Retail Image and Atmospherics

Overview:  This section contains manuscripts examining topics such as retail image and atmospherics, density, consumer behavior based on store atmosphere.

Burns, David J and Peter W. Smith, “A Study in Retail Atmospherics: The Case of the "Power Aisle”, ACRA, Spring 1993.A study on the effects of environmental cues on the image of price, products, and the retailer as a whole. A case study of a warehouse grocery store using a "power aisle" floor plan is used. The semiotics of the power aisle is examined.

Chebat, Jean-Charles, “The Interaction of Retail Density and Music Tempo”,ACRA  Spring , Montreal 2003.This study examines the interactive effects of two often studied atmospheric cues – retail density and music tempo.  Based on a schema incongruity model it is found that shopper experience are highest under conditions of slow music/high density and fast music/low density.  The results underscore the need to examine interactive effects of atmospheric
cues to more fully understand the effects of the store environment on shoppers.

Dunnett, Jane, Stephen Arnold and Jay Handelman , “Resolving Ambiguity in the Marketplace.  The Continuing Impact of a Market Spoiler”,ACRA Spring 2000 , Toronto.In addition to theoretical implications (discussed), understanding the ability of some organizations to influence the market and consumers’ attitudes by modifying the relative saliency of specific store attributes in consumers’ minds may have significant managerial and social benefits. Retailers should realize the importance of managing their image in the public eye.  Discussed are theories and previous studies, a background of the research, the author’s methodology and their results. Also provided are tables and charts for clarification and understanding.

Everett, Judith, Kristen Swanson and James E. Beyer, “Themed retailing in Las Vegas: an exploratory look at the Venetian casino resort”, ACRA, Winter 2004, New York. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of retail themed entertainment and offer the Venetian Casino Resort, Las Vegas, NV, considering theme identification, design and construction, is the featured example of this paper. As Pine and Gilmore (1998) have stated, five design principles are used to create an experience orientation: Theme the experience, accent positive cues, eliminate negative cues, engage the five senses and mix in memorabilia. The Venetian has incorporated each of these principles to create a themed retail experience, the primary purpose of which was to support the introduction of people into the casino, while also trying to make a retail venue that could stand on its own as a profit center. It is out of that opposition that good design emerged.

Forester, Cynthia, Eastlick, Mary Ann , “Store Atmosphere and Consumer Approach Avoidance Behavior”,ACRA, April 1992, Dallas.The purpose of this research was to conduct an exploratory study designed to investigate consumer response to environmental cues of crowding, color, and light and their interactions using a controlled laboratory setting. A convenience sample consisting of 56 students enrolled at a large southeastern university was used for the study.

Greenberg, Jerome and Canavan, Michael, “What's In a Name?”,ACRA, Spring 1990.
A study of the ignored aspect of the store image - the store name.

Kelly, J. Patrick, E. Doyle Robinson and Gary F. McKinnon, “Sales Effects of In-Store Signing: A Field Study”. A report of the findings of a controlled study of the impact of signing on the sales of specific items on three cities, four store types, and 33 products. An excellent example of research design in a retail situation. The findings that signing does well is not surprising, but is clearly documented.

Kinley, Tammy, “Retail-tainment versus Non-retail-taintainment Stores”,ACRA Spring Conference, Montreal 2003.This study compares female consumers' perception of service quality between stores with a mission to entertain the customer and stores that do not have an entertainment mission and to determine the importance of retail-tainment to various demographic groups

Kelly, J. Patrick, “Importance of Research in Developing Point-of-Purchase Signing”, ACRA/NRMA, Winter 1985.A description of the process and results of a major signing study conducted for KMart photo finishing. This paper is the script of the slide presentation made at NRMA.

Kelly, Pat, Michael Guerts and Heikki Rinne, “An Approach to Allocating Space to Departments in a Retail Store”,ACRA/NRMA, 1986.This paper describes a retail space allocation model for department stores. The procedure uses past sales and profits, along with managerial judgement to allocate floor space to departments. The space for each department is allowed to vary monthly to account for seasonal fluctuations in demand and profits for each department.

Kim, Youn-Kyung, Hye-Young Kim, Soo-Hee Park and Tammy Judith Forney Kinley, “Effects of Travel Motivations on the Perceived Importance of Tourist-Destination Shopping Center Attributes”, ACRA, Spring 2004, Orlando. This study examined the linkage between tourist-shopper’s travel motivations and the importance of tourist-destination shopping center attributes. Factor analysis produced three travel motivation factors (i.e., learning, escapism, social interaction) and four shopping center attribute factors (i.e., environment quality, aesthetic/culture, price/merchandise, and entertainment). Based on canonical correlation analysis, the perceived importance of tourist-destination shopping center attributes was influenced by a set of travel motivations. More specifically, the results indicated that tourist-shoppers who attached high importance to “social interaction” motivation also attached more importance to “entertainment” attributes.

Moran, Martha Baker, “Using Imagery to Understand Retail Store Image”,ACRA Spring  1998.Students were asked to put together collages of materials which represent their image of a particular store or type of store.

Oh, Hyunjoo, Rhee and Eun-Young , “A Study on the Development of a Brand Positioning Map for Ladies' Ready-to-Wear Utilizing a Multidimensional Scaling Method” ,ACRA, April 1992, Dallas .The purpose of the study was to develop a brand positioning map for ladies' ready-to-wear, to discover consumers' evaluative criteria in the perception of and preference for brands, and to understand the relationship between consumer characteristics and brand preference.

Patton, Charles R, “Wholesaler Labels - An Alternative to Supermarket Private Labels”,
ACRA, April 1992 Dallas,Medium sized chains and independent supermarkets are at a disadvantage in that they rarely can compete with a larger chain's well established private label programs. In recent years, many of this first group have turned to wholesalers to supply a label which only they, or a small group of stores, will carry in a market. The wholesaler can accept this restriction because he often has several labels which are suitable for this use. The cost is also considerably lower than developing a complete private label program for a smaller size supermarket group.
The paper also discusses in some detail the most successful wholesaler-sponsored labeling program, Topco Associates, and how they have handled competitive situations in some markets.

Pearson,  Michael M and Glenn T. Stoops, “The Evolution of a Retail Store Layout Model”,ACRA, Spring 1991.This paper presents three versions of a retail teaching exercise - a store layout model. This model has evolved over the years from a relatively simple student handout to an interactive, computerized Lotus 1-2-3 model. This paper presents three versions of this exercise and discusses teaching objectives, subject objectives and student reaction to each.

Pettijohn, Linda S and Charles E Pettijohn, ,ACRA, Spring 1990.A study that examines how retailers attempt to create excitement and differentiate themselves from other retailers. The study is important because many retailers may be competing in a fashion that is outmoded and ineffective, in an environment in which more and more retailers are providing the same merchandise and the same service, at the same prices.

Rucker, Margaret, Erwin Danneels and Anthony Freitas, “Market Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning in Apparel Retailing: A Comparison of U.S. and Belgian Strategies and Practices”,ACRA, April 1994.The objective of this study was to evaluate reasons retailers conduct business in other countries. The paper focuses on the importance of whether principles of strategy are used in the same way in different countries, while comparing U.S. and Belgian retailers.

Smith, Peter W and David J Burns, “A Study in Retail Atmospherics: The Case of the "Power Aisle"”,ACRA, Winter 1995.The objective of this study is to examine the power aisle in a warehouse grocery setting and how the merchandising of that power aisle can affect consumers’ image of the prices of the products in the power aisle as well as the overall store.