential
to save time and money in product and service transactions (Bitner etal. 2002; Castro
etal. 2010; Koller and Kőnigsecker 2012).
e use of SSTs within a retail context has increased in recent years, particularly
among younger consumers (Castro etal. 2010; Dean 2008). Compared to their older
counterparts, younger adults (aged 18–28) have experience with more types of SSTs,
have more confidence in using SSTs, and are less likely to miss interpersonal interaction
when using SSTs. Further, younger adults are more likely to use self-service check-out,
to pay a premium for express check-out in a retail setting, and to make online retail pur-
chases than are older consumers (Dean 2008).
Research suggests that consumers’ evaluations of electronic kiosks in consumer goods
stores are influenced by a number of features. In particular, consumers prefer kiosks that
provide information about product assortment, that allow them to place merchandise
orders, and that offer multiple options for merchandise delivery (Koller and Kőnigsecker
2012). Although consumer goods retailers have traditionally used electronic kiosks in in-
store settings, recently, some retailers have incorporated kiosks into their store exteriors,
providing consumers with after-hours access to a variety of retail goods and services.
For instance, in 2013 the Kate Spade Saturday concept store in New York City integrated
electronic kiosks into its storefronts, allowing consumers to make product purchases
and to schedule local deliveries within a one-hour timeframe (Brooke 2013). How con-
sumers respond to “street-side” electronic kiosks at consumer goods retailers—or those
that are part of a store’s exterior—is unknown; to date, research examining consumers’
evaluations of electronic kiosks for consumer goods retailers have focused upon in-store
applications.
Retail environment: university‑branded merchandise stores
In the present study, a university-branded merchandise store served as the context for
the manipulation of the exterior store atmospheric variables (i.e., landscaping, store
greeter, electronic kiosk). University-branded merchandise retailers represent a form of
niche specialty store that offer a selection of collegiate-licensed apparel products, décor,
and a gift/novelty items featuring the school’s logo and team mascot (“Licensed sports
merchandise market 2014). Sales of collegiate-licensed/sports merchandise are estimated
to reach $4.9 billion by 2018 (PwC Sports Outlook 2014). It is estimated that 190 mil-
lion US consumers purchase collegiate-licensed merchandise, half of whom are female
(Dosh 2013). at women represent half of the consumer base for collegiate-licensed
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
merchandise represents a growth in (sports-themed) apparel and housewares that better
reflect the needs and tastes of women (Greenberg 2013). e core market for collegiate-
licensed merchandise tends to be college-aged individuals as well as older adults who
have an affiliation with the institution (Dosh 2013; PwC Sports Outlook 2014).
A variety of factors may influence the purchase of university-branded merchandise.
According to market research, the purchase of collegiate-licensed/sports merchandise
may be influenced by the design of the store in which the merchandise is presented
(“Licensed sports merchandise market—global industry analysis etal. 2014). Further,
findings from scholarly research indicate that consumers’ emotional responses, includ-
ing pleasure and arousal responses toward a team, are related to intentions to purchase
sports apparel (Taute etal. 2010). Taken together, this research suggests that university-
branded merchandise store environments that evoke certain emotional responses among
consumers may support the sale of goods. At the collegiate level, consumers’ involve-
ment or identification with the university and/or its sports teams also has been linked
to their consumption of team-licensed merchandise (Kwak and Kang 2009; Kwon and
Armstrong 2002, 2006; Kwon and Kwak 2014). More specifically, a consumer’s psycho-
logical attachment to a university team—conceptualized as his/her involvement or iden-
tification with that team as well as his/her image congruence with the team—has been
identified as a key predictor of his/her consumption of team-licensed products (Kwak
and Kang 2009; Kwon and Armstrong 2002, 2006). Identification with a team is directly
associated with brand loyalty and repeat purchases of team-licensed merchandise (i.e.,
past purchase behavior), but also represents a deeper level of psychological affiliation or
a sense of belonging that supports consumers’ self-esteem and self-identity (Apostolo-
poulo etal. 2012; Wakefield 2015).
Justication andhypotheses
Collectively, empirical and theoretical literature provide evidence to suggest that various
aspects of the store exterior may influence consumers’ emotional responses and patron-
age intentions toward retailers. Much of the research in this area is limited in that it
has focused upon how a singular element of exterior store atmospherics may shape con-
sumer behavior. And, the only study identified that did consider the impact of multiple
aspects of exterior store atmospherics upon consumers’ attitudes and behaviors exhib-
ited methodological limitations. In particular, although Mower etal. (2012) examined
the influence of landscaping and window displays upon consumers’ shopping behaviors,
they employed written scenarios rather than visual images as experimental stimuli. As
such, it is possible that interpretations of the stimuli varied across participants. e pre-
sent study employed visual images as stimuli in the experiment to ensure more consist-
ent interpretations among participants and to control for other variables relevant to the
exterior storefront (e.g., store signage and window displays).
Drawing upon the S–O–R model, three hypotheses were developed to explore the
impact of specific exterior store atmospherics upon college students’ emotional states
(i.e., pleasure and arousal) and their evaluative judgments (i.e., liking). Research provides
evidence that landscaping in retail environments may influence pleasure and liking of
the environment; it is less clear how landscaping may impact arousal (e.g., Bengman
etal. 2012; Joye etal. 2010; Mower etal. 2012). us, Hypothesis 1 was proposed:
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
H1: Landscaping will have a positive effect on college students’ pleasure (H1a), arousal
(H1b), and liking (H1c) within the context of a university-branded merchandise store.
Although there is limited empirical research examining the efficacy of store greeters
in influencing consumers’ emotional states, findings do indicate that the presence of a
store greeter can have a positive effect on consumers’ spending, satisfaction, and percep-
tions of employees (Otterbring etal. 2013), suggesting that store greeters may positively
impact consumers’ emotions:
H2: e store greeter will have a positive effect on college students’ pleasure (H2a),
arousal (H2b), and liking (H2c) within the context of a university-branded merchandise
store.
Consumers’ responses to electronic kiosks in in-store settings suggest that consumers
may experience positive emotional states when exposed to electronic kiosks in exterior
retail settings, as well:
H3: e electronic kiosk will have a positive effect on college students’ pleasure (H3a),
arousal (H3b), and liking (H3c) within the context of a university-branded merchandise
store.
A fourth hypothesis was developed to examine if pleasure, arousal, and liking pre-
dict college students’ patronage intentions at a university-branded merchandise store.
Implicit here is the assumption that these emotional responses were elicited by the exte-
rior store atmospherics examined in this study:
H4: Pleasure, arousal, and liking will predict college students’ patronage intentions
within the context of a university-branded merchandise store.
Prior studies have considered how variables external to the S–O–R model (e.g., atmos-
pheric responsiveness, attitude toward store/website, feelings, and involvement) may
shape consumer response to store and retail website atmospherics (Eroglu etal. 2003;
Jain etal. 2014; Kim etal. 2009). As such, the fifth hypothesis explored whether addi-
tional variables, external to the original S–O–R model, may improve the model’s utility
to predict patronage intentions at a university-branded merchandise store. In a regres-
sion analysis, comparing the original S–O–R model with an extended version affords
insight into the additional factors that may improve the explanatory power of the model
(Tsai 2006). e additional variables were selected for inclusion based upon research
suggesting that patronage behaviors at university-licensed merchandise stores may be
influenced by factors such as university involvement, past university-branded merchan-
dise consumption behavior, and gender (Greenberg 2013; Kwak and Kang 2009; Kwon
and Armstrong 2002, 2006; Kwon and Kwak 2014; Wakefield 2015). In particular, there
is evidence that a consumer’s identification with a university team (i.e., his/her team
involvement) as well as his/her past purchase of team-licensed merchandise predict
consumption of team-licensed merchandise (Apostolopoulo etal. 2012; Kwak and Kang
2009; Kwon and Armstrong 2002, 2006; Wakefield 2015). Additionally, based upon the
premise that preferences for specific store atmospherics may shape consumer behaviors
(e.g., Caldwell and Hibbert 2002), it was proposed that preferences for the external store
atmospherics manipulated in the present study may influence patronage intentions.
H5: Pleasure, arousal, liking, preferences for store atmospherics, university involve-
ment, past university-branded merchandise consumption behavior, and gender will pre-
dict college students’ patronage intentions.
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
Methods
To examine the influence of exterior store atmospherics upon consumer response to a
university-branded merchandise store, an online survey with an experimental design
component was administered to a convenience sample of college students. An online
survey approach to data collection was selected because it afforded the capacity to effi-
ciently sample a large number of individuals while controlling for extraneous variables
that may influence responses to the physical environment (cf., Horton etal. 2010). US
college students were identified as an appropriate sample for this study because they
represent a core target market for university-branded merchandise. In order to ensure
a diverse sample with respect to student major and gender, a dual approach was used to
recruit participants. First, students enrolled in four university courses (upper and lower
division, representing students of varied majors) were invited to complete the question-
naire. Second, students who completed the questionnaire were asked to invite another
university student of the opposite gender to participate in the study.
e questionnaire included demographic items, such as gender, age, ethnicity, major
of study, and year in school, as well as seven multi-item measures, which are described
below. e experimental design component of the study required participants to evalu-
ate a computer-generated image of a storefront for a university-branded merchandise
store. Specifically, the 2×2×2 experimental design involved the manipulation of the
three exterior store atmospheric (i.e., independent) variables of interest in this study:
landscaping (i.e., potted yellow flowers versus no flowers), store greeter (i.e., university
mascot versus no mascot), and electronic kiosk (versus no kiosk). ese manipulations
yielded eight stimuli, which are described below.
Preferences forstore atmospherics
Participants’ preferences for specific store atmospherics were assessed using a five-item
scale developed for the present study. All items were measured on seven-point Likert
scales (1=strongly disagree, 7=strongly agree). e lead-in phrase for this scale was, “I
enjoy shopping in retail environments that…” and individual items addressed aspects of
store atmospherics such as electronic self-service technologies, landscaping and beau-
tification, interaction with store greeters, multiple sources of information about stores
and products (e.g., store personnel, in-store online service), and natural design elements.
Cronbach’s alpha for this scale was 0.66. Reliability coefficient values of 0.60 and above
are generally regarded as acceptable (Bitta etal. 1981; Nunnally 1978).
University involvement
Participants’ involvement with the university at which they were enrolled (and whose
brand was depicted in the stimuli used for the experimental design component of the
study) was measured using Kwon and Armstrong (2006) school and team identification
scales. Taken together, these scales provide a comprehensive assessment of individuals’
engagement with their academic institution and its athletic teams. e school identi-
fication scale included six items measured on seven-point Likert scales (1= strongly
disagree, 7=strongly agree). Example items included, “I am very interested in [name
of university]” and “I feel a sense of ‘ownership’ for [name of university].” e team iden-
tification scale included six items assessed on seven-point Likert scales (1 =strongly
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
disagree, 7=strongly agree). Example items included, “I am very interested in [name of
university sports team]” and “I feel a sense of ‘ownership’ for [name of university sports
team].” Cronbachs alpha for this scale was 0.95.
Prior to responding to the remaining multi-item measures, participants were exposed
to the experimental design component of the survey. Each participant was randomly
assigned to one of eight treatment groups. Participants in each treatment group viewed
and evaluated a different computer-generated image of a storefront for “Ram Zone,” a
university-branded (and owned) merchandise store located in a downtown business dis-
trict. e eight images (i.e., stimuli) were created by manipulating the three independent
variables—landscaping, store greeter, and electronic kiosk (see Fig.1)
1. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows–no landscaping,
store greeter, or electronic kiosk (control)
2. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with landscaping
3. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with a store greeter
4. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with an electronic
kiosk
5. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with landscaping
and a store greeter
6. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with landscaping
and an electronic kiosk
7. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with a store greeter
and an electronic kiosk
8. university-branded merchandise in the product-display windows with landscaping, a
store greeter, and an electronic kiosk
e development of stimuli for the present study was guided by the literature in the
area of exterior store atmospherics as well as consideration for the types of exterior store
atmospherics that might be appropriate for adoption by independent retailers operat-
ing in downtown shopping districts. More specifically, the development of stimuli for
this study reflected feasible options for a university-branded merchandise store situ-
ated within the context of a downtown business district in a college town. Potted yellow
flowers with green foliage were selected as the form of landscaping because yellow and
green represent the university’s colors. Additionally, potted flowers represent a feasible
and affordable landscaping option for locally-owned downtown businesses. e store
greeter took the form of a person wearing a university mascot costume to complement
the store’s university-branded merchandise focus. Mascots have the ability to effec-
tively communicate the “ethos of a brand” (Malik and Guptha 2014), which is important
for a university-branded merchandise store, and also represent a dynamic and flexible
design element. e electronic kiosk was situated to the right of the storefront door and
was described to participants as follows: “e electronic kiosk positioned in front of
the store allows consumers to engage in a self-service shopping experience. Consum-
ers can use the kiosk to browse and purchase items from the Ram Zone (store name)
merchandise assortment as well as to purchase tickets for Ram athletic events at their
convenience, 24h/day. Merchandise purchases are delivered to local addresses within
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
48h and to other addresses using standard UPS delivery services.” Prior to administering
the survey, a pre-test of the stimuli was conducted with nine college students to assess
their observations about and emotional responses to the storefronts including the fol-
lowing manipulations: (a) control, (b) landscaping, only, (c) store greeter, only, and (d)
electronic kiosk, only. Findings from the pre-test revealed that participants regarded the
storefront with the landscaping as “inviting,” “pretty/feminine,” spring-like,” and “wel-
coming.” Participants described the storefront with the store greeter (i.e., school mas-
cot) as “fun,” “exciting,” eliciting “school pride,” and “youthful.” However, participants also
indicated that the presence of the school mascot as store greeter was “not appropriate
for all ages” and as possibly “too much.” Participants viewed the storefront featuring
the electronic kiosk as “advanced/smart,” “modern,” “interactive,” “accessible,” “conveni-
ent,” “functional,” “high tech.” At the same time, some participants described the store-
front (across the varied conditions) as being “busy” or “crowded.” As such, participants’
pre-test responses included references to the manipulated stimuli as well as culturally-
accepted, affective associations with these objects, suggesting that the stimuli were valid
for use in the study.
Fig. 1 Storefront Manipulations
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
Emotional states elicited bystorefront
After viewing the image of the storefront, participants’ emotional states were meas-
ured using a modified version of Mehrabian and Russell’s (1974) scales for pleasure and
arousal. Twelve items were measured on seven-point semantic differential scales, and
the lead-in phrase for the individual items was, “e Ram Zone storefront makes me
feel….” Principle component analysis with Varimax rotation was used to reduce the data.
A minimum eigenvalue of 1.0 determined the number of factors extracted. Items load-
ing equal to or greater than 0.60 on a given factor and less than 0.30 on other factors
were retained to ensure unidimensionality (Bagozzi and Yi 1988). Analyses revealed two
factors, pleasure and arousal, which are consistent with prior research (Mehrabian and
Russell 1974). e pleasure factor (α=0.91) comprised seven items (happy/sad, com-
fortable/uncomfortable, pleased/annoyed, satisfied/dissatisfied, contented/discontented,
hopeful/unhopeful, and engaged/disengaged). e arousal factor (α =0.61) included
three items (calm/excited, relaxed/stimulated, and controlled/frenzied).
Liking ofstorefront
e degree to which participants liked the storefronts they viewed was assessed using
a single-item measured on a seven-point Likert scale (1=I disliked it very much, 7=I
liked it very much). e question for this measure was, “What is your overall impression
of the Ram Zone storefront?”
Patronage intentions
To assess patronage intentions toward the Ram Zone, participants were asked to evalu-
ate how likely they would be to engage in five specific patronage behaviors relative to
the Ram Zone, including visiting the store, browsing the selection of merchandise, pur-
chasing something for themselves, purchasing a gift, and recommending the store to
family members or friends. is scale was developed for the present study and included
some items used in prior research (e.g., Hyllegard etal. 2010; Yan etal. 2010). Items were
measured on seven-point Likert scales (1=very unlikely, 7=very likely). Cronbach’s
alpha for this scale was 0.94.
Past university‑branded merchandise consumption behavior
ree items measured on seven-point Likert scales (1=very infrequently, 7=very fre-
quently) were used to assess participants’ past behaviors relative to the consumption of
university-branded merchandise. e items included “wear Ram-branded apparel,” “pur-
chase Ram-branded merchandise,” “shop at Ram Zone.” is scale was developed for the
present study, but comprised items similar to those used in prior research (e.g., Park and
Park 2007). Cronbach’s alpha for this scale was 0.86.
Results andDiscussion
Sample
e sample for the study included 336 college students from the southwest region of
the United States. Nine participants were removed from the sample prior to data analy-
ses: four who indicated that they were not enrolled at the university whose brand (i.e.,
Ram Zone) was depicted in the storefront images, two who did not provide responses
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
to any of the demographic items on the questionnaire, and three who did not respond to
one or more of the multi-item measures on the questionnaire. Participants ranged in age
from 18 to 33years (M=20.5years). e gender (53.7% female, 46% male, and 0.3%
transgendered) and ethnic mix of the sample mirrored the university population from
which it was drawn, with the majority of students reporting Caucasian (77.5%) ethnicity,
followed by Hispanic (7.5%), Asian (5.1%), mixed ethnicity (4.8%), African American/
Black (4.2%), and other (0.9%). e sample was fairly equally distributed by partici-
pants’ year in school; approximately 24% of the participants were freshman, 29% were
sophomores, 27% were juniors, and 20% were seniors. Forty-two academic majors were
represented in the sample.
Manipulation check
Following the approach taken by Mower etal. (2012), a manipulation check was con-
ducted to assess participants’ enjoyment of the manipulated exterior store atmos-
pherics (i.e., the appeal of these atmospherics to participants). e mean score for
enjoyment of landscaping features (among participants who were exposed to stimuli fea-
turing landscaping) was 5.57 (SD=1.14), the mean score for enjoyment of store greeters
(among participants who were exposed to stimuli featuring the store greeter) was 4.95
(SD=1.21), and the mean score for enjoyment of electronic kiosk (among participants
who were exposed to stimuli featuring the electronic kiosk) was 5.47 (SD=0.94) (on
a seven-point Likert scale). us, findings indicated that the presence of these exterior
store atmospherics were appealing to the participants.
Analyses
MANCOVA was conducted to examine the effects of three manipulated variables (i.e.,
landscaping, store greeter, and electronic kiosk) on consumers’ emotional states elicited
by the storefront and consumers’ liking of the storefront. Gender, preferences for retail
atmospherics, and university involvement were included as covariates in this analysis.
ese variables were included because research suggests that female consumers may
evaluate store design differently from male consumers (Borges etal. 2013) and that con-
sumers’ level of involvement and preferences may affect information processing in the
store environment (Sirgy etal. 2000).
Results revealed that landscaping did not impact college students’ pleasure, arousal,
or liking related to the storefront (Wilks’ Lambda=0.99, F=1.48, p>0.05). us, H1a,
H1b, and H1c were not supported (see Table1). at landscaping did not influence col-
lege students’ emotional states is contrary to much of the literature (e.g., Haviland–Jones
etal. 2005; Joye etal. 2010). However, findings are consistent with the work of Mower
etal. (2012). e findings from the Mower etal. (2012) study and the present work may
reflect, in part, the selection of landscaping stimuli. In both studies, landscaping took the
form of potted flowers rather than planted trees or shrubbery (although, as noted, in the
present work, visual images of the experimental stimuli were used, which was not the
case in the Mower etal. study).
Findings also are inconsistent with the work of Bengman etal. (2012), who found that
the inclusion of greenery positively influenced feelings of pleasure in complex, but not
simple, store interiors. One explanation for this difference in findings may be the focus
Page 12 of 17
Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
Table 1 Eects of landscaping, store greeter, and electronic kiosk on consumers’ emo-
tional states andliking
*p<0.05; **p<0.01; *** p<0.001
Variables Pleasure Arousal Liking
Mean Multivariate F Mean Multivariate F Mean Multivariate F
1.48 3.09 0.52
Landscaping
Absent 5.10 4.51 4.63
Present 4.96 4.41 4.66
F‑value 1.47 0.60 0.02
Store greeter
Absent 5.12 4.37 4.88
Present 4.94 4.56 4.41
F‑value 2.79 2.19 7.15**
Electronic kiosk
Absent 5.03 4.54 4.62
Present 5.03 4.39 4.67
F‑value 0.00 1.47 0.07
Landscaping × greeter
Absent × absent 5.22 4.55 5.02
Absent × absent 4.98 4.48 4.24
Present × absent 5.03 4.19 4.74
Present × absent 4.89 4.64 4.57
F‑value 0.21 4.20* 2.92
Landscaping × kiosk
Absent × absent 5.04 4.52 4.53
Absent × absent 5.16 4.5 4.73
Present × absent 5.01 4.56 4.71
Present × absent 4.91 4.27 4.6
F‑value 0.93 1.2 0.76
Greeter × kiosk
Absent × absent 5.04 4.56 4.67
Absent × absent 5.21 4.18 5.08
Present × absent 5.01 4.52 4.57
Present × absent 4.86 4.59 4.25
F‑value 1.95 2.94 4.26*
Landscaping × greeter × kiosk
Absent × absent × absent 5.15 4.64 4.69
Absent × absent × present 5.29 4.46 5.34
Absent × present × absent 4.94 4.40 4.37
Absent × present × present 5.02 4.55 4.12
Present × absent × absent 4.94 4.47 4.66
Present × absent × present 5.12 3.91 4.82
Present × present × absent 5.09 4.65 4.76
Present × present × present 4.7 4.63 4.38
Control variables
Gender 1.60 5.84* 0.22
Preferences for retail
atmospherics 7.32** 2.07 3.63*
University involvement 30.57*** 0.83 9.35**
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
on interior versus exterior store environments. Seemingly, in the present work, the
inclusion of landscaping in a complex storefront did not elicit an emotional response.
Participants may have noticed the flowers, but did not give the landscaping considera-
tion in their assessments of the storefronts, perhaps because they were focused upon
other atmospheric elements, such as the products displayed in the store windows. One
implication of this finding is that the use of exterior landscaping may provide “diminish-
ing returns” in some retail contexts, including university-branded merchandise stores.
For example, retailers whose storefronts are “visually rich” may not derive additional
benefit from incorporating landscaping into their store exteriors.
e store greeter had a significant effect on college students’ responses to the store-
front (Wilks’ Lambda =0.97, F= 3.08, p<0.05). Univariate analyses indicated that
store greeter did not impact consumers’ pleasure or arousal. us, H2a and H2b were
not supported. However, findings did indicate that store greeter negatively influenced
participants’ liking of the storefront. Participants liked the storefront less when a store
greeter was present (Mnone=4.88 vs. Mgreeter=4.41, F=7.15, p<0.01). Because the
direction of the relationship between store greeter and liking was opposite of that which
was predicted, H2c was not supported. ese findings run contrary to the assumption
that mascots can be employed to effectively communicate the ethos of the brand (Malik
and Guptha, 2014), particularly within the context of a university-branded merchandise
store. However, these findings may be understood within the context of existing research
suggesting that, in marketplace settings, consumers respond less positively to anthropo-
morphic portrayals of animal mascots with lower physical similarity to humans (Con-
nell, 2013). us, in the present study, participants may have perceived the store greeter,
who took the form of a ram (e.g., lower physical similarity to humans) dressed in a foot-
ball uniform, unfavorably. Given that there is limited research in this area, an implication
of the present findings is a need for additional research to further explore the potential
role that animal mascots may play in a retail setting.
e electronic kiosk did not affect pleasure, arousal, or liking (Wilks’ Lambda=1.00,
F=0.52, p>0.05). us, H3a, H3b, and H3c were not supported. All three covariates
were significant in the overall model, and thus, were retained in the model for control
purposes (Wilks’ Lambda=0.97, F=2.64, p<0.05 for gender; Wilks’ Lambda=0.97,
F = 3.08, p < 0.05 for preferences for store atmospherics; Wilks’ Lambda = 0.90,
F=11.25, p<0.001 for university involvement).
e results related to the electronic kiosk were unexpected, given college students’
proclivity to use SSTs such as self check-outs in retail settings (Dean, 2008). A manage-
rial implication of this finding is that electronic kiosks in the exterior store environment
may provide limited, if any, return on investment in the context of the university-
branded merchandise store. Additional research may confirm this initial conclusion, as
limited work has explored this topic.
MANCOVA also revealed an interaction effect between landscaping and store greeter
(Wilks’ Lambda=0.97, F=2.92, p<0.05). Specifically, there was a significant interac-
tion effect between landscaping and store greeter on arousal (F= 4.20, p<0.05). e
combination of landscaping and store greeter produced a higher level of arousal among
participants (M=4.64) than did the single effect of store greeter (M=4.48) or the sin-
gle effect of landscaping (M=4.19). Although MANCOVA did not reveal an interaction
Page 14 of 17
Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
effect between store greeter and electronic kiosk (Wilks’ Lambda =0.98, F = 2.33,
p>0.05), univariate analyses revealed an interaction effect between these variables on
liking of the store (F=4.26, p<0.05). at is, the combination of store greeter and elec-
tronic kiosk produced a lower level of liking (M=4.25) than the single effect of store
greeter (M=4.57) or the single effect of electronic kiosk (M=5.08).
Multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the effects of emotional states
(i.e., pleasure and arousal) elicited by the storefront and liking of the storefront on par-
ticipants’ patronage intentions (H4). Results indicated that the overall regression model
was significant (R2=0.51, F=109.60, p<0.001). Pleasure (β=0.36, t=6.00, p<0.001)
and liking of storefront (β=0.40, t=6.67, p<0.001) positively predicted college stu-
dents’ patronage intentions toward the store. Arousal did not predict patronage inten-
tions. us, H4 was partially supported.
Multiple regression analysis also was conducted to explore the effects of emotional
states, liking of the storefront, preferences for store atmospherics, university involve-
ment, past university-branded merchandise consumption behavior, and gender on
patronage intentions (H5). e overall regression model was significant (R2= 0.58,
F=59.77, p<0.001). Pleasure (β=0.24, t=4.05, p<0.001), liking of the storefront
(β=0.40, t=7.00, p<0.001), university involvement (β=0.12, t=2.63, p<0.01),
and past university-branded merchandise consumption behavior (β =0.19, t=4.39,
p<0.001) positively predicted participant’s patronage intentions. Arousal, preferences
for store atmospherics, and gender did not predict patronage intentions. As such, H5
was partially supported (see Table2).
Findings from the regression analyses revealed that pleasure and liking of the store-
front (H4), as well as variables external to the S–O–R model (H5), predicted college stu-
dents’ patronage intentions at the university-branded merchandise store. us, findings
provide support for one component of the S–O–R model—pleasure in shaping patron-
age intentions based upon exterior store atmospherics. Additionally, findings provide
further evidence for prior research (Bell, 1999; Mower etal. 2012) suggesting that liking,
Table 2 Regression analyses: predicting patronage intentions (N=336)
*p<0.05; **p<0.01; ***p<0.001
Variables B SE β tadj R2R2
Model 1
0.5 0.51***
Pleasure 0.86 0.07 0.36 6.00***
Arousal 0.53 0.05 0.05 1.15
Liking 0.33 0.05 0.40 6.67***
Model 2
0.57 0.58***
Pleasure 0.30 0.07 0.24 4.05***
Arousal 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.94
Liking 0.33 0.05 0.40 7.00***
Preferences for store atmospherics 0.05 0.06 0.03 0.81
University involvement 0.13 0.05 0.12 2.63**
Past university‑branded merchandise consumption behavior 0.17 0.04 0.19 4.39***
Gender 0.18 0.10 0.07 1.70
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Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
an evaluative judgment, is positively associated with consumers’ patronage intentions.
Consumers’ connectedness to the university—operationalized as university involvement
and past university-branded merchandise consumption behavior—also influenced col-
lege students’ patronage intentions.
An F ratio was calculated to examine the utility of the two regression models in pre-
dicting college students’ patronage intentions. Findings indicated differences in the R2
values of the two models and suggest that the inclusion of additional variables in the
second model better predicted college students’ patronage intentions (F (4328)=13.66,
p<0.01).
Conclusions
Findings from this research extend understanding of the influence of exterior store
atmospherics upon consumer behavior, an area that has received relatively little atten-
tion. Although results revealed that individual elements of exterior store atmospherics—
landscaping, store greeter, electronic kiosk—had relatively minimal impact on college
students’ emotional states and liking of the storefront, analyses provided partial support
for Mehrabian and Russell’s (1974) S–O–R model; in particular, findings demonstrated
the O–R relationship. at is, pleasure and liking were found to influence purchase
intentions at a university-branded merchandise store.
Findings provide implications for research by extending understanding of the role that
variables associated with the S–O–R tradition may play in shaping consumer responses
to exterior store atmospherics. Collectively, findings support the premise that pleasure
and liking of the storefront exterior shape patronage intentions at a university-branded
merchandise store. Arousal, however, did not predict consumers’ patronage intentions
at a university-branded merchandise store. Although this finding runs contrary to the
(positive) relationships proposed in the S–O–R model and the hypotheses developed for
the present study, not all prior studies have confirmed these relationships (cf., Dono-
van etal. 1994). Further, although pleasure and liking of the storefront shaped purchase
intentions, the exterior store atmospherics manipulated in the present study did not
positively influence consumers’ emotional states or liking. It may be that participants’
pleasure derived from viewing the storefront and liking of the storefront were shaped by
aspects of the store exterior (e.g., window displays, store signage) that were not manipu-
lated in this study, which in turn, shaped their patronage intentions. Of course, because
these aspects of exterior store atmospherics were not examined in the present study, this
conclusion remains speculative and poses an opportunity for future research.
e present study is limited in that it focused upon consumers’ attitudes and behaviors
toward a specialty retailer, university-branded merchandise store. As such, findings may
not be generalizable to other types of retailers. Similarly, the sample used in the study—
college students—limits the generalizability of the findings to other populations. In the
future, researchers may wish to examine the influence exterior store atmospherics upon
consumer behavior in other retail settings (e.g., food stores, mass merchandisers) and/or
among varied consumer groups (e.g., children, older consumers). Further, this research
raises questions about the potential impact of store greeters upon consumers’ attitudes
and behaviors. Our findings, which revealed an aversive reaction to the featured store
greeter, conflict with prior research suggesting that store greeters may positively impact
Page 16 of 17
Hyllegard et al. Fash Text (2016) 3:4
consumers’ spending, satisfaction, and perceptions (Otterbring etal. 2013). is dispar-
ity in findings may be attributed to the fact that in our study, the store greeter did not
appear as a “person,” per se, but rather, took the form of a person wearing a university
mascot costume that took the form of animal (i.e., a ram) bearing low physical similarity
to humans (cf., Connell, 2013). us, it would be valuable for researchers to explore the
influence of various types of store greeters (e.g., people vs. animal mascots) in differing
retail settings.
Received: 1 July 2015 Accepted: 6 January 2016
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... The domain has been able to garner increasing research interest specifically over the last decade growing from 10 research articles in the earlier decade to 14 articles during 2011-2020. As an outcome, most research on store atmosphere and store atmospherics concentrated on understanding its impact on consumer purchases, emotional state (Cheng, Wu, & Yen, 2009;Helmefalk & Hultén, 2017), consumer's approach/ avoidance behavior Murray, Teller, & Elms, 2019;Summers & Hebert, 2001), store patronage (Grewal, Baker, Levy, & Voss, 2003;Hyllegard, Ogle, Yan, & Kissell, 2016;Poncin & Mimoun, 2014), and the inevitable customer satisfaction (Bell & Ternus, 2006;Eroglu et al., 2003;Francioni, Savelli, & Cioppi, 2018;Hyllegard, Ogle, & Dunbar, 2006;Poncin & Mimoun, 2014). The elements of visual merchandising like display, music, color, ambient scent, lighting, and layout were shared in case of store atmosphere or store atmospherics Skandrani et al., 2011;Summers & Hebert, 2001) that had a comparable impact on the number of visits and purchase behavior of the shoppers Yildirim, Cagatay, & Hidayetoglu, 2015). ...
... However, for the online store atmosphere, the need for customization made it a little more complicated than that in the conventional retail space . Store atmosphere or store atmospherics were found to create positive relationships with greater store loyalty and patronage intentions of the customer Grewal et al., 2003;Hyllegard et al., 2016;Poncin & Mimoun, 2014). Turley and Milliman (2000) recognized five broad categories of atmospheric(s): exterior, general interior, store layout, interior display and human variables. ...
... Although the fragmented and sporadic research efforts in the domain still await a reasoned propositional structure and foundation, the (Stimulus-Organism-Response) S-O-R lens have been most popular with researchers studying the retail environment in general (see Table 6). As detailed in the integrated summary store atmosphere and atmospherics researchers across online and offline retailing found the usefulness of the S-O-R lens in determining the impact of atmospheric cues in the emotional, cognitive and affective responses as well as patronage intentions of the consumer Hyllegard et al., 2016;Kim, Kim, & Lennon, 2009;Lunardo & Mbengue, 2013). This was further supported by researchers like Ha and Lennon (2010), Manganari et al. (2011) and Wu et al. (2014) who have effectively applied the S-O-R framework in understanding the impacts of visual merchandising, displays, store layouts and ambience in their respective works. ...
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Visual merchandising has gained importance in contemporary retail research and practice. Initially considered as an essential element of retail store atmospherics, the scope of visual merchandising has now extended well beyond the usual reference of a visual stimulus. As research on visual merchandising and store atmospherics continues to converge, this systematic literature review aims to identify the research gaps and overlaps to help researchers with directions on formulating original research ideas in this cross-over domain. A framework-based review using Theory, Context, Characteristics, and Methods (TCCM) typology with an integrated analysis of 88 research articles published between 2000 and 2020 was carried out. It was found that visual merchandising as a product-driven display function has been closely related to store atmosphere as a store-wide display function. Hence an integrated framework of research in visual merchandising and store atmospherics becomes imperative to understand their interplay in the evolving scope of traditional and e-tailers' environments. The paper contributes as the first and most comprehensive review of research on visual merchandising with the closely substitutable domain- store atmospherics.
... Several studies have provided strong empirical evidence that in-store displays bring products to the attention of potential customers and can substantially increase brand sales (Hyllegard, Ogle, and Yan et al. 2016;Bemmaor and Mouchoux 1991;East, Eftichiadou, and Williamson 2003;Turley and Milliman 2000;Spence et al. 2014). These in-store displays (i.e. ...
... These in-store displays (i.e. store atmospherics) have received much scholarly attention in terms of their effects on shoppers' behaviors compared to external atmospheric variables (Hyllegard, Ogle, and Yan et al. 2016). Especially for clothing stores, interior factors including lighting, temperature, color, music, assortment and layout are investigated and more and more carefully coordinated to influence the sales and provide customers with pleasant experiences in a store (e.g. ...
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This study investigates the influence of the exterior of a clothing store for store entry intentions of potential female recreational and task-oriented clothing customers. First, we analyse the proposed exterior elements of a clothing store that are preferred and affect the willingness to enter the store. Second, we investigate the impact of the most significant exterior elements (e.g. the crowdedness of the store entry and the creative complexity of the composition of the window display) on the entry intentions for recreational and task-oriented potential female shoppers from a self- and other decision perspective. Overall, the results show that task-oriented female clothing shoppers have a higher store entry intention when the store entry is less crowded, and the window display has a creative complex composition. Recreational female clothing shoppers, on the other hand, prefer crowded complex window displays.
... The consum'actors or prosumers are the protagonists of own destiny, the choices, and the success of that product (Florès, 2008, p. 79). Remarkable studies have shown that in-store displays pay attention to products and far increase the number of brand sales (Hyllegard, Ogle, & Yan, 2016;Bemmaor & Mouchoux, 1991;East, Eftichiadou, & Williamson, 2003;Turley & Milliman, 2000;Spence et al., 2014). ...
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Purpose: A recent report published by Shelton Group, Sustainability(S) is rated for as an important brand purchase decision (P) criterion for 60 percent of consumers. The objective of this research is to investigate how differences affect consumers’ online and offline behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Through sentiment analysis of corporate website Brand Sustainability Strategies (BSS) is explored in the store level and in the social media platform level with a dedicated survey about S and the positive impact on their P. Findings: This study demonstrates how the millennials generation experience through virtual interaction (VI) leverage on P and improve the Customer Brand Experience (CBE), focuses on Lego and Adidas Originality/value: The paper contributes to study a topic more interesting in this period and in addition underlines the culture emerged among the online and the offline P in the relation with the strategies of the customer journey.
... However, research indicates that poor team league performance alters viewers' attitudes toward the team and their intentions to consume sports. Previous research has found little difference in sports viewers' intentions to consume sports as a result of a game's loss or win, which they attribute to their level of team identification and different value judgments about the team [17][18][19]. In contrast to these studies, the study found that a statistically significant decrease occurred in the intention of spectators to watch the remaining games live, especially following a game loss. ...
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The purpose of this research is to examine the intentions of sports consumption of viewers of two Chinese Super League soccer teams and to determine whether changes in behaviour are related to the teams’ league standings. Spectators from both teams participate in the study voluntarily. The study employs descriptive statistics and fieldwork, and the questionnaire used in the study has a reliability coefficient of 0.87. Experts in sports management determine the content validity, while validation factor analysis is used to determine the structural validity. The statistical population is composed of two Chinese Super League teams (one team is relatively successful and one less successful). Six hundred and seventy-eight valid questionnaires are distributed randomly. Following data collection, the link between consumption behaviour and perceived risk is examined. The findings show that performance risk has an effect on game watching intention, t = 0.04, with a standard solution of 1.99, on recommending others watch the game, t = 0.11, with a standard solution of 0.98, on team licenced merchandise consumption, t = −0.05, with a standard solution of −0.41, and on the consumption of media, t = 4.21, with a standard solution of 1.19. Therefore, performance perceived risk significantly affects game watching and media consumption intention has a significant effect but has no significant effect on recommending others to watch the game and licensed merchandise consumption.
... According to Bakker et al. [45], pleasure could be considered as affect while arousal could be considered as cognition. Prior studies demonstrated that cognitive and affective internal evaluations could significantly mediate the effect of environmental stimuli on consumers' responses [45][46][47][48][49]. Researchers also found that consumer perceived value is a key organism factor bridging the environmental stimuli and consumers' responses [36,50,51]. ...
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In recent years, fashion brands and retailers have been advancing rapidly to provide U.S. consumers more seamless omni-channel shopping experiences. The pandemic has further accelerated the growth of omni-channel shopping. This study aimed to explore the effects of channel integration in six aspects (i.e., promotion, product and price, transaction information, information access, order fulfillment, and customer service) on the U.S. consumers’ intentions to use three omni-channel shopping methods: buy online pick-up in-store (BOPI), buy online curbside pickup (BOCP), and buy in-store home delivery (BIHD). We proposed a mediation model to test the effects through consumer perceived values (hedonic value, utilitarian value), perceived risk, and perceived behavioral control. Furthermore, this study explored the moderating effect of perceived COVID-19 vulnerability on the relationships between consumers’ internal evaluations of channel integration and their shopping method selection intentions. A total of 516 eligible responses were gathered through a survey of U.S. consumers. Multiple regressions were applied to test the hypotheses. Six types of channel integration showed significant effects on the U.S. consumers’ internal evaluations, which in turn influence their intentions to use certain types of omni-channel shopping methods. Overall, the proposed model exhibits a satisfactory explanatory power.
... Mehrabian and Russell (1974)'s PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) framework, could be used to study store environments. Many researchers have analysed shopping behaviour within the PAD framework and found relationships among emotional states, time spent in store, store experience, shopping behaviours, and tendency to purchase both in traditional store (Dawson, Bloch, & Ridgway, 1990;Kellaris & Kent, 1993;Sherman, Mathur & Smith 1997;Bellizzi, Crowley, & Hasty, 1983) and web-store ( Abbasi, Goh, & Ariffin, 2019;Hyllegard, Ogle, Yan & Kissell, 2016;Lunardo & Mouangue, 2019;Poncin & Mimoun, 2014). ...
... The research stream on store atmospherics and its influence on consumer behaviour has largely concentrated on store interiors, such as lighting, sound, colour, design features, scent and signage (Ballantine et al., 2010;Spence et al., 2014;Roschk et al., 2017). However, research on cues in the store exterior has recently emerged, for example, on colours, crowding, landscaping, store greeters and storefront displays (Y€ uksel, 2009;Cornelius et al., 2010;Hyllegard et al., 2016;Morgan, 2016;Otterbring et al., 2018;Otterbring, 2018). ...
Purpose The article seeks to enrich the body of research on store atmospherics by identifying how storefront window design impacts store entry decisions. An innovative multimodal design approach is presented, considering both visual and verbal constituents. Design/methodology/approach Study 1 draws on a corpus of high-end storefront windows to create a categorization regarding different levels of verbo-visual complexity. The survey in Study 2 ( n = 234) serves two purposes: first, to confirm these levels of complexity and second, to investigate the relation between the complexity of window design and store entry decisions. Findings Study 2 confirms the order of complexity established in Study 1. The results reveal an inverted-U relationship between window complexity and store entry propensity. Windows of medium level of complexity produce shoppers' relatively highest store entry propensity. Practical implications The findings suggest that retailers would benefit from adopting verbo-visual window designs of medium complexity, as this combination optimizes the likeliness of consumers to enter stores. Originality/value Research on store atmospherics has until recently primarily focused on in-store cues. Studies on store windows remain vastly underrepresented in extant scholarship. The article not only fills this gap but also incorporates an original interdisciplinary angle on multimodality, which offers new methodological perspectives for research in retail and distribution scholarship.
... The role of pleasure and Hedonic motives on impulse buying behavior arousal in consumer behavior is quite impressive (Ladhari, 2007). Several studies have determined that responseslike shopping satisfaction (Das, 2013), utilitarian value and hedonic value (Chen et al., 2017;Etemad-Sajadi and Ghachem, 2015), time spent in the store (Mihiþ et al., 2018), liking the store (Hyllegard et al., 2016;Mower Jennifer, 2012), liking the online store (Fiore et al., 2005), willingness to patronize the online store, and willingness to buy (Fiore et al., 2005),are affected by pleasure and arousal. In addition to pleasure and arousal, customers may experience shopping enjoyment because of good store atmospherics. ...
Purpose Although the store environment-impulse buying nexus is well documented, the influence of consumer motivations on this nexus is still underexplored. Consequently, this paper aims at explaining the mediating effect of emotional states and the moderating effect of hedonic shopping motives on the relationship between store atmospherics and impulse buying behavior. Design/methodology/approach Primary data from 437 customers were generated through a questionnaire developed for this study. Respondents were accessed using mall-intercept technique. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was done to empirically estimate the model. Findings Results indicate that pleasure and shopping enjoyment mediate the effect of store atmospherics on the impulse purchase behavior. The findings also show that hedonic shopping motives moderate the relationship between the store atmospherics and impulse purchase. Originality/value This study contributes by introducing the moderating role played by the hedonic shopping motives on the relationship between store atmospherics and impulse purchase. In addition, it introduces that shopping enjoyment and pleasure mediate the effect of perceived store atmospherics on impulse purchase.
... The role of pleasure and Hedonic motives on impulse buying behavior arousal in consumer behavior is quite impressive (Ladhari, 2007). Several studies have determined that responseslike shopping satisfaction (Das, 2013), utilitarian value and hedonic value (Chen et al., 2017;Etemad-Sajadi and Ghachem, 2015), time spent in the store (Mihiþ et al., 2018), liking the store (Hyllegard et al., 2016;Mower Jennifer, 2012), liking the online store (Fiore et al., 2005), willingness to patronize the online store, and willingness to buy (Fiore et al., 2005),are affected by pleasure and arousal. In addition to pleasure and arousal, customers may experience shopping enjoyment because of good store atmospherics. ...
Purpose Although the store environment-impulse buying nexus is well documented, the influence of consumer motivations on this nexus is still underexplored. Consequently, this paper aims at explaining the mediating effect of emotional states and the moderating effect of hedonic shopping motives on the relationship between store atmospherics and impulse buying behavior. Design/methodology/approach Primary data from 437 customers were generated through a questionnaire developed for this study. Respondents were accessed using mall-intercept technique. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was done to empirically estimate the model. Findings Results indicate that pleasure and shopping enjoyment mediate the effect of store atmospherics on the impulse purchase behavior. The findings also show that hedonic shopping motives moderate the relationship between the store atmospherics and impulse purchase. Originality/value This study contributes by introducing the moderating role played by the hedonic shopping motives on the relationship between store atmospherics and impulse purchase. In addition, it introduces that shopping enjoyment and pleasure mediate the effect of perceived store atmospherics on impulse purchase.
... However, despite its tremendous importance to retailers, there is no "scientific validation of this descriptive observation" (Pham, 2013, p. 417). In addition, research on the external variables of the store environment, such as the store entrance area, has been extremely limited (Kumar and Karande, 2000;Turley and Milliman, 2000) and only a few recent studies have dealt with such variables (Hyllegard et al., 2016;Lange et al., 2016;Mower et al., 2012). ...
Purpose Researchers have hypothesized that products located at the decompression zone of a store (the entrance area where customers adjust to the retail environment) do not influence sales of these particular products, because customers do not register things that are too close to store entrances. The purpose of this paper is to examine the validity of such a decompression zone account in actual field settings, and hence investigate whether or not placing products at the store entrance would increase customers’ likelihood to purchase these products. Design/methodology/approach Two field studies with a total sample of 715 customers were conducted, in which the entrance area of a home goods store was manipulated using a two-group quasi-experimental design. In Study 1, customers were (vs were not) exposed to candles and candle holders at the store entrance. In Study 2, an employee greeted customers at the store entrance with (vs without) the store’s products nearby. Findings Study 1 found that customers who were (vs were not) exposed to candles and candle holders at the store entrance purchased a significantly larger number of both these products. Study 2 replicated and generalized these findings. Although customers in the employee + products condition spent less money than customers in the employee-alone condition, the former group still purchased a significantly larger number of candles and candle holders. These findings go directly against a decompression zone account, but are consistent with research on exposure effects. Originality/value This paper is the first to empirically examine the validity of the decompression zone account in real retail settings. The paper also fills a more general gap in the store atmospherics literature, as only a very limited number of studies have dealt with the external parts of the retail environment, such as the store entrance area.
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Purpose – The purpose of this study if to investigate the effects of show windows on shopping behaviour among female consumers to provide insights that a manager can use to encourage purchase behaviour. Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of 20 in-depth interviews, we developed a survey, which we administered to female consumers (n = 209). The survey was based on a stimulus–organism–response framework. Each respondent was exposed to an image of a show window (images were taken from apparel departments of well-known department stores) and rated her perceptions of the window and intentions to purchase items sold in the store. Findings – Using factor analysis, we identify five components of the show window: social, hedonic, informational, image and “feel-good” factors. The first four factors are aggregated into a “show window” metric, which is shown to influence purchase intentions; this influence is fully mediated by the feel-good factor. The image factor and the social and hedonic factors each significantly influence the feel-good factor. Practical implications – When developing show windows, brand managers should aim to touch on all factors of the show window to make shoppers “feel good”; these positive feelings might intensify shoppers’ purchase intentions. Originality/value – This study identifies five factors that make up consumers’ perceptions of show windows. It shows that exposure to a show window affects consumers’ purchase intentions, and that this influence is determined primarily by the extent to which consumers “feel good” about the store.
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This two-stage study investigated a proposed model of impulse buying of sport team licensed merchandise among college students (N = 464) enrolled in a large Midwestern university. The proposed model included measures of impulsivity, psychological attachment to sport, and financial situation. The proposed model was tested with structural equation modeling. The results indicated that the proposed model (RMSEA = .058; NFI = .916; CFI = .947, χ 2/df = 2.57), along with the partial models of impulsivity (RMESA = .062, NFI = .96, CFI = .98, χ 2/df = 2.78) and psychological attachment (RMSEA = .057; NFI = .98; CFI = .988, χ 2/df = 2.50), fit the data with a degree of reasonable fit. This study illustrates how personal, psychosocial, and situational factors might interact to influence impulse buying of sport team licensed merchandise.
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Celebrity and brand mascot endorsements are very popular and often-used techniques by marketers. Marketers believe that celebrity and brand mascot endorsements provide a higher degree of appeal, attention, and customer recall ability compared with when this technique is not used. Marketers also claim that a celebrity affects the credibility of claims about a product and increases the memorabilia factor of the message, which may provide a positive effect that could be generalized to the brand. Primarily this essay has been designed such that it examines various parameters related to advertisements containing celebrity and brand mascot endorsements. Data were been collected from 150 respondents through questionnaire and subjected to t test, χ2 test, and difference of means test to enforce the hypotheses that celebrity endorsements have impacts on customers’ perceptions and their purchase intentions. The findings of this study provide insights for marketing and brand managers to design and market their campaigns effectively.
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While humans have a long history of anthropomorphizing animals and the use of animal imagery in the marketplace and popular culture is commonplace, the phenomenon has received little attention. This research investigates the role of how consumers respond to anthropomorphic portrayals of animal mascots that differ on their baseline physical resemblance to humans. In order to test this assertion, an experimental study was conducted with 62 undergraduate participants from a large state university in the Northeastern United States. Results from the study indicate that evaluations of anthropomorphic portrayals of animals with a lower baseline physical similarity to humans are less favorable than nonanthropomorphic portrayals. In contrast, evaluations of anthropomorphic portrayals of animals with a higher baseline physical similarity are more favorable than nonanthropomorphic portrayals.