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Exterior atmospherics and consumer behavior: Influence of landscaping and window display

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Purpose ‐ To fill a gap in external atmospheric literature and provide useful information for small store retailers, this study aims to investigate the influence of external atmospheric variables, specifically window displays and landscaping (i.e., accessory vegetation), on customers' responses towards an apparel boutique. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The Stimulus-Organism-Response (S-O-R) model proposed by Mehrabian and Russell provided the theoretical framework. Data were collected from students enrolled at an American university. Univariate analyses and simple regression analyses were used to evaluate the influence of two external variables (window display and landscaping) on consumer responses in terms of liking, mood, and patronage intentions. Findings ‐ Results indicated that window display and landscaping had no main effects on pleasure or arousal. However, the presence of window display and landscaping influenced respondents' liking of the store exterior and patronage intentions. Additionally, consumers' liking of the store exterior and mood positively influenced patronage intentions. Practical implications ‐ Store retailers, especially small apparel boutiques, would benefit from landscaping the external portion of their store and pay special attention to their window displays. Originality/value ‐ Turley and Milliman stressed the pressing need for further empirical research on external atmospheric variables because of lack of research on exterior atmospheric variables. This study focused on external atmospheric variables and their impact on shopper behaviors and thus adds to the existing literature.
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Keywords: Atmospherics; Consumer behaviour; Landscaping; Retailers; Window display

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-14

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