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When non-store meets in-store: mobile communications technology, servicescapes, and the production of servicespace

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Abstract:

This interpretative research contributes to the current literature on retailing by borrowing from an alternative conceptualisation of space, one grounded in Henri Lefebvre's spatial analysis. This new conceptualisation sheds a new light on the relative importance of both the built servicescape (e.g., the physical settings of a shopping mall) and mobile communications technology (e.g., cell phones) in the shaping of an individual's overall retail experience. An exploratory fieldwork reveals that shoppers leverage their mobile device to produce a customised lived space, within which the service scape is only one dimension of a multidimensional service space. Consequences for the role of the servicescape as a site of social centrality are discussed. This study also introduces the DayIn-A-Life (DIAL) protocol, a qualitative methodology adapted to the exploration of contemporary marketplaces, i.e., marketplaces where the online and the offline (i.e., brick-and-mortar) experiences are increasingly interweaved.

Keywords: CELL PHONE; LEFEBVRE; MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY; RETAIL; SERVICESCAPE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539210X511371

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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