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Understanding how retail environments are perceived: a conceptualization and a pilot study

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A conceptual framework for understanding how perceptions of retail environments are formed is developed in this paper. In developing the framework, three main issues receive theoretical attention. First, the problem of conceptualizing retail environments is tackled. Second, the dimensions of environmental perception are discussed from the standpoint of retail arenas. Third, the factors that moderate how different retail environments are perceived are treated producing a few research propositions. The article also reports the findings of a pilot study. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are conducted and they show that the separate perceptual dimensions manifest themselves in distinct ways in different retail environments. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications are discussed and future research suggestions are spelled out.

Keywords: Consumer characteristics; perception; retail environment; situational factors; social influences

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2003

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