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How ambient conditions in a retail store (level of noise, scent, temperature, level of light, etc.) affect customers behavior in the store. An empirical study in one of the retail chains in Russia

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It was evident that pleasant and arousing environmental cues resulted to pleasant shopping experience among the visitors of the stores. These findings resonated with previous studies by seock (2009) that stated that ambient atmospheric conditions contributed to enhanced customer satisfaction and further led to favourability of the stores by consumers. The nature of the prevailing atmospheric conditions in the retail stores elicited varied consumer emotions and perceptions towards the image of the stores and their services. The arousal of desired stimuli by ambient atmospheric conditions triggered positive consumer attitudes towards the stores while perceptions of substandard services and displeasing environmental surrounding elicited negative attitude towards the stores in accordance with the S-O-R paradigm.

The ambient conditions that were noted to arouse positive response from the customers ranged from slow tempo music, freshly scented rooms, moderate lighting and heating system while negative responses were associated with extremity of the atmospheric conditions. Consequently, the study brought into focus Griffit (2000) argument that the retail stores environment was never neutral but comprised either of ambient conditions or extreme conditions in the form of cues, messages and suggestion.

In sum, the results implied that imperative interpretation of the findings by retail stores management could be utilized to strategize optimally on the atmospheric planning for the purposes of creating marketing competitive advantage. By establishing normal ambient conditions such as normal temperature, low sound music, moderate lighting and sweet scenting, the retail stores in Russia will be in a position to prolong customers’ stay in the stores, trigger impulsive buying behaviour, develop approach behaviour and further enhance the level of customer satisfaction.

However, the perceived ambient conditions of the retail stores could trigger arousal of negative responses from prospective customers. The nature of the music played by the retail stores may appeal to a given age group but displeasure different age bracket. It is, therefore, imperative that retail stores conduct market analysis of their clientele base to identify suitably the appropriate ambient atmospheric conditions that match their customers. Detailed examination of the empirical results further

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