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Path analysis of atmospherics and convenience on flow: the mediation effects of brand affect and brand trust

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Although there has been extensive research on retail environments and the effects of atmospherics on consumer behaviour, research of this nature in developing countries such as Malaysia is still scant in spite of the proliferation of shopping malls. In this study, the role of atmospherics and locational convenience was examined. The mediating effects of brand trust and brand affect were also tested on the relationship between the dependent variables: atmospherics and locational convenience on flow and the dependent variable using structural equations analysis. Data for the present study were collected from shoppers exiting shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya. A total of 698 responses from 11 malls were analysed. Results show an absence of the direct effect of atmospherics and locational convenience on flow, contrary to findings of past research which show a direct effect on approach/avoidance behaviour. The present study supports findings of more recent studies that suggest the presence of intervening variables, i.e. the hypothesised mediating role of brand trust and brand affect on the relationship between atmospherics and flow, and between locational convenience and flow. Findings suggest that the pleasant environment and locational convenience together evoked brand affect and brand trust, which in turn affects flow. Gender effect on the hypothesised relationships was tested. Results show that male and female shoppers tended to respond differently to the exogenous variables of atmospherics and locational convenience. Limitations and directions for future research are suggested.

Keywords: Malaysia; atmospherics; brand trust and brand affect; flow; locational convenience

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Business, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala Lumpur,50100, Malaysia 2: Taylor's Business School, Taylor's University, Lakeside Campus, No. 1 Jalan Taylor'sSubang Jaya,47500, Malaysia 3: Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, 50603, Malaysia 4: College of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luo Yu Road WuhanHubei Province, China

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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